Tech Tuesday: Music and Smartboards

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Well, I have to confess: I have never used a smartboard.  I WANT to…I really, really do…but it hasn’t been in the cards.  I worked in a school for the last few years of teaching where they didn’t have any…and so I still don’t truly know how awesome they are.  However, I did a bit of looking (really, just a BIT), and found some neat stuff for the smartboard and music!  Please forgive me if you find my list or suggestions at all too basic or noninclusive…it is based solely on how neat they look from my desktop.

As it turns out, there is a LOT out there to choose from when it comes to smartboard applications…just as there is when it comes to smart phone apps (and really…anything “educational” for kids).  And so the same rule applies: some suck, some are ok, some are awesome.  Please use at your discretion and PLEASE leave me a comment and give me your opinions and your favourite smartboard apps.  I would LOVE to know…just in case I ever get to use one.

The first website visited was http://www.plattscsd.org/oak/smartboard/music.htm and it actually turned out to be pretty decent.  It is actually a page from an elementary school’s website, listing smartboard resources for grades K-8.  It has a good list, including a virtual keyboard, interactive music-making applications, instrument identification, theory and history trivia and some links to relevant podcasts and audio files.  I will definitely be perusing this list of links that they’ve put together as I start teaching my classes…absolutely some good hits on there.  DO check it out.

Although they are grouped with the art games, Learning Games for Kids definitely has some worthwhile elementary music games. Many link out to other sites, but they are all student friendly and have content that is appropriate. Music Match ’em, for instance, has students match the sound of an instrument with a picture of what they think made that sound. Boom Thang is a fun and easy to use composer game, while Music Memory is a tone matching game based on the doh ray me scale. All in all, there is a good mix of education and fun…isn’t that what it’s all about?

The blog at http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk/2009/07/11-ideas-for-music-lessons-on-your-interactive-whiteboard/ also has a few good recommendations for smartboard use in music lessons.  My favourite is Moodstream, which can be linked from the above site.  It is REALLY neat, combining images and music to suit your mood.  “It would be good to investigate how different sounds and tunes affect how we feel. Choose from combinations of happy/sad, calm/lively, warm/cool etc. Is really interesting to leave running for a while and see what it does”.  If you go back and read my “I See a Song” post from last Monday, you will know why this intrigues me so…there is SO much possibility when exploring music and feelings…here is a great jumping off point!

So once again, a short list of a few (hopefully) good resources for you on your musical adventures!  I do ask you to PLEASE leave me some further suggestions based on experiences you have had…I would LOVE to hear and be able to put them to good use very soon!

Happy Tuesday!

-A

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Contact:

Amber Robinson musicformunchkins@ymail.com (403) 852-5837
Margaret A. Powers

Educator - Lower School Tech Coordinator - Consultant

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