21 iPad Apps for the Music Classroom: General Education and Music Specific

apps for the music room

Your school has purchased a class set of iPads or implemented a 1-1/BYOD structure, so which apps should you deploy or ask your students to purchase?

The following 21 apps are the ones that I have found over the past 4 years to be of great value in my classroom (Kinder-Grade 7) and is my current app deployment list for 2016. This list varies from year to year depending on my program.

seussBandDr. Seuss Band by Oceanhouse Media $1.49

https://appsto.re/au/JlWtC.i

Used for: practicing playing rhythms along with music

 

RealXylophoneReal Xylophone by Gismart (google and app store adds) – free

https://appsto.re/au/vCWx1.i

Real Xylophone by Gismart without adds $2.99

https://appsto.re/au/VBWx1.i

Used for: exploring all the different types of xylophones, also is an inter-app audio app for Garage Band

 

percussionsPercussions by CRIMSON TECHNOLOGY, Inc $5.99

https://appsto.re/au/dZdmt.i

Used for: virtual percussion instruments that can be played multiple different ways

 

Rainbow Music Notes by Tie Zhong $1.49RainbowMusicNotes

https://appsto.re/au/rguJx.i

Used for: learning note names

 

 

YPGOrchestraYoung Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten by The Britten-Pears Foundation – free

https://appsto.re/au/ft2ON.i

Used for: information instrument families and the orchestra

 

madpadMadPad HD – Remix Your Life by Smule $ 4.49

https://appsto.re/au/Ys8BB.i

Used for: creating your own live and recorded loop music

 

garageBandGarageBand – free

https://appsto.re/au/zQgxy.i

Used for: playing and recording music

Check out these blog posts for some of the projects I have done

 

Novation Launchpad by Novation – freenovation_launchpad

https://appsto.re/au/QNk1I.i

Used for: creating loop music and record directly into GarageBand via inter-app audio

 

propellerheadFigure by Propellerhead Software AB – free

https://appsto.re/au/NLvEE.i

Used for: creating loop music and record directly into GarageBand via inter-app audio

 

GrooveMaker 2 FREE by IK Multimedia – freeGroovemaker

https://appsto.re/au/YXaYS.i

Used for: creating loop music and record directly into GarageBand

 

yellofierYellofier by Boris Blank $4.49

https://appsto.re/au/l3ehL.i

Used for: creating music using matrix format is also an inter-app audio app.

 

The following apps are generic education apps. I use then to techify my music activities and to display work samples, research and project work and sharing/gathering files. The best part about using generic education apps is that often the classroom teacher has already taught the students how to use these apps so you don’t have to do this, saving you time!

showbieShowbie – Paperless Classroom by Showbie Inc. – free or purchase upgrade for extra tools

https://appsto.re/au/Lu4TG.i

Used for: gathering student work, assessing work, providing resources to the students, communicating with students.

 

Pages – freepages

https://appsto.re/au/EysIv.i

Used for: presenting research and projects

 

iMovie – freeimovie

https://appsto.re/au/r0rFw.i

Used for: recording soundscapes, presenting music, filmscoring

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

Explain Everything™ Interactive explaineverythingWhiteboard by Explain Everything – $5.99

https://appsto.re/au/E_aUz.i

Used for: digital portfolios, gathering student work, assessing work, providing resources to the students

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

Book Creator by Red Jumper Limited – $7.99book-creator-icon-large

https://appsto.re/au/wDIxA.i

Used for: digital portfolios, gathering student work, assessing work, providing resources to the students

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

Popplet Lite by Notion – freepopplet

https://appsto.re/au/1FxVv.i

Popplet by Notion – $7.99

https://appsto.re/au/uNrtw.i

 

Used for: brainstorm presentation

 

inigma-qr-code-readeri-nigma QR Code, Data Matrix and 1D barcode reader by 3GVision – free

https://appsto.re/au/d9Nlx.i

Used for: scanning QR Codes

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

DropboxDropbox by Dropbox – free

https://appsto.re/au/63ZHt.i

Used for: providing students with files, students uploading files for assessment

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

photodicePhoto Dice by MachWerx – free or $1.49 no adds

https://appsto.re/au/kgwUC.i

Used for: creating your own dice using music or notation images in your photo roll. A roll the dice to create rhythm patterns to compose or to play games like yahtzee, bingo etc.

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

hopscotchHopscotch: by Hopscotch Technologies – free

https://appsto.re/au/f2cYK.i

Used for: coding virtual instruments, simple composing with Code.

 

I would love to hear about the apps you have found to be essential in your classroom

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

 

Digital Portfolios: Assessment in the iPad Classroom

digport_cover_400In 2015 I have been presenting this workshop around Australia and New Zealand receiving great feedback from those who
have attended.

At the beginning of October 2015 I launched the above title as the first in my series of Virtual PD publications. It is 90 Minutes of accredited Professional development containing video tutorials, step by step instructions on creating Digital Portfolios using Explain Everything, Book Creator, GarageBand, iMovie, Dropbox and QR Codes. All extra resources needed to complete the same examples are provided on a USB.

Below you can view the introduction video and read all about creating Digital Portfolios.

Being a primary/elementary teacher, the examples I use are straight from my classroom with real examples from my students. While the examples are music and at a primary/elementary grade level, having taught as a primary classroom teacher, I believe you can take the same structure and apply it to other subjects and grade levels too.

 

 

Digital Portfolios grew out of the following two needs:

The need in my music classroom to gather evidence of student work that I could assess after class and provide for parent viewing.

For gathering evidence I found in the lower grades that Book Creator was the perfect app for students to write, take photos, audio record and video record in, and now we can even insert the GarageBand songs we create as well. This gives myself as a music teacher a perfect way to gather evidence in a performance based subject. The evidence I gather I can view directly after the lesson and then later to assess for mid year and final year grades.

One of the best outcomes and feedback I’ve had from using Book Creator, is being able to provide parents with comprehensive evidence as to why their child has been given a certain grade.

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The a request from a teacher to display my Year 6/7’s music projects at their IB Exhibition

To achieve this request I looked at the apps on the student iPad’s and found that Explain Everything allowed the students to display on 1 screen:

  • a pages document showing their rewritten song lyrics
  • a screenshot of their GarageBand arrangement
  • the GarageBand sound file to play their recording for people to listen to

IMG_0969What this iPad set up in Explain Everything also allowed the students to do was have an interactive display on their Exhibition stall, where parents could play and listen to the student’s song.

This project started me on a journey to implement Digital Portfolios for all my classes.

So what are Digital Portfolios? 

Digital portfolios, electronic portfolios or e-portfolios, are the latest trend in education. They are a way of collating or presenting digital work samples.

The positive outcomes of Digital Portfolios:

  • all work samples and files can be placed in one spot for assessment and viewing accessibility
  • students have different modes available to them for creating/collecting work samples; word processing, photos, images, audio & video recording
  • they provide the opportunity for assessment samples to include not only written samples but also visual performances of their work or skills in the subject areas that require demonstration of skills (such as The Arts, Physical Education and Science)
  • students with learning difficulties can engage better in their assessment opportunities due to the multiple options available to them
  • sharing files via email or apps such as dropbox and google drive means that not only can the teacher and school have access to them but parents can also have access
  • they provide students the opportunity to increase their technology skills in every subject area
  • they provide educators a wider scope for integration of general capabilities across the curriculum

Digital Portfolios have different uses in the classroom. They can be used for formative and summative assessment and to present work.

Formative Assessment Digital Portfolio

To collate and show the student’s progressive learning throughout the unit of work.

This is used to inform your teaching and planning for subsequent lessons.

Summative Assessment Digital Portfolio

A collection of work samples and files for students to be assessed by, at the end of a unit of work, against the learning outcome and curriculum used. This often results in a final mark for reporting.

Presenting Work to an Audience

Digital Portfolios are a great way of presenting work for display or sharing with parents.

Collating work into one app by sharing files into the one presentation allows for easy sharing of the entire project without the audience having to move between multiple apps.

The types of work samples you can gather are

  • written/word processed work
  • photos
  • screenshots
  • audio
  • video

There are many ways teachers and students can create digital Portfolios. Here are some apps that are available.

Collect/Collate Files

Class Management (LMS) Apps

Presentation Apps

When using the presentation type of apps in the classroom there are 3 different types of Digital Portfolios.

Individual Portfolios

In a 1 to 1 device or BYOD classroom, students create individual portfolios of their work. If you have shared devices, e.g. 1 between 2 or 3 students, it is still possible to do individual portfolios. Pair students up to work always on the same iPad. Some activities allow for working together on the same task, e.g. videoing each other. Alternately have 2 tasks on the go, i.e. one student on the iPad; one student performing another set task.

Group Portfolios

Use the portfolio method to share and record group work, e.g. group compositions.

Class Portfolios

Instead of students creating individual portfolios for a project, the teacher can create a class portfolio for a specific activity or a summative task with a sample of work from each student on each page/slide.

In My Classroom digital portfolios have transformed the way I gather evidence. They have also made assessment and reporting so much easier as I can review the work samples multiple times. Another positive outcome to gathering work samples in this way has been when parents have questioned their child’s semester grade. In this instance I have been able to email them the Digital Portfolio for them to view and my assessment along with it, the parents really appreciated it as it gave them an insight into their child’s development.

If you would like to learn more about how to create Digital Portfolios in your classroom go to my Music Room Tech page at Bushfire Press.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

A great read if you are implementing the use of iPad’s in your classroom

I’ve just read this article on my favourite website Edudemic (it’s now set as my homepage!).

http://www.edudemic.com/teachers-ipad-guide/

the part I love the most about in this article is where it talks about the use of technology and the shift we as teachers need to grasp in moving from enhancement to transformation in our teaching. This is explained using the SAMR model below.

SAMRmodel

This SAMR model really spoke to me because it is what I strive for when creating my lessons for publishing The Interactive Music Room. It started off with creating for the interactive whiteboard BUT now while writing/creating level 4 I am now constantly thinking of how I can redefine the activties to flow across all platforms… data projection, interactive whiteboards & tablets. When I say redefine I don’t just mean something that looks pretty and is “cool” to use BUT an activity that is going to increase the scope and opportunity for students to focus more on being creative than a gimmick of using a piece of technology in school.

This is the challenge we as teachers need to take on in redefining the methodology we use when implementing technology in the classroom.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

10 things I love about using iPad’s in my classroom

Introducing one-to-one iPad’s into classrooms has become one of the hottest topics of conversation. I thought I would share with you the benefits I see of this new form of technology in schools. The 10 things I love about using iPad’s in my classroom is written through the lens of the Learner Profiles from International Baccalaureate (IB), in the context of the Primary Years Program (PYP).

In my teaching and research I see iPad’s developing students to be…

inquirer

Iquirers

  • They are able to ask and present questions verbally and in written form (Siri, search engines, word processing, voice recording apps eg notability)
  • with one-to-one devices students are able to be independent in their learning, not only working in working by themselves instead of sharing devices/computers, but teachers are able to tailor the use of apps and activities to cater for individual needs. This provides excellent opportunity for differentiation in learning. For example iPad’s give students the opportunity to watch a video, listen to text or read text and then respond through a video diary (iMovie), voice recording (Garage Band), word processing (Pages) or even just presenting dot points or observation/key words (Visual Poetry).
  • students are quicker to engage with technology and don’t give up as easily on tasks set using iPad’s

thinkerThinkers

  • They use what they know to research, create, write & publish
  • They use their prior knowledge to link with new; technology, information, and understanding how to use universal & content specific apps
  • they make decisions on content they view and create

communicator

Communicators

  • follow directions eg. how to use an app
  • express ideas in more than one mode; visual (art, photo, video) , aural (video, voice recording), written (word processing, note taking, visual poetry)
  • work together with others eg one group creating sound in Garage Band while another group works in iMovie and then merging the 2 projects for final presentation

knowledgeableKnowledgeable

  • explore; locally using note taking apps, videoing or voice recording interviews, viewing local websites or globally using the internet or You Tube
  • use a range of disciplines to get an in-depth understanding (viewing, reading, listening, interviewing)

risktaker

Risk takers

  • iPad’s enable students to make mistakes, there is always the ‘back’ or ‘undo’ function
  • they encourage students to explore and do or present things in new ways (written, video, image, oral)

principled

Principled

  • the opportunity to learn how to act with integrity and honesty in their use of iPad’s (publishing content, social media, taking photo’s and video)
  • the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and use of the device, accepting any consequences that come along with misuse

caring

Caring

  • the opportunity to show responsibility for an expensive piece of equipment
  • the opportunity to act thoughtfully using blogs and social media in critiquing peers work (Edmodo, Social media, Instagram)

openminded

Open minded

  • listening to, viewing and commenting on other’s work (Edmodo, Web browsers, Youtube, blogs)
  • accepting that you can present information in a variety of ways (written, oral, visual)
  • acknowledging that you can look at things and interpret different meanings or points of view (eg Youtube, music)

balanced

Balanced

  • understanding that not all your time and all your learning should be spent on the iPad
  • being organised and using time wisely (organisation apps eg calendars, time logs, timers)

reflectiveReflective

  • about their learning (blogs, video diaries, written diaries, Edmodo, social media)
  • thinking about how things could have been done better eg. could we use a different app

Using iPad’s in my classroom has enriched and diversified my teaching program. I believe they are definitely a fantastic tool if used to their full potential in catering for students needs.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Mistakes Schools Can Make Implementing the Use of iPads (my comments on an article written by Tom Daccord)

tablet-ABC-on-desk-400x265I was sent a link to this fantastic article (click on the title below) on implementing iPad’s in Schools and the mistakes schools/teachers can make.

5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them) By on September 27, 2012@edtechteacher

Tom highlights these as the 5 critical mistakes made

  1. Focusing on content apps
  2. lack of teacher preparation in classroom management of iPads
  3. treating the iPad as a computer and expecting it to serve as a laptop
  4. treating iPads as multi-user devices
  5. failure to communicate a compelling answer to “why iPads”

I would have to say that in my experience working in 2 different schools implementing the use of iPad’s as both one-to-one devices and mutlti-use/class sets these are definitely some of the areas we have had to think about, experience and work though ourselves in trying to work out the most effective and efficient use of this new technology. As I myself make mistakes in using this new teaching methodology, as any person does when implementing new things, I am constantly learning what works and what doesn’t. This I will share with you along the way.

In my own music classroom I have come to realise that focusing on using only music apps is not the way to go to efficiently use this technology. As you will see with a lot of my posts so far, I use many other apps that are not content specific. While content apps can be a great resource for teaching specific knowledge, combining these with the use of other apps opens up the use of iPad’s to be more inquiry based learning.

As an author/web app developer myself, I am actually working at the moment on a content specific music app (The interactive Music Room: Book 4) hopefully it will be ready for distribution early 2013. As I create each lesson in the app I am constantly aware of allowing the activities to be as open to creativity as possible, not locking students into a black & white, right or wrong answer, thus not limiting the students when creating & composing.

I would say that the more research & PD I have done has definitely helped me to become more confident in using iPad’s. I have also found that I need to be an expert on how an iPad works to problem solve & fix issues with student’s iPads, for example understanding how settings can impact on the ability to use apps.

I definitely advocate for the use of one-to-one iPads in the classroom, however the implementation is not as easy as 1,2,3. If you are thinking of going down this path I would definitely encourage you to read this article and share it with your colleagues.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl