From a Distance: Let Students Create

Over the last few weeks I’ve said several times that trying to recreate our classrooms while distance learning isn’t where we should put our energy. The two aren’t the same, especially considering the fact that this isn’t exactly “distance learning” – it’s attempting education during a pandemic. Instead, we should Focus on What We Can Do right now. We can try new things, experiment, and give students the opportunity to take ownership of their music … Continue reading “From a Distance: Let Students Create”

How to Create Quick, Stand-Alone Videos: Flipgrid Shorts

This is another unintended, yet timely post about technology tools I’ve been using recently. Last time I wrote about using Flipgrid to maintain community in music classes. This post is also about Flipgrid, but how teachers can use it to easily create video content when suddenly faced with teaching digitally. Recently I’ve had the need to create short videos for my students and their families to explain how to use various tech tools and complete … Continue reading “How to Create Quick, Stand-Alone Videos: Flipgrid Shorts”

Maintaining Community When Teaching Virtually: Try Flipgrid!

While this is technically the fourth in the series of short posts about technology tools, it wasn’t my intended topic for the week! However, given the current events and everything going on with #COVID19, this seems to be the most relevant. Teaching in a brand new school this year and starting a band program from scratch, I have given a lot of thought about the culture and community I wanted to build. Developing relationship, between … Continue reading “Maintaining Community When Teaching Virtually: Try Flipgrid!”

Flipgrid Updates for Music Teachers

This post was updated August 2020 Flipgrid is one tech tool I can’t imagine teaching without. As an instrumental music teacher, I have found countless ways to use Flipgrid in my classroom. Each year Flipgrid comes out with new updates that make this tool even more powerful and fun to use. This post will cover some of the most recent updates, and some other features music teachers will enjoy.  If you haven’t read my original … Continue reading “Flipgrid Updates for Music Teachers”

#ISTE19 Top Ten

As a music teacher, have you ever considered attending the ISTE conference? ISTE stands for the International Society for Technology in Education. While I have attended my state technology conference several times, this was my first time at ISTE. It did not disappoint! Held at the Philadelphia Convention Center, the conference boasted 1,900 sessions and over 16,000 attendees. There were some great take-aways for educators – even music educators! I could not possibly recap everything … Continue reading “#ISTE19 Top Ten”

Apps for Beginning Band and Orchestra

It’s no secret; I am a fan of technology in education! All of my 4th and 5th-grade students have school-issued iPads. I enjoy using the iPads in my elementary band and orchestra classes and have found several apps that work well in this setting. While I would never advocate for using technology exclusively in an instrumental music class (they need to play the instruments, right?) it can be a great supplement. Here are my favorite … Continue reading “Apps for Beginning Band and Orchestra”

STEAM Lessons with the OK Go Sandbox

Last spring I discovered a resource that I cannot wait to use – the OK Go Sandbox. I remember the band, OK Go, being on the radio about ten years ago. They always had very elaborate and creative music videos. In March 2018 the OK Go Sandbox was launched in collaboration with the Playful Learning Lab (through the University of St. Thomas) and sponsorships by Google. The sandbox is awesome! It contains materials and lesson plans to accompany … Continue reading “STEAM Lessons with the OK Go Sandbox”

Google Slides in Music

You may be aware that I love all things Google. There are so many fabulous tools for education, and they seem to get better every day. One of the most versatile tools is Google Slides! I taught a few PD workshops this summer on the topic and wanted to share some ideas here. As music teachers, our focus is the music. Technology is great, but only if it can support the music. And that is … Continue reading “Google Slides in Music”

Flipgrid – What’s New?

August 1st was a day many teachers on social media were looking forward to – it was the day Flipgrid announced their new features for this school year! While I was not able to make the trek to Minneapolis for the release party (silly new puppy got in the way – at least he’s cute!) instead, I co-hosted a viewing party here in Northern Virginia. Flipgrid did not disappoint! The new features are fantastic. From … Continue reading “Flipgrid – What’s New?”