Its been a strange week for me, having attended the first 3 days of my teacher professional development and then taking the last 2 to start getting myself into my new routine my brain has been all over the place. I am trying to figure out a good routine for working from home, just the fact that my day is not scheduled down to the second is so very weird. I know teachers out there can relate, we go full throttle for so many months most days unable to even know the correct time on the clock until its time to go home and now that I can sit outside on the patio and work on certain projects at my own pace for hours occasionally getting up for food, maybe a walk, whatever I need is SUCH a different and very awesome feeling. I still love days going full throttle, but being able to sit and really concentrate on something is freeing!
What has always helped make my full throttle days easier? technology. Without my project and my computer I would have had a lot of trouble getting through. They allowed me to minimize my trips to the copier or the hours creating poster visuals and just have everything in one glorious paper free place. During lessons I could add that level of engagement with interactive websites and curriculum materials from places like Quaver Music and Music First which had kids memorized.
I couldn’t have lived without my technology in the room and its becoming a staple in every classroom, that is why I’m so surprised when someone tells me they DO NOT have some sort of technology in their teaching space. I ask why and I get answers like “there’s not enough money” or “they don’t think there’s space in my room” or even “they don’t think I’d use it”. Well phooey, time to give up right? WRONG! It’s time to get creative.
Look! I made an iPhone/iPod projector for 5 bucks just to prove a point for this blog post! (and it WORKS!)
Check out how to make this at this website
There are so many ideas for low cost classroom technology alternatives out there on the web that the excuse “I just don’t have it” is really not an excuse to me anymore. Tell me you don’t have a projector I will MAKE you one right there on the spot. Once you get creative with these low cost alternatives the last objection “they don’t think I’ll use it” flies right out the window! Sometimes, you just have to go a little further to prove to your tech department and administrators that you too can use technology successfully and creatively in your music classroom.
No speaker system? Have a glass handy?
Or if you have a second you can throw together this puppy with a cardboard tube and two solo cups
If you’re really ready for a challenge and itching for a smart board, try using a Wii remote control: http://johnnylee.net/projects/wii/
Those excuses people give me for not having technology in their classroom? Yeah, I’ll make you a projector or set of speakers on the spot, I know you’ve got an iPod or smartphone handy everybody does. There are so many of these awesome hacks online in places like Pinterest .
So remember, technology doesn’t have to be a fancy state of the art projector or a 1,000 dollar speaker system. If you’ve got 5 minutes and the right stuff sitting in your room or house, the possibilities become amazing.