The second #MusEdChat was held on Monday, March 8th 2010. Participants discussed the topic, “What Web 2.0 tools do you use in your classroom for educational purposes?” Participants came from all over the world, including 15 music undergraduates from Grove City College. The topic was then discussed in two parts. First, participants discussed educational web 2.0 tools used in educating students, and then later discussed tools that are useful in the administration part of music education.
Web 2.0 Education Tools
A variety of web 2.0 tools for educating were shared, ranging anywhere from composition programs to ear-training aids. A number of composition-related applications were suggested. The most well-known of these was Noteflight. Teachers can use Noteflight to have students compose music. This is a great way to have students apply basic music knowledge, all the while exercising their creativity. Musescore, a similar application, was also suggested for this purpose. Along this category of Web 2.0 applications is iCompositions, a program that is used to give students feedback on the compositions they create on Garage Band. Teachers also found some applications, such as Jam Studio to be very effective in the classroom. Jam Studio is an online site that allows students to compose music by selecting a key, and then choosing chords in that key. Users can then select which instrument groups they would like to use, in whatever style they would like them to play (all chosen from a list of pre-recorded styles and instruments). Myna was also suggested. This program involves looping pre-recorded segments together to create a sound file, complete with an intro, body, and ending. This can then be converted into an MP3 and downloaded. SmartMusic was also briefly mentioned. This allowed teachers to test students on things such as scales, from home.
After these applications were discussed, the #MusEdChat participants shared thoughts on using things such asblogs and wikis in the classroom setting. Some found it very useful, while others proceeded with caution. The idea of using YouTube as a teaching aid came up as well. It seemed that mostly everybody agreed that it was useful, but some had issues with it being blocked in their schools. Multiple solutions to this problem were discussed, including the use of websites (such as Keepvid) to download the YouTube video, as well as simply asking the administrator to give you access to such sites.
Web 2.0 Administrative Tools
In addition to discussing tools that music educators use for educating were tools that music teachers can use to make the administrative part of their job easier. Some of the tools discussed dealt directly with music teacher responsibilities as far as organization of information. One tool that was suggested was Ututti. Ututti was described as being a program that “view student’s info grades and financial account all in one place.” Another of these tools is WhenisGood. This particular online application allows the user to sign up, enter his/her available times, and email it to others. The recipients then can respond with the times available to them. The user can log onto the site again using information provided to them to view what time works best for everybody.
Multiple tools were shared that dealt with communication between the teacher and students. Google Docs was brought up. This allows teachers to refrain from using paper copies to have students complete forms. The chat participants seemed to think that this was more efficient, and also removed the possibility of losing paper forms. Google Calendar was also suggested to keep everybody (teacher, students and parents) on the same page.
Communication between teacher and parent, as well as teacher and student was also discussed. One of the biggest issues chatted about was the use of Facebook. The #MusEdChat participants seemed to have differing opinions on this. Some believed that using Facebook to promote a school group was completely acceptable. After all, most students already use Facebook. This was seen by some to be a very useful tool in notifying students of the program of any alerts that needed to be passed on. Other participants thought that contact with students on social media sites was unprofessional. While it may be useful, many teachers have a policy of not adding students as friends until they no longer had connections with the school. A possible solution to this was that if a fan page was made, students would have no contact with the teacher; they would only be able to communicate within the page for whatever group it was promoting. While not everybody agreed with the idea of using Facebook in a school setting, one point seemed to be unanimous. It seemed that all of the participants agreed that teachers need to act responsibly on the internet, treating it like any other public situation. In addition, most seemed to agree that it is important to teach students to be careful with their actions on the internet, as anything they do has the potential to leave a devastating mark on their reputation.
Here is a list of links suggested and discussed during the chat:
- UTutti- https://www.ututti.com/features
- NoteFlight– www.noteflight.com
- Resume-writing- http://ceevee.com/
- Ear Trainer – http://musictheory.net
- Myna- http://aviary.com/tools/myna
- WhenIsGood– http://whenisgood.net
- iSchoolBand Review by @thomasjwest - http://bit.ly/doUFQO
- Wiki created by @wbauer’s students - http://muedtech.wikispaces.com
- Online resources for teachers to use in class - http://makingmusicfun.net/
- List of music software and resources - http://muedtech.wikispaces.com/
- TeacherTube– http://www.teachertube.com
- Application to make and share videos - http://scratch.mit.edu/
- TubeRadio– http://www.tuberadio.fm
- Convert YouTube videos to flash videos- http://bit.ly/13A3LL
- Download YouTube videos - http://www.downloader9.com
- MuseScore– http://musescore.org
- “Should We Use Technology in Classrooms” by @pisanojm -http://bit.ly/2r7Ew3
- “Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology” - http://bit.ly/2r7Ew3
- iPhone apps for music - http://bit.ly/bMiVBH
- TextMarks– http://www.textmarks.com/
- @band_techie’s band’s wiki project http://rmslewisandclark.wikispaces.com/
- Jing - http://www.jingproject.com
- Band Directors Facebook Fanpage - http://bit.ly/bxEEeh
- Teaching Music Facebook group -http://www.facebook.com/#!/teachingmusic?ref=ts
- Music Around the World Voicethread -http://voicethread.com/share/948949/
- Internet Safety Sites - http://bit.ly/5fDZ4f