February 23, 2016 February 23, 2016
A visitor to Irwin County Elementary School might notice that one classroom sounds a little different from some of the others. The noises from Dee Hodnett’s classroom filter out into the hall; recorder music, classical tunes, and children singing or calling out excitedly are just some of the things that happen in the room. Dee Hodnett, the music teacher at I.C.E.S., has added a new facet to her classroom instruction with a set of mini-iPads for student use. These devices revolutionize the way Mrs. Hodnett can bring music into the lives of her students.
Hodnett uses the iPads as a teaching tool in many different ways. Her students can take interactive quizzes on music topics through a program called Kahoot, with their answers automatically posting on the board in a real-time trivia contest. Students compete to see who can reach the top of the leader board and receive prizes for their musical knowledge. Students in every grade use the Kahoot program.
Mrs. Hodnett uses a program called Quaver throughout her music instruction. Quaver is a performer who teaches children about music, interacts with children at each participating school in multiple ways, and provides an app and web tools for children to learn about music and even create their own sheet music. Quaver even Skypes with students and answers their questions. In the past, Hodnett had to put Quaver’s tools on the board and call the children up individually, but now each child has access to the program at the same time via the Quaver app on the iPad.
If any time is left in the class period after the group musical instruction, students may use their iPads to complete assigned tasks or play musical games. Every single app on the student iPads was downloaded for free and is music-related. Students can help play classical music, identify musical notes, or watch pianists play complex pieces.
Mrs. Hodnett sees great potential for her iPads as a classroom tool, saying, “I am glad to have another way to show students that everyone has their own special musical gifts. In the world of music, there is a place for everyone. The students and I are so grateful for this new tool.”