Mar 2, 2010

Day 13 - 3/1/10

Things have been going very well with integrating technology thus far.  However, I realized that as I post more and more, I will have less to elaborate on because I will have already posted about it in a previous entry.  But that is OK.  The purpose of this is to make a conscious effort to integrate technology to help the students learn and improve my own teaching skills.  I am convinced that all teachers must be using technology to reach every student.  This sounds so cliche, but technology plays a huge role in how we educate students now and in the future.

Today's rehearsal was the first one I have had since our performance last Thursday (2/25 & no school on 2/26). A fellow colleague was telling me about another director who records his bands and then has the students listen and reflect on both the student recording and a professional recording of the same piece.  The purpose is two fold:  To compare and contrast the recordings and for each student to reflect on their personal performance, as well as the band's overall performance.  This was nothing new because I have always had my students watch a video of their performance and answer a series of short reflection questions.  However, this activity takes listening and self-reflection to the next level.  How exciting!

This was a very powerful activity and provided honest feedback from each student.

I video recorded the band's performance and had the students watch it.  After they answered a few questions about the Lewis & Clark unit, I started the next activity.  I was able to rip the audio from the digital videotape using a free program called AoA Audio Extractor and I already had a recording of And We Proceeded On by the Washington Winds embedded on our wiki (scroll down to find).  I chose to eliminate the visual stimulation by just playing the audio in hopes that the students would be able to listen more attentively.

While the students were listening to the two recordings, they answered a few reflective questions about their performance and what improvements can be made both as a group and individually.  It is important to note that we only listened to half of each recording (about 3 min.) because the students had just watched the video of the same piece.

Overall, the entire lesson plan was very effective and I was pleased with the results.

Resources:  Sony miniDV Handycam, LCD projector, AoA Audio Extractor (free), embedded mp3 recording

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