Dear Mrs. Jacano:
Over the summer, I participated in a profession learning experience with LUTE-STEM at Lehman College. I learned a great deal about online programs that can help students such as Scatch, Youth Voices, NowComment, and Kumospace.
There was a lot to think about and to consider how to apply in the classroom, and in this letter I’d like to focus on how to incorporate Kumospace into our teaching because I believe it will help us to connect ad help our students with students have more time to practice with us outside of the school. One way I thought this will help will be with practice time. With Kumospace we are able to set up different stations on a floor where the students can move to and us as teacher can teach them in groups. So we would be able to put each instrument in its own section own section and teach each group together. My personal experience was great with this online program. I found it easy to use and navigate and I believe it will be easy and good for the students to be introduced. I believe this will help with their learning.
I would like to propose that we start to teach the students how to work this program. We will ask them to bring their ipad or laptop ( that they received from school with their headphones) and put them in groups with the instrument they play and we teach them. The first example is we should start them using scales( which is something they already know) to get them use to using the program and seeing us use the program. We can play the scale and have then play it after us. We are also able to Broadcast which will allow the students to see us bigger on the screen and hear use clearly.
The students will learn to operate kumospace and make their meetings that they can use to practice music or talk to friends. When the students complete this activity they will have made progress on these two standards which are students learning and building relationships with one another and learning new techniques that can help them become better musicians. I would also propose that the students give each other feedback on their work. They could use this checklist to self-assess and to give each other feedback:
- Students can log in correctly
- Students will be able to navigate to the designated area for their instrument.
- Students will be able to take turns playing the scale on broadcast mode.
- Students will be able to know how to meet on their own to practice together.
This activity should take at least 30 minutes to complete, which should allow time for productive struggle. To encourage persistence, I think we might assign students that have the same instrument to go home and log on together to practice. When they have finished this activity, I would be great if we could ask the students to write and talk about how they used one of these two Habits of Mind.
- Taking responsible risk
- Remaining open to continuous learning
I will also use these Habits of Mind to give the students both written and oral feedback while they are working and once the finish their work!
Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity. I look forward to working with you on this.
I am interested in your proposal, “Old Mixed with the New,” because I am a big fan of setting up virtual learning spaces for students. Although they take time to design, teach, and learn, the payoff is worth it for both you and your learners!
One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “I’d like to focus on how to incorporate Kumo Space into our teaching because I believe it will help us to connect and help our students.” I agree with you that online community centers can support educators in getting to know their students. Although developing relationships in online settings can be difficult, the educator’s design and steps to welcome and nurture comfort and engagement in a virtual space are game changers. With all the forms of interactivity and opportunities for multi-modality in Kumospace, I think you have selected an ideal platform to host your lesson proposal.
Another sentence that I resonate with is “When the students complete this activity, they will have made progress on these two standards, which are students’ learning and building relationships with one another and learning new techniques that can help them become better musicians.” This stood out to me because you have framed this experience to support the growth of many skills that will benefit students. Not only that, but you are also offering them the agency to make decisions about how to use the space when class is out of session and when they have collaborative tasks to work on. Recently, I went to an episode of TTT (Teachers Teaching Teachers). A teacher from California shared how she also invites her learners to help design the Kumospace floor. That could be another fun and team building experience to help the students build relationships while thinking through a music lens.
Have you seen this article on NAMLE (National Association of Music Education? It is called “Seven Benefits of Distance Learning to Consider.” I thought you might be interested in this because the author identified several positives that emerge when using a virtual space for music instruction. Some of those benefits match up with your objectives. For example, you indicated that you want this experience to foster relationships, and the author feels that in an online setting, music collaboration can be more productive. In fact, he states, “In person, students are more likely to get sidetracked, the slacker is more easily distracted, and the overachiever tries to take over. It’s like a typical garage band rehearsal. Observing students work together online, though, they seem more goal-oriented and don’t get sidetracked as much. Because music collaborations online almost always involve a recording, even the slacker feels the need to produce. The permanence of a recording motivates.” He shares a wealth of information based on his experience that I thought was very interesting as a non-music teacher. I am curious to see if you will have some of the same thoughts before, during, and after you introduce the Kumospace as a center for learning.
Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing how your experience goes and how the students respond to the Kumospace experience. I expect you will have a positive response! Enjoy!
Thank you so much for you kind and encouraging words. I will definitely check out the article. I want my students to have a great a great experience and not limit themselves in what they can do. My hope for them is to combine technology with the way music is taught to to help my students succeed in life. Thank you so much again for your comment.