Remind – Almost every single parent these days have a cell phone that texts. Texting messages to parents is what I call an “In their face, can’t miss it” sort of communication. You send the message, their phone goes ding ding, they read the message. There’s isn’t another app to install, they don’t have to remember to go check your website, they don’t have to dig around in their email or sign into a web page.
So why wouldn’t you want that sort of communication?
Oh – it’s free. Did I mention that?
Class Dojo – Have you ever needed to keep track of students points earned, behaviors in class, their achievements, or how about the fact that they didn’t bring an instrument or lost their music? Now, how much time do you have to mark those points down? How much time does it take you to go look up a parents email and send them a message about their childs amazing achievements during class on any given day? How many times do you send home a written note that NEVER makes it home about something going on in your students lives?
What if I told you that in a matter of seconds you could send any given parent in your class a message detailing the fact that their child just did something amazing in class? What if you could on the spot within seconds send a message to any given parent that their child had forgotten their instrument? Would you want a tool like this?
What If I told you it was free?
SeeSaw – How do you collect homework? How do you give your students feedback on that work? What if you could create a movie where you wrote things on a childs paper while talking to them and explaining ways that they could improve or things that you love about their work? Have we gone a step beyond the traditional red pen and ink?
We music teachers have a different job from other teachers. Our students should be turning in assignments in a multimedia format. The students should be charge of turning it in and keeping track of it – not you! The students should be building a collection of their work throughout the entire school year so that they can show their progress in very obvious ways. They themselves/along with their parents/along with your administration can quickly access, see, listen to and observe the progress being made if they can manage to create a collection and keep it organized!
What if I told you there is an app so easy to use that 1st graders can create these online portfolios/collections? What if I told you that you could open a discussion about students work between yourself and each and every student? How hard is it for you currently to get to every single student to discuss their class work? I’m teaching a High School Band class with 80+ kids in it! How exciting! BUT without the help of technology I don’t know how in the world I can openly converse with each individual student about things they each need to improve on or about how amazing their work is.
What if I told you that this app was free, kind of?
Oh… we can’t forget the recent improvements to Google Classroom! How exciting! What about the upcoming announcement from Flat.io? What do you think THAT is going to be about? ooooooo oooooh what about PreSonus – they have new announcements coming too! AND Dorico is soon to enter the beta testing stage! Wait… what about the update to NoteFlight that now allows students to actually record AUDIO into their musical compositions! (Did you know Noteflight is pretty cheap – especially compared to any individual student attempting to actually BUY Finale/Sibelius/Notion!
Over the next few days I will write about how I intend to incorporate each of these apps/service into my music classes. I still have yet to find ONE single app/Gradebook that does it all. Maybe someday…………..