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Teacher and Musician Challenge 9

Teacher and Musician Challenge 9 - new toys

This challenge is very much in the spirit of taking the last few weeks of the summer term as an opportunity for experimenting with new ideas.  Jane Werry recently wrote about having a break from assessment in favour of focusing on straightforward music teaching and this challenge aims to give you a similar sense of taking a break.

The challenge: new toys

Find yourself a product that you’ve never used in lessons and explore the different ways it can be used in your lessons.  Maybe you could experiment with an online sequencer, a new smartphone app or a new publication.  How can you integrate these products into your existing unit plans?

The important thing when trying ‘new toys’ is to focus on using them to enhance learning.  If a new app leads to pupils learning less, then it’s one to be avoided.  If using a newly published set of resources causes pupils to learn the same material but in less depth, then it’s one to be avoided.  You do, however, have to experiment to find out, so there’s no harm in trying out a new toy once in a while.  Just make sure that you don’t mistake novelty factor for usefulness.  That’s why this is a great challenge for this time of year – the novelty can be used to maintain interest while you evaluate whether or not it should be rolled out on a larger scale.