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Things Technology has Fixed in my Teaching

by Hanno Strydom Strydom.Hanno@MacPhail.org

The first in a series showing HOW exactly technology has improved the quality of teaching or music therapy.i.e. Problems and solutions. No how-to's, just what impact is seen with students and clients

Over the last couple of years I’ve adopted quite a number of technology tools to enhance both the teaching and the administrative aspects of what I do. Two main tools have become indispensable: my studio website and Evernote.

Studio Website
My studio website serves as the administrative nerve-center of my studio. It includes my studio calendar (as an embedded Google Calendar) and key information about studio recitals, policies, expectations, and student opportunities. The website has massively reduced the number of calls and emails I receive from students—the answer to just about every logistical question can be found on the website, and when students need to reschedule a lesson, they can see on the studio calendar precisely what their options are and simply send me an email to request the change. No email back-and-forth. Studio recital planning has been similarly simplified: all pertinent details are posted on the website, almost completely eliminating recital-related email and phone calls.

Evernote
The web-based note-taking and organizational tool, Evernote, has also had an enormous impact on my work. All of my students now access their lesson notes via Evernote, and these notes routinely include audio recorded during lessons, photos taken during lessons, PDF attachments, and links to online videos and other resources. I’ve also almost completely eliminated the need to carry any music with me when I teach: all of my material (music, handouts, etc.) is stored in Evernote. Uploading a new document is as simple as scanning it with my Turbo Scan iPhone app, which automatically converts the scanned image to a PDF. I then email these PDFs directly into my “studio file cabinet” notebook in Evernote. With my iPad on the music stand as I teach I have access to a vast library of material, any of which can be copied to a student’s notebook with a single click. Magic!

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