I used to roll my eyes and shake my head every time I heard a teacher rave about how technology could impact their lessons. I am in many ways old-fashioned, feeling like so much can be done in music education with voices, a few instruments, a few CD’s, and a chalkboard.
Ah, but that has changed.
This year and for many years to come, I have a SMART board dedicated to my room. I went to a SMART board workshop last year at the OAKE conference and was amazed by all that could be done with it. When my new principal said we could apply for a SMART board, I jumped at the chance.
The first day of school, there were some glitches. So much so that a student said, “It shouldn’t be called the SMART board, it should be called the DUMB board!” But I figured out the glitches and have been using it increasingly with my students. I know I still haven’t used it to its full extent, but the students have arranged rhythmic patterns, written melodic patterns, filled out lyrics, memorized rhythms, figured out form, watched a video of a kookaburra laughing…and they love watching the computer choose which one of them will answer a question. My biggest excitement has been the amount of time and board space saved in setting up a lesson. Sometimes I have six different lesson plans going on in one day, which means my whole board and maybe another board is filled up with rhythms and cards and lyrics and song titles and pictures. Now, most of it is on the SMART board, and can be opened in seconds. I don’t have to worry about re-writing something on the board because the next class needs it too. I just re-open the file.
So I am a technology convert. I can’t imagine teaching without it…until the power goes out or the network goes down or a child trips over a cord. Ah, technology. 🙂