A quote from the NotesPlus Quick Start guide! As we are going through this whole shift in thinking of how we do things it is hard sometimes to remember the HOW! Just because something has been done a certain way for so many years does not make it the best way to do it!
In developing his NotesPlus app Viet Tran has come up with some great ways to get things done in new ways. I love it when people think of new ways to do things! That is why it is vital for some of these app developers to have a great quick start guide built into their app, youtube videos and demonstrations of the capabilities of their apps! If I, as the user, can see what things are possible I will then dig in and figure out HOW to do those things.
I think that is a vital piece for our classrooms too! We need to constantly show our students what is possible! Then if they are interested they will dig in and find out HOW. We can even lead them in the right direction but I like to give them different ways to “get there”! I am always telling my students… there is more than one way to do this! Pick the way that is the easiest for YOU. In fact, if you don’t like the options I’ve given you then come up with a new way to learn or do this. It’s easy to teach the way you were taught. The problem is that our world we lived in as teachers is NOT the same world we live in now. My Dad went to a one room school house! My great-grandparents drove around in a horse and buggy! My grandma STILL doesn’t wear pants – she does use a microwave though! When I was growing up we never ever had a phone or a car or a TV. My kids have cell phones and 3 cars. My 2 year old niece loves using an iPod Touch, in fact I think she is addicted! Look around people. Your classroom and lessons had better not look the same as when we were in school. I’m even talking to those new teachers who just graduated from college The iPad wasn’t around in YOUR classrooms either.
Challenge your students and yourself to find new ways to do things. I want to leave this post with a thought about PS22’s Chorus from New York. Some people would shudder when they think about teaching “pop” music to their kids. Look where it has gotten this group and teacher though! You can not tell me that these kids are not making music! If you have not heard of this group watch the Oscars this next weekend. Better yet go search them on YouTube. Not a normal “choral” setting, not a regular General Music Classroom but there is an awful lot of creativity and heart being poured out in this group.