Ever start a lesson asking yourself there has to be a better way for students to present their learning? To have a single way of making learning visible that is organic and doesn’t just stop with the end of a unit? Using BookCreator in the Music Classroom altered the way my classes viewed music education.
‘Music’ is itself, inherently creative and all of my lessons involve singing, playing, moving, dancing, improvising and of course, composing. By utilising the Orff Approach I love how each component can support and encourage learning. But when you add technology, it can sometimes feel disruptive or break the flow of concentration. Not so with BookCreator!
“With BookCreator you can involve everyone in the classroom. You can utilise a single device or multiple iPads in authentic scenarios that engage and motivate students.”
While teaching the Primary Years Programme, my students developed stronger understandings of the Key Concepts and Transdisciplinary Themes (big ideas). Whereas I would never forsake pencil and paper, I initially had BookCreator installed on my own iPad as a test. I would nominate a single student each lesson to document (record or video) our lessons and add reflections at the end (written or spoken). This simple role added a new dimension of creative responsibility to my classroom.
I also started experimenting with making eResources for colleagues around the world who taught PYP Music. This one PDF was made with BookCreator and it outlines ways of using the IOS apps by Aedify for teaching Carnival of the Animals.
After purchasing the full licensed copies for all of the Grade 3 and 4 iPads for students to create Recorder Comics as we undertook several units on playing folk-tunes for rhythmic and melodic ensemble playing. The students documented their own learning and then formed ensembles of their own to record and comment on their playing.
Some important changes began to take place in my classroom:
1. Students were able to explore and document each others work, collaboratively.
2. Student reflections were more detailed, knowledgeable and included various forms of evidence.
3. Students who struggled with some concepts reinforced their own understandings through video, audio, drawing, writing or asking a friend to video them as a reflection tool.
4. Students would bring their iPads to a lesson and use them appropriately, without my intervention.
5. The overall excitement could not be contained and they shared their books with both teachers and parents.
I decided to include Gamification into one of my Grade 3 & 4 music units, specifically with the music of Minecraft by composer C418. Students compared the music found in Minecraft to the music of French composer Eric Satie while playing the IOS version of the game. BookCreator not only allowed the students to document their learning but add their compositions from Garageband, record my lessons and even notate the contour of a melody. Grade 4 used the same processes in studying aspects of Arabic music. Their initiatives into learning began to leap ahead!
I have included 5 exceptional examples below of Grade 3 & 4 Music ePortfolios complete with embedded video and original student works. Click on the image below and ‘Open-in’ iBooks or the free version of BookCreator available here.