I recently posted the following question on Facebook: “What’s one piece of tech-related advice you would give to another teacher?”. Teachers from all over the world contributed ideas and shared tips. The responses were so good that I decided to dedicate a whole episode to the topic and share the advice with you here.
Listen to the episode here (or on your favourite podcast app):
Links & Resources Mentioned
- Here’s the original Facebook post (add your own piece of advice to the collection!)
- Barbara Freedman on the Music Tech Teacher podcast
- Richard McCready on the Music Tech Teacher podcast
Music Tech Advice
- It’s not about the technology
- Barbara Freedman – Teach music. The technology will follow
- Michael Medvinsky – Think about authentic processes. If that requires tech, then use tech. If it does not…don’t. #BarbaraFreedman
- Brenda Slick – Focus on teaching music, not technology. View technology as a tool in teaching, recording and creating.
- Mário Relvas – Only use ICT when it enables you to do something that you couldn’t do without it (innovation) OR when it enables you to do something that you did before but with less effort, less time, less money (economy).
- Simple, straight-up tips
- George Hess – Google is your friend
- Mário Relvas – KISS
- Martin Emo – Read the manual (or follow the youtube tutorial)
- Ron Steiner – Read the instructions. Then reboot
- Lesley Schultz – Restart your computers, often.
- Maribel Alvarez-Muñoz – queue up as much as you can before classes.
- Dale Taylor – Turn off Auto update!
- Connor Malanos – Have an assortment of cables available at all times – you never know when you’re going to have to MAKE something work!
- Travis Williamson – Check the power cord first when troubleshooting
- Daniel Lee – Turn off your alerts before connecting to a class room projector. I was once running the projector for backdrops on the cyclorama for a school production of Swan Lake when a window popped up asking if I wanted to update my anti-virus software right in the middle of the performance. Even worse was the Principal was using his personal laptop for a presentation at a whole school assembly when he received an email from an angry parent.
- Have a contingency plan
- Sheggie Land – Always have a backup plan for when it doesn’t work!
- Jenni Holmstrom – Never depend on technology. ALWAYS have a tech free backup plan.
- Bronwyn Trezise – Expect that it will be all exciting and fun and suck you in. You will think you’re a tech genius and then whilst in front of a group of impatient children it will have the mother of all melt downs and stuff up.
- Daniel Lee – Never trust your internet connection – If you want to show something from the internet, download it first.
- Go Paperless
- Josh Adam – If you’re interested in downsizing your Leaning Towers of Paper, consider getting a Windows 10 tablet with a pen and using OneNote as your digital filing cabinet for storing everything digitally. Programs, resources, lesson plans, class assessments, you name it, it can be done in OneNote. There are many things that kids need to do practically, but the day to day teacher admin can be cut in half time-wise once you get familiar with OneNote. I share a OneNote notebook with a colleague and we use it for sharing lesson ideas, posting photos and videos of student work for showing how we’re meeting standards, and knowing where I can immediately find such-and-such document that I filed 5 weeks ago
- Anna van Veldhuisen – Using Evernote for lesson plans/notes/any other note taking! I now have 6 years worth of lesson plans in my evernote and they’re all searchable, with youtube links to audio files etc where necessary, screenshots of sheet music / the whiteboard etc. And it’s free!
- Students can be teachers
- Cheryl Burgemeister – Acknowledge your students will be more of an expert than you, call them your experts and they will become the second teacher in the room you always wish you had
- Belinda Dolan – I also have them as the expert to go to. Got a problem with X? See Sally she is the expert.
- Lesley Schultz – Teach your students basic computer troubleshooting (turning wi-fi on/off, how to force quit a program).
Teachers need to be students too
- Buckley Miche – Always try it out before you get into your lesson
- Cari Weil Kassebaum – Don’t be afraid to try new things! And if you like it…. it may take you A LOT OF TIME initially to create what you need for your classroom but years down the road it will all be at your fingertips- ready to go.
- Erin Taylor – Give it a go! Half the battle is being afraid to give something a try for fear of failure. 99% of learning is failing and trying again and the best teachers are those that are still learning.
- Doreen Schultz Righter – Always keep up on the latest technology so as to not be left behind
- Will Kuhn – Learn the tools inside and out
- Alison Wright – Do the work with the students ..creating beats this week was awesome!!! [Editor’s note: this is something that tech teacher Richard McCready talked about in episode 25 of the Music Tech Teacher]
- Lynda Kay Irvine – Take Katie’s Audacity course (first tech anything) when you are 50 something and get sucked into loving tech.
- Anne Trigg – Join Midnight Music [Editor’s note: I swear I didn’t put Anne up to that! Thank you Anne 🙂 ]
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Midnight Music Community: special rate for MTT podcast listeners
The Midnight Music Community (MMC) is an online space for music teachers interested in learning more about music technology. There are online courses, lesson plans and lots of other resources for Chromebooks, iPads, Macs and PCs. Professional development certificates are available for all training undertaken by MMC members and I am in the Community everyday, personally answering questions and offering advice to members.
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