This weekend (Friday), I had the privilege to present three sessions at the Iowa Music Education Professional Development Conference (I usually just call this the Iowa MEA). If you are in a surrounding state, I really recommend this conference. It is a smaller conference and most of the vendors are local–but clinicians come from across the country to present on a wide variety of topics. Don’t let the size of IMEA fool you–it is packed with professional development.
My first session was a summary on the latest with the iPad in Music Education. (PDF of the presentation: The Latest and Greatest with iPads in Music Education). In summary: better hardware, better iOS, better [and continually improving] apps, and better accessories for music education.
My second session was an overview of some of the ways you can use devices OTHER than iPads in your classroom (PDF of the presentation: Technology for the Rest of Us). This was a discussion of web apps for all, Android, Chromebook, and Windows “Tile” Apps. There was one big surprise about Chromebooks that I will be blogging about soon. I also recommend Chad Criswell’s post about High Tech options for low-cost budgets: http://www.musicedmagic.com/tales-from-the-podium/low-cost-musictechnology-options-for-the-music-education-classroom.html.
The final sessions was my core “60 Apps in 60 minutes,” which is more than 60 apps. (PDF of the presentation: 60 Apps in 60 Minutes). On the positive side of things, my overall list changes very little over time–but the best apps continue to improve with each passing generation. As a secondary teacher, it is a joy to be able to recommend Amy Burns’ FREE interactive book, “Help! I am an Elementary Teacher with One or More iPads” to elementary teachers looking for even more elementary-focused apps, applications, and lesson plans.
I love presenting in Iowa–it is a relatively close convention (about a 3.5 hour drive from my house) in a wonderful town (Ames), and Des Moines is only a short drive away. On Saturday, my wife and I drove down to Des Moines and visited the Iowa State Capitol (it is a beautiful building–if you have not visited it, do so) and then went to blow our own glass Christmas ornaments at Studio Fuzzishü in the West Des Moines area. We wanted to spend some time in the East Village and perhaps at the Jordan Creek Mall, but parking was an issue in both those places. We also had the chance to visit some friends of the family that had moved to Southern Minnesota on our way back to the metro area of the Twin Cities.