Friday, August 14, 2015

Aug. 14, 2015

I received a message from Ted talks about a piece called "The Physics of Playing Guitar".  Looks like a cool way to introduce the guitar strand to students.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vimeo is a U.S. based video sharing website on which users can upload, share and view videos.  As of 2008, Vimeo does not allow gaming videos. Vimeo is the first video sharing site to support consumer HD.  A 30 day trial and basic package of Vimeo are free. A $60-per-year Plus Package allows subscribers additional weekly uploads (up to 5 GB), unlimited HD videos, unlimited creation of channels, groups and albums, nods, HD embeds, 2-pass video re-endcoding that results in higher quality, and priority encoding.  A $200-per-year Pro Package is offered for business and commercial use, which allows 50 GB of storage, 250k plays, advanced analytics and third party video player support.

Vimeo offers:
Video School - subscribers can learn to make better videos through lessons, tutorials and advice from Vimeo consultants. 

Music Store - subscribers can find, download and license music for their original videos.

An IOS app "Cameo" - subscribers can edit their HD videos by applying effects, editing clips, adding soundtracks and titles.

As I explored Vimeo for this blog report, I found that I prefer Vimeo to youtube for the classroom.  I use videos of performances of middle school choruses as a resource for my performance groups.  I like the noncommercial, less cluttered visual of the Vimeo website.  In general I think the Vimeo videos are more professional looking.  My theory is that Vimeo subscribers use the "video school" feature to make improvements to their original videos.  I think watching videos offers an opportunity to talk to students about posting performances on social media and the importance of presenting a quality presentation of a performance.  Videos also offer an opportunity to talk to students about the importance of posture, demeanor, attention and body language that add or detracts from a performance. 
Vimeo offers a tele collaborative opportunity for chorus students to create videos of their singing performances to share with students at another school.  Students in general music classes could also have tele collaborative experiences recording guitar and drumming performances and sharing them with students in another school.  Students could exchange original compositions and make videos of  the performances of those compositions.

Example of video captured with vimeo

Example of a video captured with youtube


Pandora Internet Radio is a music streaming and automated music service. The service plays musical selections of a certain genre, artist or composer of the users selection. Using information from the music selected by the user, Pandora chooses other music selections that meet those parameters. Pandora provides an opportunity to discover music selections that you may not have considered before. Pandora has two subscription plans: a free subscription supported by advertisements and a fee-based subscription without ads.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Edmodo is a fantastic learning management tool (LMS).  Edmodo offers teachers tools to deliver lessons and quizzes, take polls, record students' grades, view the academic progress of student groups and individual students, connect with parents, communicate with students and collaborate with each other.  Through Edmodo,  parents have access to their child's assignments, assessments, due dates and information shared by the teacher.

 Teachers can organize lessons and events in a planer.  When teachers enter assignment due dates into their calendar, the information appears in the student's Edmodo planner.

Teacher created assignments… 

and quizzes posted on Edmodo are available to students anywhere.  The quizzes are automatically corrected.  The results are entered into the Edmodo grade book. 

Teachers receive "credit" for each student Edmodo account.  The credit can be used to purchase apps from the Edmodo store.

Items to share with students and colleagues can be added to the Edmodo library.

Teachers can join in collaboration groups to communicate with each other.  

The Howard County Public School System provides Edmodo to all staff and administrators in the county.

I am very excited to work with Heather as we introduce Edmodo to teachers at Lake Elkhorn Middle School for our internship.  We will work to provide training and coaching to teachers so that they can become comfortable with this program and enjoy the features that provide assistance to them.  I have read many articles about research outcomes supporting the theory that the most effective way to improve students' academic progress is to have a personal connection with the student.  Edmodo tools provide timely information about student progress in class.  Assessment grades, history of completed assignments, and collaborative comments of colleagues about student progress can give us a quick snapshot of how a student is doing in school.  Assignments and upcoming assessment dates entered into planners can help students stay organized and meet deadlines.  Edmodo communication tools for parents provide the important connection between home and school so that students can receive the most support.

Heather introduced me to the free web 2.0 class management program Classdojo.  She was very excited about the positive effect it had on the behavior of one of her challenging 8th grade classes.  I was very excited to here about the success of Classdojo to affect a positive change in student behavior.  I had 35 chatty 6th grade  chorus students who had not responded to the PBIS strategies adopted by Lake Elkhorn Middle School to reinforce positive student behavior.

ClassDojo provides a timely way to let students know how they are doing in class.  Some of my 6th grade students would ask me several times during class, "How am I doing today, Mrs. Bullough?". One student asked me every day as he left the room, "What is my participation grade for today."  Classdojo is a continuous visual reminder to students of their progress as they are awarded points for their participation during class.   It definitely had a positive effect on 6th graders behavior.  I will use it again this year and explore using my smartphone and iPad in addition to my computer with this program.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Continuing my exploration of video integration tools in Web 2.0, I created a slide show quiz about noted jazz artists using  It took some time to find the images of the personalities to include in the slide show.  Adding the information to the multiple choice questions was very easy.  I plan to make this quiz available to students in my handout folder on the school computer and in Edmodo after we complete our jazz unit.  I think it will be a fun way for them to review information in preparation for their summative assessment on jazz.

Jazz Greats Quiz

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Today I explored Discovery Education Web2014:Web 2.0 Tools - Video Tools.  There are three, free video integration tools:

  • - easy tool to create unique videos from photos, video clips and music
  • - video creation tool designed for use by students and teachers
  • - create slideshows with built in polls and quizzes.
The video tools have a variety of pricing plans that provide a limited free edition and additional features with monthly fee plans.  

I played with the free edition of and created a slide show of family photos shared with me recently. It was easy to download pictures from iPhoto.  The music is pre-programed.  I am still exploring the music options. I am sharing the URL to view the video. A feature that allows videos to be embedded in blogs is only available in the "pro" edition.

This tool could be used in a "getting to know you" tele collaborative project.  The Lake Elkhorn Middls School (LEMS) 6th grade chorus students and chorus students at anther school could exchange slideshows.  They could take pictures of themselves and use a recording of their performance of a song for the music to accompany the slide show.  We could create two slide shows, one at the beginning of the school year and one at the end of the school year.  Pictures would reveal how the students had matured physically.  Recordings would reveal how students had matured musically.