The use of Twitter to connect with the Apple community has been such a powerful way for me to learn and develop ideas for the classroom.
I have taken part in Twitter challenges such as the Magic Move challenge, Everyone Can Sketch challenge and just recently the You Can Be My Hero challenge.
The challenges are completed in my spare time for a bit of fun and to develop my drawing skills using iPad. I’ve never really considered myself great at drawing, but by practising I have seen a big improvement. The challenges don’t have any direct link to music lessons but I have been trying to think of ways to use Keynote’s drawing features in class.
The reason that Apple Distinguished Educators set the challenges is to enable educators to practise, develop their skills and then use the new knowledge with their students in the classroom. Being a music teacher, I never thought that I would use Keynote to draw in lessons.
Last term, I started teaching the topic ‘Programme Music’ to my Year 7 class. The topic is based on music that tells a story and how the music makes you feel. Based on the Twitter challenges, I wanted to include Keynote drawings and animations in the programme music composition task.
The students used Keynote to draw and then they animated the journey of Wales’ River Taff. Along the river’s path from Brecon Beacons to Cardiff Bay, the students also drew four landmarks of their choice. This Keynote drawing was then used by the students as inspiration to create the music using GarageBand.
Once the students had composed their music, they used iMovie to sync both together and create a final video. This enables the viewer to have the full visual and audio experience, telling the story of the River Taff’s journey.
Thanks to the power of Twitter and the Keynote challenges, I was able to redefine my programme music composition task. The students created a high quality finished product and we also learned a lot of skills along the way.