Molding a Musician: 30hands Tips from a Music Teacher

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

“Lots of my shy students have started to become emboldened to sing louder and with more confidence as they’ve had chances to hear what they sound like.” These are the words of Kerrie French, a music teacher at Conant School in Acton, MA. Kerrie has credited technology and 30hands with bringing out the best in her students and strengthening their confidence, be it in performance or academically. She said: “With the older students, the more academic-oriented projects have allowed those who struggle with singing or other musical skills to find other ways to contribute and shine in my classroom. It has also motivated some of the older students to be more active participants in group-work because they all want to use the iPads to create the slides. “It can sometimes leads to arguments,” she chuckled, “but learning how to work well in a group is a very important and life-long skill.” Project-based learning is something the 30hands team encourages and sees great benefit in. Kerrie first heard about 30hands from her district’s educational technology specialist, Peggy Harvey, who taught a professional development class on digital storytelling. She played around with it and noted it was a quick and easy way for her students to record themselves singing. As a music teacher, she says, it can be hard to share what goes on in her classroom with families outside of performances. Kerrie saw 30hands as a great opportunity to share her students’ voices with their families and the school community. “I teach approximately 450 students each …

Back to School Teacher Tips with 30hands

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again, but time seems to go so fast these days. The summer has come and gone. Teachers are getting their lesson plans ready, students are getting their supplies, and both are preparing to surpass a number of important milestones over the next academic year. It’s an exciting time, when possibilities seem to be infinite and goals unlimited. Over the next 9 months or so, teachers will bond with their students and create a permanent impression on not only their learning, but their lives. If you’re a teacher preparing to head back into the classroom, or perhaps your district’s school year is already underway, we’ve  decided to give you a few tips to make this year the most rewarding yet. Happy teaching, and learning! Set clear objectives. This will not only be useful for you as a teacher, but your students too. With each grade a student enters, their knowledge and capabilities are expected to grow. Set some objectives on your first day back in the classroom to keep both you and your students motivated.  Learn from your colleagues. Often times, the best way to develop professionally is to talk to your colleagues. Each teacher has his or her own ways of engaging students and delivering content. Whether your colleague has 20+ years experience in the classroom or is just starting out, it can be hugely beneficial to pick their brains for teaching methods, and also share your own ideas! One way …

Practice makes perfect! Or at least it makes for more effective presenting…

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Most people agree that presentation skills are important, but effective presentation skills are even more important. But how does one improve their presentation skills? The first time I ever gave a presentation was my first week of university. It was in my college’s biggest lecture hall and in front of about 100 people. It was terrifying. There is no better way to describe it than that. My voice shook, my words stumbled and the palms of my hands greased. It was a short, five minute presentation, though I have no idea how long I spoke for. It could have been a mere two minutes, or ten. I was just glad to get it over with and honestly didn’t care if I spoke well or not – as long as it was over. It was times like then, and this is something I even still think about, that I wish I had the chance to practice my presentation skills at a younger age. Confidence My first presentation was when I was 17 years old and my issues ultimately came down to a lack of experience which resulted in nerves and no confidence. Now, I see teachers from across the United States tweeting their students’ wonderful 30hands presentations, and these students are as young as kindergarteners. I firmly believe that there is a direct correlation between effective presentation skills and confidence. How do you build confidence in a task? And how do you implement effective techniques to engage your audience longer? Through …

Class Activity: 2 Things I Learned in Math This Year

Gaby Charmont Blog

As the end of the year draws near, it may be a good idea to encourage students to recall some of the topics they learned throughout the year. Math classes cover a large amount of content and this activity allows students to choose their favorite few topics and give the class a brief explanation of what they have learned. The Activity: Urge your Students to think back on the year and all the knowledge and concepts they now have and comprehend. Have them explain the topic in order to cement it into their memory and aid the rest of the class recalling the information again as they view the presentations. This activity will help peers collaborate and remember their lessons as well as be able to explain things to each other to further solidify their understanding. The Level: This activity can be done at any level, it is meant to get students to look back on their year and remember all of the topics they covered. This will help to sum up the lessons of the class and make it easier for students to recall information from the entirety of the course. The Procedure: Have each student pick 2 topics which they thought were the most interesting or lessons they felt were really important. This will allow each student to choose how their presentations will be set up and what they will focus on. Since there is a broad range of information that students can pick, their presentations should all …

Class Activity: English or Drama

Gaby Charmont Blog

Have your students practice scriptwriting and storyboarding while creating their very own scene to a play. Through acting out their lines and recording the scene, they will be able to perfect their drama skills while learning intonation styles and proper word pronunciations. The Activity: Aimed at English or Drama classes, this activity will pair seamlessly with reading and learning Shakespeare or while working on other plays and learning drama skills. The activity is for students to work together in small groups to write their own scene to a play. This could be reworking an existing segment, for instance changing the ending scene of a play, or even imagining an entirely new story and creating the play and scenes themselves. The Level: This activity can be modified to be geared towards younger learners but is aimed at students who are learning more complicated plays, such as the works of Shakespeare. This will get students to understand the way plays are written and have them be able to create their own scenes and play through scriptwriting and storyboarding, while expanding their skills in acting and drama while performing and recording the scene on video. For younger learners, this activity can center around fables or simpler plays that the students could imagine alternate scenes to and be able to write and act it out. The Procedure: Students will begin by writing a script to a scene which they have imagined or are taking some inspiration from. Try to divide the class into smaller groups where …

Class Activity – Science Experiments

Gaby Charmont Blog

The Activity: A science experiment where students are able to practice The Scientific Method and truly learn the process. This activity is aimed to urge students to think scientifically in order to design and test their experiment with a good degree of accuracy. To describe their process, students will use 30hands Pro to reiterate the steps in their experiment through the audio tool and display photos on each slide simultaneously. The Level: This activity can be a planned experiment geared towards younger students or could be a challenge activity for older students by allowing them to complete an experiment of their own design. They will each come up with their own hypothesis, follow or design a procedure, and formulate conclusions based off of data collected. This will allow each student to explore and utilize the scientific method in order to complete experiments. The Procedure: Show this sample video to your Students to spark some ideas and have them run their own experiments. Students can map their slides with respect to the scientific method, plus making additional slides for each step of the procedure. Have your Students take a photo of each step before they complete it and their 30hands Video will be clear and outline their procedure. Students will be able to form conclusions based off of their data collection and could make suggestions on how they would improve their experiment or better test their hypothesis. Students will obtain practice with scientific experiments and simultaneously test the power of iterative creativity …

Class Activity – Language Learning with 30hands Pro!

Moia Rowsome Blog

Language Teachers ahoy! Our Class Activity for this week is especially for you. We have a fun idea to get your students speaking the target language in class with 30hands Pro! The Activity: Your students will conduct an interview in pairs in their target language and record it in 30hands Pro. It’s a great way to get them speaking and interacting in the language, and it gives you some fun material to assess them and /or give helpful feedback on their language use. The Level: Any – it is customizable to suit your class’s needs and level. The Procedure: Set the students up in pairs. Together, they can choose what role each person is going to play – the interviewer or the interviewee. The interview can be on any topic they have been learning in class such as their hobbies, their school or their family to name a few. If their level is advanced, they could even conduct an interview for a new job! In their pairs they can write a quick script for their interview questions and answers. They can practise it together and when they are ready, get to recording their interviews! They can do this easily by using the video function in 30hands Pro. Perhaps they’ll want to take some photos and import some images and narrate over it? They can do that too! Depending on what you have covered already and the level of your learners, you may want to pre-teach some relevant language components first. These could include question words, formal and informal language, …