Monday, November 30, 2009

10 Activities to Help You Become a Tech Savvy Band Director

I had a wonderful opportunity early in my teaching to work with a colleague (a Baby Boomer) who loved technology.  He knew what he wanted the technology to do for him but often lacked the "how to" skills. Mentoring him taught me how to help others become more tech savvy.  Here are 10 activities to help you develop new ed tech skills.
  1. Observe a lesson taught by another teacher who can demonstrate true benefits from using technology (they don't have to be a music teacher.
  2. Introduce yourself to a student teacher in your building.  Talk to them about how they would use technology in a classroom setting.
  3. Have a conversation with a tech savvy band member on how they use technology as a student.  Pick one topic and ask them to train you.
  4. Jump right in and surround yourself with experienced ed tech users by joining your schools technology team.
  5. Carve out a small amount of time daily to participate in online blogs and social media conversations (like this one).
  6.  Write down three tasks that require a lot of time from you (examples:  Lesson Schedules each week, tracking grades, communicating with parents, grades/progress reports).  Ask fellow co-workers how they have made these more efficient and start to implement solutions with their help.
  7. Stay clear of the "anti-technology" mindset.  Students WILL use technology in their lives and jobs.  Learning to put it to use is not an option, even in music.
  8. Bring your band online.  Ask others, even students to build a documentary on your program.  The goal is to show the value of your program through video, sound and the distribution of information.  Through this process you can learn a great deal about how the digital age works.  You will serve as the production manager to ensure the message is correct.  Be sure to be hands on though so you can learn how to use the tools of the trade.
  9. Seek out other music teachers in your region who are using technology and spend a professional development day with them.
  10. Use technology for the students.  Keeping technology behind the office doors does not inspire growth like using it in the classroom.  Be brave.  Always remember, if something doesn't work, a student can fix it for you :-)
How about you?  What would you add?  


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viaAcadmies provides opportunities for teachers to harness the power of educational technology.  Visit our site for more information on how viaAcademies can help you give your students additional reasons to help them reach their musical goals. www.viaAcademies.com.  Contact us for school integration options and pricing.   

1 comment:

  1. Mark, Great list, really enjoyed Write down three tasks that require a lot of time from you. Ask fellow co-workers how they have made these more efficient and start to implement solutions with their help. This is a great way to think about the value of the technology and not just the "wow" of technology.

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