Catch More Students with Web 2.0

What’s Web 2.0? “It’s the blogs where you post your own content, and the Wikis where experts add their own information. It’s the videos on YouTube, the Tweets on Twitter, and the postings on Facebook,” says NAfME member Matt McVeigh.

With Web 2.0, Internet use went from just reading information to posting our own content. McVeigh says, “Web 2.0 is a way to share ideas and connect with both students and colleagues.” Expand your teaching influence and let your students drive their own musical development with McVeigh’s tips for using Web 2.0.

For Beginners–Start exploring some interactive sites.

  • Visit YouTube and search for videos on teaching music (perhaps searching on “solfège” or “trumpet maintenance.”)
  • Visit NAfME’s My Music Class and search for lesson plans, or upload one of your own.
  • Search for blogs on music teaching (see link to music teacher blogs below).

For Novices–Start creating your own dynamic Web presence.

  • Register a profile and post a video on YouTube or SchoolTube (see link below for copyright issues).
  • Try Facebook, and join the NAfME group or your local MEA group (find your local MEA’s Web site at NAfME Federated State Associations).
    o  With Facebook groups, you can communicate with other Facebook members without opening
    up your profile by linking up as online “friends.”
    o  Check with your school district about policies on communicating on social and professional networking sites.
  • Consider starting your own blog (visit blog-hosting sites like Word Press or Blogger).

For Experts–Develop your own Web page for student use.

  • Promote your professional goals.
  • Provide a professional music education presence.
  • Embed your favorite YouTube videos or provide links to SchoolTube videos.
  • Keep a blog and allow readers to post comments.
  • Host discussion questions or student performances that promote an exchange of music ideas.
  • Use Facebook and Twitter to connect folks to your site and broaden your audience.
  • Use Google Gadgets and Widgetbox to embed widgets into your site with dynamic content. (Find examples at www.realfluteproject.com, www.saxophoneresource.com, and www.carolbroos.com.)

With an online presence, McVeigh says you can connect your students with other musicians and music educators.

This article was adapted from “Web 2.0: Your Revitalized Classroom” by Matt McVeigh in Wisconsin School Musician (April 2009). Used with permission.

Matt McVeigh teaches band and jazz band at Woodworth Middle School in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He’s the Wisconsin MEA State Chair for technology. Visit him online at www.mattmcveigh.com.

–Linda C. Brown, October 15, 2009, © National Association for Music Education (nafme.org)