For those that don’t know, I follow SEGA Tech, and am constantly amazed by the endless stream of websites that they come up with. My guess is the people behind the SEGA Tech website are all some sort of technology resource specialists, as there’s usually a post every single day (sometimes two) that not only point out a fun website, but also take the time to reflect upon its use in the classroom. Sort of what I do, only in a collaborative approach (and on steroids).
Because of that collaborative effort, the SEGA Tech site is never at a loss for time wasters. Not to say that there is little educational value, but rather, some websites they dig up are so addictively simple that you can eat up an entire planning period just by playing (not that I ever would, hehe). Muxicall is an excellent example of one of those sites that pulls you in, and eats up your time with just a simple concept; click on a button to play a note. Now click on a few more and try to put together a tune or short musical phrase. Now imagine 6 or 7 other people doing that same thing at the same time on their computers, with all of the notes and tones played at the same time on the website. The result can often be a bit deafening, a bit maddening (when someone cuts in on your solo), but ultimately the site is a lot of fun.
Thankfully, the notes are arranged so that discord among the various players is few and far between. And what results is actually a rather pleasing new-age jazz type of music. Some times a bit haunting, while other times being very bright and bubbly. How is that useful to you as a classroom teacher? Well…you could use it as n anchor activity in the morning, or after a transition; the students would definitely sit down much more quickly and quietly to be picked as the person that gets to “make music” on the internet with Muxicall. You could also use it for moody background music during quiet reading time. Since other people are always on the site making noise, you just have to turn on your speakers. OR, you could find a progressive music teacher willing to introduce their students to some collaborative digital music ideas.
There are many more possibilities, but for right now…I’m just happy plunking away the minutes waiting for 3rd grade to arrive 🙂