Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Tools for Kids!

Our students now have Google Apps available to them!

This news was shared with our staff in a short sentence in a lengthy Monday morning newsletter.  Way at the bottom.  I really think that news should have been shouted from the mountain top, with way bigger type and about a dozen exclamation points!

Can you tell that I am pretty excited?  Those of you who have had Apps for a while are probably yawning right now.

Why would a band director be so excited about kids having access to Google Apps?  When you use SmartMusic like we do (everywhere and everybody) kids frequently ended up sharing accounts with other members of the family.  Now each kid can get his/her assignments without having to dig through big sister's/brother's assignments to get there.  Sure, I could have set them up with an account myself, but I am pressed for time as it is.  Now, someone else has done all the set-up.

Other reasons to get excited include all the other tools that go with an Apps account.  Writing, spreadsheet, forms, presentations, web pages can all be authored with these tools.

The cross-disciplinary assignments that I didn't get to may be possible now.

How about a serious tuning unit with a spreadsheet to track your tendencies over several practice sessions?  Wouldn't be cool if kids new where they typically were on the tuner with a little scientific study?

Report on a composer?  Or should that be a presentation?  AND it gets stored on the "Cloud," so no more "the dog ate my homework."

Nothing like a new tool to get the excitement going!


pshimmons said...

So how are your band kids accessing google apps during rehearsal?

Roger Whaley said...

Our current model seems to be COWS...computers on wheels. I am able to check out a lab and bring it to rehearsal.

I think the issue here is wide economic diversity. Families with high income and families with low income. I have seen the latest Macbook Air in the building on the day it was released. I also know that kids are making do with something that Mom's company was going to throw away. How do you plan for that? The haves may not want what we provide in a 1:1. Residents might not support buying just for the don't haves.