Students in Grades 4-6 are using MacBooks (or MacBook Pro, iPad2) to bring their Arts experiences to life. Suddenly, all inquiry activities become individualized and authentic as students have a mighty tool to create what's real for them. Students are definitely not on the same page of the artistic journey.
We've been exploring the following over the past month since school started:
*online music games to assist with reading of notation and the elements of music
*GarageBand to create soundscapes in concert with dramatic reading of a text line, followed by adding tracks that enhance/embellish their work with a variety of the elements of music/drama. Students create their own sounds from a plethora of sources from body, instrument to sounds from the building we are in. They notate their performance on a paper timeline using traditional and non-traditional notation with a variety of colour/shapes/textures (elements of visual art)
*GarageBand for me to record their class efforts for instant feedback and sharing on the LED projector on an interactive whiteboard
*GarageBand to record the students playing recorder solos, then playing a duet with themselves while the first melody is played by GarageBand
*GarageBand to allow students in Grade 6 to see a visual representation (wave form) of proper tonguing techniques when learning a new wind instrument.
*Built-in cam on their MacBook and the iLife suite of software to make podcasts on 'How to learn the recorder - How to read music' type lessons they create for other students, etc.
*Students recording themselves for assessment or self-reflection via audio or video, or both, recording software, which can be shared with me
I'm watching students 'turn on' to the Arts on so many levels through these activities. Please give it a try!