Category: 2) Useful n Interesting

Kompoz(e)

| November 29, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Kompoz

Kompoze is one for those of you who …compose… from time to time, but are short on people to play with, to bring that music alive. Create songs with a bass player in Birminham, a drummer in Dortmund, and a guitarist in Goa…or from across the street?

Wavepad (great tool)

| November 25, 2016 | 0 Comments 

WavePad is free audio editing software that can be used across many platforms*. The tablet version has the big advantage of not limiting your recording size (apart from the free space left on your device *Windows and Mac iPad, & Android.

Music Theory .net

| October 17, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Music Theory.net, by Ricci Adams, is a site I have referred to before but Ricci keeps adding new material and extending the range of lessons and activities.

Music Theory.net is often the first site you come to if you do a search for “Music Theory”, and it deserves to be there.

Lessons, Trainers, and Utilities. The site is available in British English, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, and Serbian. Not bad eh for a free site eh?

From the basics of staves and clefs, progressing through to some quite complex aspects of musical notation.

Each lesson is illustrated in a step-by-step Flash animation so this could be useful to a member of staff in a session, or to pupils as reinforcement of a section of study. These can all be progressed through at your own pace. One great feature is a pop-up keyboard, so that you can “play along” with the lessons or experiment on your own.

This keyboard (when accessed from the site itself) could be used beyond the website as it remains in a, resizable, pop-up window.

Very, very useful, in many contexts.

There are also instrument trainers. The brass trainer, for example, asks you to hold down computer keys that correspond to the valves on a trumpet, French horn, trombone (which asks for slide position), tuba, and euphonium!

With Music Theory.net, Ricci Adams continues to have reason to blow his own trumpet!

E xplore

| October 13, 2016 | 0 Comments 

E is for EXPLORE is a superb analog/digital resource for teachers and parents. They develop fascinating learning activities, and search the internet to compile additional ideas from other sources. Well worth a rummage!

iPiccy

| October 11, 2016 | 0 Comments 

iPiccy has many easy to use photo tools, enabling you to edit pictures, apply photo effects, add text or paint freehand from scratch.

iPiccy is free and no registration is required.

The iPiccy editor seems accessible enough that children, of loads of ages and abilities, can edit and create artistic reworkings of photographs, without too much of a learning curve.

As well as retouching individual pictures, it takes very little time to make collages of multiple images. (This does require allowing temporary access to a local drive). Useful!

Vcasmo – a handy way to record presentations

| October 3, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Screenshot 083Vcasmo means that you can film a presentation and synchronise it with the slides a presenter is talking about

Useful for recording the goings-on at a conference. But also in a classroom environment, perhaps when preparing for an interview or other presentation.

We have used it with great success in a “challenging” setting, and therefore we wouldn’t have clearance to show you how the children flourished using it. A great boost to their confidence to see themselves and their presentations “as one” though. Also a good opportunity to discuss presentation styles and techniques. Powerful!

Any presenter sometimes has to think twice about putting their presentations on-line. Not because they don’t want other people nicking them, but because people might think that they have had “the full experience”. I think that you can never fully understand the impact of a presentation unless you were there.

I think we may have a next step towards recording an event on a level that goes beyond just putting static PowerPoint slides on-line though, with Vcasmo.

There is an awful lot more that you can do to extend the virtual presentation experience.

Use video, audio/music, PDF, PowerPoint, photo/images in the presentation.

Slides can be synchronized with video/music.

User-friendly visual editor to arrange the slides in a timeline.

Video seeking Skip to any part of the video without having to wait for the whole video to be downloaded.

There is the power to take things even further, as you can link to other webpages inside slide.

Presentation can be for public, private, friends or group of selected people and password protected.

It is possible to embed presentations in your webpage or blog.

Receive comments about the presentation from visitors.

Go play…

MINDMAP (IX)

| September 27, 2016 | 0 Comments 

There are many mind mapping applications out there. However, the desktop apps are often bloated and not intuitive, and most web apps charge you for premium features.

DRichard.org’s MindMap is free, open source and it’s full of HTML5 goodness.

This is a prototype of an HTML5 based mind mapping application. It lets you create neat looking mind maps in your browser.

It is also available offline? You can use the app wherever you are, there is no need for an internet connection.

It is so easy, it could be useful for pupils planning a project. Could it also be helpful when doing your own planning?

MEM IDEX

| September 23, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Memidex is a massive collection of well sorted links for investigating the meaning and sounds of words.

A free (mobile friendly) online dictionary & thesaurus with a simple interface, adult-filtering, & millions of external reference links for definitions, audio, and etymology.

Music Theory Is Your Friend

| September 12, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Music Theory Is Your Friend friend could be helping you make extraordinary music.screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-14-47-27

34 Music Theory Hacks: contains Theory Ideas and Techniques that could spice up your music. How To Read Music is a guide to getting up and running in record time! What about 208 Songwriting Tips: Yes! : 208!

Key signatures can be really confusing when you are starting out. What Are Key Signatures?

How about 6 Steps to Harmonising a Melody simple approach to the basics of 4 part harmony

In Understanding Modes you can have a go at untangling one of the most misunderstood subjects in music theory!

A Lesson from Steve Reich’s Clapping Musicscreen-shot-2016-09-12-at-14-56-01  is a simple but powerful lesson in using process-driven rhythmic patterns!

 Modes Reference Guide: Yeah, lists. But hey, it’s a reference guide not a John Grisham thriller!

Arranging Chords: Does not mean hanging your trousers in interesting ways!

Potentally worth investigating.

Astronomy

| September 2, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Exploratorium copyThank you to Kelly Campbell for the nudge towards a few astronomy tools. She oversees a small team of retired educators and librarians who volunteer their time with EducatorLabs. The primary role of this team is to answer resource requests that come to them from educators every day, on a variety of topics. Each time they get a request, they put together a resource toolkit to be used in the classroom.

Here are some Astronomy Lesson Plans. Some Educational and Fun Astronomy Games. Find our about Solar System Facts and Astronomy with Planets for Kids. Or Space Exploration Insights & Resources.

Some eclipse links and resources here, come from Exploratorium which we have been fortunate to visit at Pier 15, in San Francisco.

EducatorLabs is funded by donations and fueled by help from people like you. They greatly appreciate any help you can provide!

Tech CAN make a difference… BUT IT IS GOOD TO HAVE A BREAK TOO…

| July 26, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Summer-TeKEducation can sometimes be a little slow in its uptake of new technologies.

Whatever format, whatever degree of complexity, there has been a slight history of initial reluctance, before, eventually, some have involved “this new stuff” in their classroom environments. Whether it is a stick and sand, wax tablets, scrolls, books, slides, film, video, computers, PowerPoint, YouTube films, and beyond, …they have all been integrated in to teaching sessions, in some way though.

All the way through, however, these new tools have often been used to modify the way a teacher presents facts, and information, to their pupils.

They have had more impact on TEACHING, than on LEARNING.

In many educational settings, the relationships, and interactions, stay unchanged: A teacher, as “Sage on the Stage”, imparting their wisdom, information, and knowledge, to an unsuspecting audience sat in front of them.

Summer HolidaysAre we training our children how to come to school, sit, bored, for a few hours, and get away with it without being spotted?

In the same way, challenges (or, sadly, what we more often call “Tasks”), the independent elements of a lesson, can remain, rooted to the spot, for a long time: children still wading through printed text books, step-by-step, and completing units set by teachers, in, and out of, the classroom?

How much tech has impacted upon, and benefited this part of the education process, is still debatable.

Is there a chance that ICT can still be thought of as “When students go to the computers”, or “When they get to do some typing”.

On a basic level, very little has changed.

It is so good to explore some of the potential for imaginative, inventive and different and innovative, “creative” use of technology, to bring our learning environments alive. Onwards onwards… (With a break too perhaps. See you on the other side…)