Monday, February 15, 2010
Noteflight + Haiku
Because of some of the responses to last week's post, I wanted to dig deeper into the Noteflight online notation program. This free program allows for students to create compositions online which can be shared and discussed with others or can be listed as private for their eyes only.
After further investigation, as I plan on using this for our end of the year final assessment in beginning band, I found an even more interesting use of the site. By adding on a program called "Haiku: Learning Management System", you can turn the site into your own virtual classroom.
I can use noteflight to create a template for my students' final composition of the year (16 measures in length, Bb key signature, 4/4 time signature, etc) and use Haiku to send this template to every student listed on my roster. They can then use this template to create their own individual composition. Instead of waiting for a student to have completed their assignment before giving feedback, I can log into my Haiku account and post messages in the student's individual composition assignment helping them out with rhythms and music rules they might be having trouble with. This way we can interact together all the way through their project instead of trying to fix the problems only at the end. Students can also post comments about other classmate's work as well; but all the while being within the confines of our own classroom account at Haiku and not visual to the whole outside online world.
I can also use Haiku to create assessments for my students which require them to fill in a musical answer using Noteflight. You also have the possibility to inbed scores into my assessments and lessons for students to listen to and then play on their own. So far, this is sounding like a very good answer for many of the problems faced by the music department in my district. Depending upon the strength of the noteflight and it's ability to handle multiple users simultaneously, I will recommend that my district take a further look into the system.
One thing to note at this point is that there is a cost to purchase Haiku in conjunction with the free Noteflight program. However this should not be an issue for my district I know for a fact that over the past 3 years, we have owned a licensed copy with student copies of a big, brand name note-writing software. The district tried to create a music server to house this tool which crashed. Then the district tried to install it on individual computers at individual schools, which worked for a month until they wiped the computers over the summer and couldn't reinstall the program for various reasons. We had to by the software again and renew our license after never having had true access to the program and now it is for teacher's use only (which is helpful but not what we had envisioned or paid for). All that to say, I am very interested to see how the final project of the year turns out with noteflight and look into the cost saving of purchasing Haiku over the big name music writing software which can only be accessed at school.