I love my students! They're not even my students...they're my kiddos. They work so hard to achieve their goals, and it can be extra difficult in their circumstances. Often they don't have enough food at home; some are even homeless. They are responsible for watching younger siblings and have to grow up faster than most other kids their age. They don't have the luxury of things like computers and internet access at home. Yet, they show up to class every day and do their best. They get to school early and stay late, all to get them closer to their dreams. I know they can achieve them. I also want to make their time at school as productive as possible. They don't have time to waste.
There's an app for everything! My students need technology to prepare them for our advancing world. iPads give my students access to much more info than I can give in class. It also allows them to work independently or in small groups, which is a skill that helps them adapt their learning to different environments.
I have several plans on how the ipads will be used in class.
First, we will use them for research. Students will have the opportunity to get answers to questions they may have about songs, composers, genres, and theory. Second, we will make use of educational websites such as musiclab.com, dsokids.com (Dallas Symphony Orchestra), and incredibox.com. These websites allow students to explore with music. They involve musical "experiments," learning instruments, and practice ostinatos and sound layering. Third, students will have the opportunity to learn and practice skills by playing educational apps, such as Rhythm Cat, Blob Chorus, and Staff Wars. These apps are so much better than assigning class or homework pages because they are so much fun! The "video game" aspect keeps kids playing (and practicing concepts) way longer and more engagingly than traditional pencil and paper work. Lastly, as a teacher I can use the scores from the games the students play to track their individual progress and accurately assess grades.
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