Tech Frustrations…and Successes

I’m having a great time in my music classes using the Smartboard, and the students are as well. Much of my planning and learning time this school year has been spent experimenting with the Notebook software, looking for  resources previously created by other music teachers, and creating my own files.

Through another teacher in my school district, I learned about Blossom Learning and have been using the online course to familiarize myself with the SMART technology. It’s been extremely helpful. I’m also reminded every day to listen to my students for suggestions! My elementary level students have given me extremely valuable Smartboard tips and ideas.

I follow several wonderful educators on twitter and read their blogs. My Google Reader helps me stay up to date with them. Push Notifications on my iPhone also informs me when any of them publish a new post. Here’s a screenshot of my list of blogs.

Maybe not. I’m trying to post a screenshot of some kind using Evernote here. It’s not working!!!! That’s my frustration. Am I using the right tool??? Probably not. So my blog post remains unfinished.

Just a few minutes ago I tried to follow the example I’ve seen from Mrs. Muench and write a protected blog post where students could access the music for our musical. I couldn’t get the music to upload from my iTunes library!!!! Do I have to change the file type? Probably. I don’t remember how!

I get so many great ideas from other educators online. Often my efforts end like I’ve just described.

I’ve also been thinking about an efficient way to share resources. I spent about an hour and a half this morning watching online training videos for PB wikis. I understand the concepts of why they are great tools, but I haven’t put one together successfully yet. For instance, my available time this morning is gone. I’m feeling the pressures of getting the laundry done, running errands for my family, and other responsibilities looming after a morning sitting at the computer.

Have I mentioned grades are due next week? I also have to finish my lesson plans.

I’m frustrated.

However, there have been successes! I’ve been using Google Docs and Dropbox to create and share lesson plans, store Smartboard files, and many other types of documents. I’m becoming more efficient in those areas.

Students in my classes LOVE using the Smartboard in music! Just the other day, a class of 3rd graders were “ooohing” and “ahhing” in concert as we used some of the tools. Their engagement was SO satisfying.

Several months ago I posted on twitter about my new Smartboard. A twitter friend replied that it would “transform” my teaching. At the time, I wondered how. Now I know! Because of budget cuts, I was assigned an additional school this year. I only have one computer in that room: no Smartboard. I’m finding that I’m preparing many more paper manipulatives and having students come to the regular whiteboard much more frequently than I ever did prior to the Smartboard installation at the other school. My teaching IS in the process of being transformed!

I’m going to try one more time to include a screenshot of the educators I’m learning from before I carry on with my family responsibilities, grades, and lesson plans….

There! After googling the directions and reviewing how to do so on the Mac, I was successful with the screenshots. However, there are no direct links in the above pictures. That’s a project for another day! I should have started with the “how-to” search first. What can I say. I’m still in the process of learning!

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5 responses to “Tech Frustrations…and Successes

  1. Whew! Look at all the stuff you are trying! I see that you are hosting your blog via wordpress.com. When I hosted my blog there the only way I could post audio files was to pay a small yearly fee. If you are using the free blog from them you may not be able to post audio files on your site.

  2. I use bluehost.com. They have been ever so helpful with me as I started using a self-hosted blog. Also I found their monthly fees to be the most reasonable. If you decide to take the leap I’d be happy to be a resource for you.

    • Brenda, I checked out bluehost.com and decided to pay for a small space upgrade on my classroom site (wordpress.com) which allows me to upload audio. I just finished my first upload for second grade! I’ll keep your offer in mind if I decide to leap into a more complex website. Thanks so much for the information and offer! I love the ideas I get from your site.

  3. Often times that’s how it is. You fiddle with, and play around on various tools until you understand how to use them. It takes time. But how cool it is that you are making an organic kind of progress! I feel at times one spends long periods of time where not giving up is the way forward. Keep going Bonnie!

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