Midnight Music Community Member Spotlight
The Midnight Music Community “member spotlights” let you take a sneak peek into the music tech journey (so far!) of one of our members.
The first Spotlight article features one of my most enthusiastic action-taking members Janice Cook from Vernon Center Middle School, Vernon, CT in the USA.
Janice has discovered that incorporating technology into her year 7 and 8 classes has enhanced engagement and collaboration in her classes.
What do you teach and where?
I teach band and general music (grade 6-8) at Vernon Center Middle School (Vernon, CT)
Name one favourite technology tool or resource that you’ve used in your music teaching
I took a 45 minute workshop on projectors, provided by a language arts teacher at our school. The course talked about what you could do with a SMART board versus what you could do with a simple projector. I realized that a projector would do everything I would ever want for my classroom. As most classrooms were moving to SMART boards, projectors were available at no cost. I asked our electrician to mount it to the ceiling and my entire approach to teaching changed overnight.
Briefly describe one tech success you and/or your students have had during a lesson
My 7th grade general music students went crazy for both Incredibox and Chrome Music Lab in the spring. The Midnight Music PD Community brought these ideas to my inbox. They seemed like a good match for my classroom so I gave it a try. It is a lot of work to troubleshoot a new technology lesson plan and determine what guidance and structure students will need to be successful.
Once I saw how engaged my students were and the level of collaboration that was taking place in the classroom I knew these would be activities that I would want to repeat again and again.
What’s your next music tech goal?
Our 8th grade students take a course called Soundtrack Creation which uses the iPad version of Garageband. These students now come with 1:1 chromebooks and I recently became a Level 1 and Level 2 Google Certified Educator. I spent a lot of time in the spring learning about how the Google tools could transform my classroom but now I am finally going live. I have always dreamed of a paperless classroom and this trimester I am using Google Classroom to deliver the Soundtrack Creation course.
There are bumps along the way (as anyone who has worked with Doctopus and Goobric can attest) but I think it is good to model for our students that we are constantly learning, and failing, and persevering right along with them.
Tell us why you decided to join the Midnight Music Community. What’s your favorite thing about it?
In the spring of 2015 we found out that we had the opportunity to add two new general music courses. As we looked at the new standards