Tools and Tips for Teaching from Home

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Tools and Tips for Teaching from Home

May 6, 2020

teaching from home

As music educators around the country are adjusting to teaching from home, we’ve compiled a list of tools and tips for you to use.

Tools

These tools will help you get the most out of this teaching from home experience. We’ll share a variety of equipment and software that may be helpful to you. Not everything will be applicable for your program so you’ll need to read this with your students in mind.

Helpful Equipment

iPad

iPhone

Computer

Headset – Using the built-in speakers and microphone on your device is fine but using a headset may allow you to hear better and may allow you to be heard better when talking.

Microphone – Just like with the headset, using the built-in microphone on your device is ok but using an external one will give you more options and better quality. There are many great microphone options. Two that are recommended by Band Director Paul Shimmons are the Sure MV88 and the Blue Yeti.

Learning Platforms

Schoology

Seesaw

ClassDojo

Flipgrid

Google Classroom – This is the big one. It’s a free tool that being used by many teachers who are teaching from home. All of the school districts in our Teaching from Home Series are currently using Google Classroom.

Assessments/Games

Kahoot!
Socrative
Music Tech Teacher

Creating Videos

Zoom – Zoom is a video conferencing platform. You can use it to meet with all of your students in a virtual classroom. There are many other platforms that allow this so do your research before choosing one.

YouTube – On YouTube you have the ability to record your own lessons using your webcam. You can then upload these to YouTube and share them with your students.

iMovie – If you use a Mac or any iOS device, iMovie is a program that will let you create videos.

WeVideo – If you’re using a Windows computer or Chromebook, WeVideo will let you create videos similarly to iMovie.

Music Specific Apps

MusicTheory.net

Flat.io

NoteFlight

SightReading Factory

MusicFirst

SmartMusic

Tips for Your Lessons

remote teaching

Here are a few tips for you to use during your lessons and when video conferencing with students.

Let Them See and Hear You

Your students should be able to see and hear you clearly. Make sure your camera is at eye level and that your audio is good and clear.

Keep it Short

Keep your videos between 3-5 minutes each. Two five-minute videos will probably be watch all the way through more than one ten-minute video.

Check-In

Check in to make sure they’re still with you. Your check-in questions could be as simple as “Who’s still with me?” They could also be a little more difficult such as “What’s the answer to that last problem?”

Keep the Screen Active

Be active when you’re on the screen. Also, split time between yourself and the content you’re teaching.

Implementing some of these tools and tips in your teaching should help to make this time a little easier. In addition to these, make sure you’re consulting with other teachers in your district or other music educators you know to see what ideas they have and to share your ideas with them because everyone is in this together.

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