Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Remote Learning Successes

Remote Learning has been a learning curve for me. As an Orff trained music practitioner active, hands-on music making and engagement is how my classes roll. It's not that I dislike technology, but rather that my focus is on activities, games, songs, movement, and very little technology. I also think our children have far too much access and interaction with technology and not enough with other humans, but that is a different conversation. My biggest hurdles with online/remote/e-learning have been using technology in a meaningful way. So, crash courses in imovie, screencasting, and google slides.
Our school leadership wanted to ensure that relational teaching stayed at the forefront of our thinking and planning activities and lessons for our students while they are not on our campus and our physical presence. School is still happening, and I am so thankful that our leadership made relationships our primary goal.
Image result for image music and heart

Delivering Content

Knowing we were to keep our faces front and center made delivering content decisions easy - it was going to be me recording videos with songs, activities, and lessons.  I already had a youtube channel (3 in fact) and one I had used for sub plans before where I recorded lessons, so that was an easy decision. 

Powerpoint vs. Google Slides
I have used Powerpoint forever, but think I will be switching to Google Slides now for several reasons. 
Obvious, probably, but whatever I make is automatically saved to my Drive.
Easy to create a link.
Many other reasons - the top two sealed the deal for me.

Google Meet vs. Screencastify
So far, I have found Screencasting to be the way to go. Screencastify is a free add on from Chrome and is truly ridiculously easy. My favorite features are the edit once recording is complete, and the highlight cursor! 
 I also like that once I record I can edit the recording.  Free up to 5 minutes long, click here for a tutorial and info on how to redeem the free coupon code for unlimited access.  

Here is a lesson I made for my students that has been very successful as we have moved to Remote Learning:

3. How to Beatbox (complete with a mistake -no, we are NOT perfect and it's OK)

4. Beatboxing Video - my kids loved this and sent me videos of themselves making up beatboxing rhythms which have been so fun to listen to! 


I have also made many videos of myself singing and using childrens literature with songs.  Lessons are following a flow of "steady beat or rhythm activity", "review" (song), "new" activity or lesson and always end with an invitation for students to send me a picture of their "Sidewalk Symphony" or "Clapping Challenge" or "make up a new verse" and have gotten some wonderful pics and videos from families.  
What have your successes been?