Friday, December 9, 2011

Getting the children to blog and music technology

I have long been a fan of blogging. I started in 2006 to blog about school dinners and children's food issues. I came to realise it was an amazing tool which help me reflect on what I was doing. The act of writing a post forced me to really evaluate what I was doing, decide on priorities and identify key points. This really helped me learn more about the subject and although I started it to share my learning I found that it was helpful to me even if only a few people read it.

Once I decided I wanted to become a music teacher I have used this blog in much the same way. I try to keep a record of key articles on books that have influenced me and to record important teaching ideas I want to go back to.

I want the children to also benefit from this so I have set up a blog for the year 4 classes I teach. We are about to embark on an opera Olympic project to celebrate the 2012 games called "Ring around the world". It will be a perfect project to get the kids blogging about. Firstly we will need to do some research about the countries we have been given so we are hoping to use the blog to help us find people from said countries to leave us comments. Secondly we will be brainstorming ideas for our compositions which children will be able to blog about and comment on each others ideas. Next we will be learning songs to perform - we can record ourselves singing and post them on the blog as a record of our progress. Finally we are hoping our audiences will be able to give us feedback.

In the first instance I have set up the blog using artwork created by the children to use as headers. The first stage will be asking children to comment. Once they are proficient at that, I will add them a group at a time as contributors so children can write their own posts. Assuming that this works out the children will then be invited to apply for full author status so they can add posts as and when.

Using technology is a key part of the music curriculum but it is an area many shy away from. This new blog will be cross curricula but I am really hoping that when we begin our compositions and start working toward the performance the act of blogging, recording our work and experimenting with it using audacity we will be starting to get to grips with it.

If you have a second please take a look at "Ring around the World" - there is a slideshare of the children's artwork. I know they would love it if you could leave them a comment!

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