LA Unified Use Soundtrap Creatively for Remote LearningSeptember 10, 2020
The Soundtrap online recording studio is popular with music educators, but many, many teachers have also discovered (and created) awesome ways to enhance learning in any classroom, with subject matter of all kinds. Recently, teachers from Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) shared how they use Soundtrap in their classrooms and anticipated some exciting ways they want to expand students’ engagement with the platform this fall.
As the district reopens for 2020-21 with virtual learning, educators are looking ahead to better engage students in online activities, and they’re finding Soundtrap’s many features helpful. Some educators have already used recordings to help students creatively express their feelings from quarantine. The results show how art can grow even from difficult circumstances.
Here’s what some of LAUSD’s teachers shared about their prior experience with Soundtrap and plans for the fall semester:
High School Film and English Teacher
I have been looking for ways to create assignments that include student voice and creativity, and Soundtrap helped me to do that. I created a tiny little song and recorded a message to my students during the Soundtrap training. Then, I immediately posted it and sent them a challenge to create their own song and message. I shared a link so students could see my files on Soundtrap, and I also sent an mp3. I had confidence and told them so, letting them know that they could figure it out and were welcome to collaborate.
I received some amazing songs about being quarantined and students’ experiences during the virus. Some were collaborations, and others were solo efforts. One of the best was from a student with autism who is generally nonverbal but does like working on computers. He sent a song as well as a message. I have never heard him speak at such great length and I certainly never heard him sing. Teachers are lucky because we are subject to these gratifying moments, and this was one of them. Hearing him was so amazing.
Middle School English and Theater Teacher
One of the thematic units I developed for my 7th grade English students is a historical unit on The Beatles. At the end of the unit, students had an opportunity to share their learning through a podcast in which someone with a connection to The Beatles was interviewed. Some students chose to be the interviewer and asked a friend or family member to play the interviewee. Some chose to be a Beatle, some chose to be George Martin, and some even chose to play both parts. The podcasts ranged from two minutes all the way up to 13 minutes. Some had original music, some had Beatles music, while others had no music. But it seemed that all students had fun! Also, I was able to create a Screencast-o-Matic tutorial that proved helpful. Doing everything remotely added to the challenge, but we made it through the learning curve.
High School English Teacher
I am just getting “my toe wet” with Soundtrap, but I’ve found that the platform is cool! Right now, I am using it to send friendly reminders and greetings to my students, ensuring I can be in touch with those who don’t check in regularly. This is an engaging tactic I’m using to reach them. I also recently assigned my students a C-Virus Digital Journal, and I plan for them to end it with a Soundtrap conclusion. They can play with it and show me how much more adept they are with the technology!