I hear from two types of teachers, those who have interactive boards, and those who don’t, though the latter had slowly started to diminish because they are becoming more and more a staple in the music classroom. Administrators and tech departments are seeing a need and finding a better use of them in music. Why? because music teachers are awesome, creative, and can come up with the coolest ways to use them. If you don’t have one but want one, as I’ve said before, show your administration you have a need! Talk about how you would use it, show how your lesson would be improved, maybe even come up with a list of cheaper alternatives to present that will work equally as well.
With the ability to interact with what is projected on the screen, teaching, composing, and creating music have never been so much fun and with the tools now available, music teachers can now push the boundaries of what technology can do in the classroom. Doing things from creating beat boxing groups to writing notes and pressing play, and even immersing yourself in a game of identifying musical symbols. The possibilities remain bound only by one’s creativity.
Smartboard – One of the most well known interactive boards, Smartboard has the ability to be hooked on the wall, on a stand, or you can go with a Slate. You can create your own Smart Notebook files to do with classes and even use others that are shared on websites such as the Smart Exchange.
If you’re looking for a great go to book about how to use a Smartboard in the music classroom check out my friend and superhero Amy Burn’s book Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a Smartboard!
Promethean– These are absolutely gorgeous. With a crystal clear picture, sensitive touch, and ability to have more than one student using it at the same time, this board is amazing to see in action. Did you also know that it reacts to your touch not by touching the screen but by sensors placed around the front of the screen? Too cool right?
Mimio– A cheaper alternative to a Smartboard or the Promethean Board. The Mimio attaches directly to a whiteboard and plugs into your computer which also has to be plugged into the projector. Very useful, especially if you tend to switch rooms every year and want to take it with you. They can be easy to set up as well once you get acquainted with it.
Wii-mote Board – A really cheap way to get an interactive board if you are tech savy enough! Using a wii-mote and an IR Pen you can use the available software to interact with your computer. Can be easy for a Mac user, little more difficult for a PC user but still completely doable! I sometimes will travel with my Wii-mote and IR pen to presentations just to show how easy it is to create an interactive board with a little creativity and brain power.
Splashtop– Did you know I never had an interactive board when I taught? I had an iPad though, and by downloading the Splashtop Streamer and App ($4.99 in the App store.) I was able to turn my iPad into a giant remote for my computer. I would walk around wirelessly and have students interact with what was being projected on the screen.
What do you use in your classroom? If you do not have one which would you want to use?