Why should I incorporate technology in the music class?
As seen in the image below, the use of current technology when practicing, performing, composing and/or arranging music is part of the Ontario curriculum. It is part of our job to stay up-to-date with emerging music-related technologies to best prepare our students to careers in music in the 21st century.
What considerations should I keep in mind when researching educational technologies?
Before spending time researching new applications to incorporate into your classroom, read your school and board’s online code of conduct and policies related to use of technologies. If you are unsure, ask your superior for guidance.
Use your professional judgement when selecting applications as boards are not allowed to recommend applications for teachers to use unless the board or ministry has had their legal team go through the user agreements. An example of ministry technologies that have been vetted are Brightspace and Google Classroom. Note that even these companies and the ministry have a contract and renewal of this contract is not guaranteed.
Choose apps that do not require student profiles or login information. As the teacher we hold a lot of power in having the ability to have students use technology in our classes but we need to protect student emails, photos, IP addresses, names, etc. If students need to enter a name (like in Kahoot), have them enter their first name only or a fake code name.
To maintain an equitable learning environment, avoid selecting “Freemium” applications. These are apps that are free to download but contain in-app purchases.
Read the user agreement. This will tell you how the app uses student information and other hidden features the company does not advertise.
Just because an application is compatible with Google Classroom does NOT mean that the application is safe to use. Still read the user agreement and follow the advice provided prior.
Invite each student to send you a link to a Google document where you can periodically check in on each student without having to interrupt class time. Leave them notes of encouragement, assessment FOR learning questions, and feedback where you feel it would benefit the student most.