Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My favorite apps

Another list....

I am filling some time during some exam downtime (last day!) and I thought I would write a little about my favorite apps.  I admit I am not really looking for new apps these days.  So some of these are old.

Morris Lessmore:  Transformative app.  Mixes reading, animation, adventure.  Magical experience.
iMovie: So easy.  Film, edit, upload movies in minutes.
Garageband: I think I have used the Mac version maybe twice.  Use this constantly.
Color Uncovered: A great read.  Fun.
ShowYou: Great app that collects videos from all your sources.

On another note, do you think Microsoft can afford to wait until Christmas to unveil the Surface?  And if its a $1000 for a full Windows8 version what market are they going for?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Using Smartmusic for Final Exams

My final exam in band and choir is a solo piece (usually the regional audition piece), scales, and sightreading.  In the winter I always have the students perform for me live.  This spring I have tried to put the entire exam on smartmusic.
Some thoughts:
1.  I need to create my own exercises in Smartmusic.  The set ones do not always match my purposes. 
2. Perhaps I need to employ a checklist.  Too often students leave without clicking submit, or the microphone levels are too low.
3. Students get more nervous singing for me.  I think that might be a good thing. 
4. I like having the recordings if there is a grade dispute.  It is also nice to see the growth.

One of my missions for next year is to embed smartmusic assessments more fully in class.  AND to take the time for assessments out of class.  Students will need to schedule times for assessments.  It was fairly easy in my small classes to schedule time, but in classess of 30 it became quite difficult.

I see how smartmusic on the iPad would be a challenge (huge files) but I wish we could get the exercises on it.  Just the sightreading or the scales would be really cool.