As part of the Lower School's Biome Project – where each student studies an animal from a specific region – third graders in Elizabeth Carney's music class began an exciting new venture that blends composing and technology. Using software being piloted in her class, her pupils will create musical compositions based on their creature.
"Students will use SoundTrap, a music sequencing software, to compose a piece that represents their Biome Project animal," said Mrs. Carney. "SoundTrap is especially valuable during our current Covid-19-restricted learning environments, because it allows for internet-based student collaboration without the need for close proximity."
Mrs. Carney credits her collaboration with Brendan Flanagan, academic technology coordinator, for bringing the new technology to her students and helping with its classroom introduction. "As I work with my students, I get to have a resident-expert by my side," she said. "This way, I can focus more on student learning, knowing Mr. Flanagan can help troubleshoot technology issues. Ultimately, the students benefit by a close collaboration between two faculty members whose goals are the same: to grow the minds of our 21st century learners."
The Biome Project, spearheaded by LS Science Teacher Lynn Prosen, will culminate with a school-wide experience modeled after a zoo, with the ability to "visit" each region and explore the range of animal research projects created. In the next few weeks, all of Mrs. Carney's classes will use computer software to create their animal-inspired musical scores. In first and second grades, students will work with MusicFirst Junior, Chrome Music Lab, and SeeSaw to create their pieces. Her fourth graders will also pilot SoundTrap.
For Mrs. Carney, seeing her students five days in a row is beneficial for project-based learning like this. "GSB is an amazing school," said Mrs. Carney. "Teachers are constantly encouraged to push the envelope on innovative lesson design, project-based learning, and technological integration. As teachers, we benefit greatly from the support Gill gives us to make the learning goals we have for our students come to fruition."