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technology A Brief Summary of the Technology

Sessions at Conference David Johnson, WMEA State Chair, Technology

First, A Short Word on Interactive Whiteboards Ah yes, interactive whiteboards – Ei- ther you’re excited about them, curious about them, or are

vehemently against them. At least those are the three vibes I got whenever I heard discussions centered around this tech- nology at conference this year. Indeed, a gigantic touch-screen in front of any classroom could make a student feel like they’re sitting on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. There is a definite “cool” factor

involved. If you know how to use a com- puter, you can probably operate an interac- tive whiteboard with very little difficulty. It is basically a big-screen computer moni- tor with touch-screen capability. Instead of a mouse, a person can simply use their finger. Yes, it takes a little practice to get the feel of the interface, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes quite easy and even a little fun.

For those individuals in the anti-interac- tive whiteboard camp, I’ve discovered that what they most object to is not the technology itself, but rather how they feel that the technology has become the focus over the curriculum. Many of these complaints have been the result of their

schools simply buying interactive white- boards for their classrooms without also providing the adequate time and training needed to learn how to use and implement them, and then requiring teachers to show in their weekly lesson plans exactly how this giant thing is being used in the class- room. I feel that many school personnel are eager to boast about how many inter- active whiteboards they have hanging in their classrooms. The result is that many teachers are being asked to tailor their curriculums to the technology rather than being allowed to select technology that will support their curriculum.

I look forward to the day when I might be able to have an interactive whiteboard in my band room. I know that I would certainly use it every day in my rehears- als. The possibilities of integrating this technology with Finale, SmartMusic and various online resources are compelling and I have several ideas of how this tech- nology would help me to present several musical concepts in a manner that would reach more of my own students.

Do you have an interactive whiteboard in your room? Share your experience with it by emailing me at djohnson@williams

21st Century Music: Utilizing

New Presentation Devices in the Music Classroom

Voice and Choral Faculty

UW-Eau Claire offers degrees in music education, performance (all band/orchestral instruments, piano, and voice), theory, and composition, and Bachelor of Arts and Science in music and music history.

For more information, contact the UW-Eau Claire Department of Music and Theatre Arts at 715-836-4954 or visit our Web site at:

Spring 2011 Audition Dates • Jan. 20 •

• Feb. 12 • March 5 • Excellence. Our measure, our motto, our goal. 38

Presented by Brian Kray and Shawn Gudmunsen,

St. Croix Falls School District

Shawn Gudmunsen (choirs) and Brian Kray (bands) teach at St. Croix Falls High School. Their session “21st


Music” demonstrated how they are using low-cost technology to greatly enhance the instruction they are able to offer their students. Technology has allowed them to better assess their students, provide the

January 2011

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