In Sync With Soundtrap

How is it possible that I haven’t blogged about Soundtrap yet?! Anyone that personally knows me will understand the ridiculousness of this fact. ¬†I’m here to remedy this absolute travesty. ūüôā


Soundtrap was first created by musicians for musicians in Stockholm, Sweden circa 2012. Increased classroom practices using this DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) has now transcended to all content areas, abilities and locations….what is this and why would we be using it in schools?! ¬†Soundtrap is an easy-to-use, online recording studio that can be used across any device to create audio without the necessity of being in the same physical space as your collaborator(s). No more anechoic rooms, mixing consoles, orientation
sessions or booking appointments.

That’s all fine and good for musicians and music producers, but what about this ‚Äúacross-content‚ÄĚ classroom business I spoke of earlier that is influencing our schools at exponential rates in 2017? ¬†Now that Soundtrap has put these once-complicated, hard-to-obtain tools in the hands of babes, babes can now benefit for the first time – from their phones, Chromebooks, computers or tablets. ¬†And those same babes can create in minutes (it’s that easy!) and invite other babes (from other schools, states, countries!) to collaborate on their project – in real, friggin’ time. I know, it’s incredible.

Basically this is a Google Doc for audio recording.  It has never been done and is now being done beautifully by Soundtrap.

What does this mean for our schools?

  • School districts can now connect and create with other school districts. Think about how impactful this could be to our rural districts.
  • Students can keep creating outside of the 45-minute class period – on their own phone or at home…as long as they have an internet connection. Heck, they could even work on their project from their dentist’s computer if it was online (and said dentist was ok with their computer being hijacked:-)
  • Budding musicians and music producers now have access to a very robust platform, bridging the gap between secondary and post-secondary school programs which will continue to cultivate their passions through school.
  • Speech Language Pathologists have an easy-to-use tool to capture and archive student progress, as well as have an opportunity to invite parents and teachers to access their audio growth portfolio.
  • Foreign language teachers have a slick way of recording their voice (or student’s voice) and inviting collaborators to add comments and/or edit in real time or¬†asynchronously.
  • Countless uses in music classrooms…rehearsal recordings to evaluate and reflect on, practice tool using accompaniments, audition recordings, composition projects, playing assessments, etc.
  • Interviews, podcasts, commercials….the list just keeps going on.


Soundtrap is about all about creating and connecting.  It is simple yet monumental, and this is the time to take hold and experience.  The most recent
NMC/CoSN Report: 2016 K-12 Edition, which examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in schools, understands the importance. ¬†This report charts the horizon for emerging technologies in school communities across the globe by an organization that has the world’s longest-running exploration of technology trends in education. ¬†One major mid-term trend from this report that focuses on driving EdTech adoption in the next 3-5 years…..yep, you called it: Collaborative Learning. ¬†This social construct places the learner at the center, encourages interaction, group work and develops solutions to actual, real-world problems.

When applied in the spirit of deeper collaboration, technology can unite students around big ideas and projects, while integrating web-based resources that will expand their learning. Digital tools are fundamental ingredients in the facilitation of collaborative learning approaches, offering platforms for communication and activities in synchronous as well as asynchronous environments. Cloud computing has been particularly lauded for its role in bolstering collaboration as it instills unlimited potential for teacher, student, and parent communication. ¬†People can easily access and share learning materials with each other, making updates in real time….[encouraging] increased student achievement, discussion, confidence, and active learning. (NMC/CoSN Horizon Report, 2016, p. 12)

There it is.

And that, my dear friends, is why I shout Soundtrap from the rooftops.  


This post was republished by EdCircuit on 1.12.17

NMC/CoSN Horizon Report. (2016). 2016 K-12 Edition. Retrieved from https://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-cosn-horizon-report-2016-k-12-edition/

 

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In Memory of Anna Dewdney

My house is mourning a favorite children’s author – Anna Dewdney. ¬†Her Llama Llama books are some of our favorites in our library and when we got word of her passing, we were all very sad. ¬†Her obituary¬†ended with, “She requested that in lieu of a funeral service that people read to a child instead.” How appropriate and absolutely beautiful.

Morgan, my 7-year-old daughter, thought so too. ¬†That night, she decided that Ms. Dewdney’s books were on the docket for bedtime ‘tine (shortened from routine because at one time, one of our girls struggled with the word in its entirety and shortened it). During the story time section of our routine we were reading Llama Llama Made At Mama. I had a quick thought to record Morgan reading. ¬†I had my phone on me (sadly, this is typical as my phone is my crutch and addiction), I opened my Soundtrap app, entered the Studio and pushed the record button. 4 minutes later,¬†voil√†! I added a couple of beats at the beginning/end and had Morgan listen to it. Her face lit up and chest puffed out when she heard the recording. ¬†She was proud, happy and excited. ¬†All the things we want for our children, students, learners.

I’ve since passed the recording on via Twitter, text to Grandma and Grandpa, email to her teacher and now this blog post. Here’s my takeaway:

Personal Connection + Ownership + Authentic Audience = Awesomeness

Give it a listen (there may or may not be little sister Cameron asking, “to see da¬†pitchores”¬†around minute 1:25). ¬†Thank you, Anna, for inspiring me and my family today and future days. Rest in peace.

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364 Days Ago

“You need to start blogging.” These wise words, casually mentioned to me last summer, helped kickstart my documentation of an amazing year that has been filled with gains, losses, surprises and most of all – pushed me to reflect on my work (something I am finding is absolutely imperative to¬†the learning process). Thank you Scott for mentioning it nonchalantly last year at ISTE on our walk to the MLTS screening. Thank you Tim for reading my drafts and providing very helpful feedback (you are so smart). ¬†And thank you subscribers¬†for reading my two cents¬†every so often.

On June 26th, 2015 I bought msmeredithallen.org, subscribed to WordPress (a program I have spent countless hours you-tubing tutorials and learning more code I care to admit) and started my blogging adventure. ¬†Originally I thought my blogging¬†would be for others (naive thought – I know!) but blogging turned into something beautiful for me. ¬†It is now a¬†meditative exercise (although, like most exercise regimens, my consistency and discipline could be improved;-). I highly recommend this exercise and would encourage all educators to have¬†students¬†blogging about what is happening in the¬†classroom, their process throughout a project, their reading journal, whatever – expand outside the spiral notebook or Friday Folder. As a mother of two elementary kids, please. Please digitize more – less paper in my house would be fantastic¬†and I would love to share my children’s gains, losses, surprises, etc. with family and friends electronically.

One lesson learned fairly quickly – if you want people to read what you write, you need to promote your posts. The avenue in which I promoted depended on who my intended audience¬†was. ¬†I am sure the social media promenade will eventually change to¬†some other awesome program(s) but for now I use Facebook for more personal posts and Twitter for professional posts. And then there are the¬†posts that have never left¬†draft form…and never will. ¬†They are equally important (albeit one might argue more important) but not to be shared publicly. What I am getting at: I could do whatever I wanted in whatever way I needed. It is the beauty of creating original works. I own my writing….it only took 33 years to figure that out. Ouch.

364 days ago I started something that should have been encouraged, cultivated and fostered 10,585 days ago. One might argue that the technology was not available for teachers and students 10,585 days ago.  Ok, I will give them that but lack of technological opportunity does not apply to the here and now.

Ready? Set? Blog.

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