iPads in the Music Room – More than Garageband

iPads in the Music classroom offer a wide scope to enhance learning and increase engagement beyond Garageband.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Garageband as much as the next Music teacher.

How often do you use student iPads in your class? Do you battle with students to get them ‘off’ their device and focussed on what you’re trying to teach? Do you find that they are too hard to manage? Do you just use device time as reward for early finishers?

What if you flipped your thinking about devices in the classroom?

Below are some super simple ways to integrate iPads into your Music classes.

Document Learning Interactively – Create eBooks

Using apps such as BookCreator or Pages allows students to document their learning. These apps are great at allowing students to import video and images as well as text. Making their documents perfect for the Music classroom.

Have your students composed a song based on a Haiku poem?

Great – get them to create an eBook that includes the poem, a video or sound recording of their composition, and a reflection on the process. Students love making their books look inviting with cool images and font. Get them to include a photo of their notation of their composition or maybe of the instruments they used.

eBooks can be easily shared via Seesaw and Showbie. They can be printed and displayed (though the videos won’t work – but you could include QR codes to play those).

Suddenly, you have students engaged, you have a multimedia document with all their learning in one place, and you can display and share this learning with the community.

Quick, Fun, Fast Movies? Yes – with Clips

Never heard of Clips? I’m about to rock your world! Sure, most students in middle primary know their way around iMovie, but it’s fiddly and not great for Junior Primary or if you are short on time.

Introducing Clips.

This free app comes with your iPad or iPhone and is a game changer.

This app allows you to quickly record direct into the app. You can then add cool effects to your video even one that makes the images look like a comic. There are options to add text and images – groovy emojis and other fun things. Finally they can select from a large database of music to select the perfect soundtrack for their video.

Again, Clips movies can be quickly and easily shared across a large number of platforms.

I have used this app for students creating presentations about composers or instruments or musical concepts. Younger students love using Clips for reflections and sharing their learning.

After running a PD session for our Early Learning Centre, the educators started using Clips to create their weekly parent notices sharing the learning from the week, to great success.

But most importantly, it’s a fun, easy to use app.

Download a quick and easy Clips activity – Significant Places Around School. There’s a planning sheet, rubric and task checklist to get you started using Clips.

What You Looking At? Manage iPads with CLASSROOM

Classroom app allows you to manage your class’s devices from anywhere in the room.

You can send web pages, documents and open apps all from your device.

You can also view what students are doing on their devices.

Another feature is that you can Lock and Unlock screens – handy if students are struggling to be on task and keep popping into Minecraft rather rather focussing on the task at hand.

**Word of caution: students don’t take kindly to having their iPads locked or “spied on” by the teacher all the time. I am very conscious of using Classroom for good rather than evil.

In schools with 1:1 devices, your school administrator should be able to install and set up Classroom for you.

I hope some of these inspire you to try something within your learning space that uses devices in a more integrated way.

What are your favourite ways – or little known about apps that you love using in your learning space? Share them in the comments below!

iPads shouldn’t be just a reward. They are an important resource that can be integrated into the learning space easily and effectively, increasing engagement and building skills in our students.

Happy iPading!

Danielle x

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