Technology Tool Professional Development Sessions for Music Educators
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My Capstone Project involved bringing Professional Development (PD) opportunities to music and elementary level educators in a large district, that was tailored to their classroom needs and learning environments, while also helping them grow their Personal Learning Networks (PLNs). The PD opportunities included Breakout EDU which is like an escape room for education, presentation tools like ClassFlow, and technology tools that empower student voice such as VoiceThread and FlipGrid. Over the course of three months, I held three large group sessions, four small group sessions, an asynchronous online session, and three synchronous online Zoom sessions.
The objectives for my sessions were:
Professional Learning Network
● Teachers will develop an understanding of the different avenues of a PLN, including Facebook groups, twitter chats, and other social networking options.
● Teachers will participate in a social networking avenue they haven’t utilized previously and write a reflection on how this will help them grow as an educator.
● Teachers will learn about Breakout EDU by participating in a Breakout game about Breakout EDU.
■ We will analyze how difference between online and hands on games, then discuss how the platform changes the game’s dynamic.
■ Teachers will analyze how Breakout brings in Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity into their classroom.
Recording Tools & Music Composition Tools
● Teachers will utilize different recording tools such as Flipgrid, and VoiceThread, then analyze the merits and problems with using these tools.
o Teachers will find ways to use the tools in their classrooms to promote personalized learning activities, reflection prompts, and even class discussions.
o Teachers will identify and analyze music composition tools like Noteflight, Sibelius, and Finale.
● Teachers will identify with different presentation tools such as Schoology, and Classflow, then analyze how they support personalized instruction.
Due to a recent change in my district’s policy regarding Capstone Projects and data collection, I had to change my participant selection to convenience sampling. I chose a small sample of music teachers who I knew were interested in learning about different technology tools they could use in their classroom. Due to the smaller number of identified music teachers, I also offered the same PD opportunities to the teachers in my school building. I utilized the district supported email system to communicate with the participants. I also used social media platforms to connect the participants to other educators to support the PLN objective and showcase the use of specific technologies within my classroom. This led to other music teachers in the district viewing the content and requesting to join the PD sessions, which led to more participants in my Capstone.
The results of my Capstone included teachers trying new technology tools in their classrooms to enhance their classroom instruction. Teachers created and implemented a Breakout EDU activity, created FlipGrid and VoiceThread activities to supplement student voice in their classroom, and expanded their PLN to include social media platforms they hadn’t utilized before. Teachers learned new ways to utilize Schoology and Classflow to supplement their instruction to allow for student reflection and peer critiquing.