Technology Tip: An Online Classroom

Editor’s note:  My 11-year old daughter is in Todd’s group class at the New School.  Recently, she signed up for Edmodo. Students can post comments, answer a question about the preferred learning style, and even post favorite quotes and pictures.  It was fun to see what other students had posted, and I think that  that a feeling of “community” is being formed  among the students. 


There has been a lot of chatter recently about the reverse classroom, upside-down learning, and so on. Meaning, the “lecture” portion of a concept is introduced with a video that the student watches at home, and then the knowledge is demonstrated and tweaked in the classroom. What an exciting concept that lends itself so easily to piano instruction!

I plan on implementing this in my group classes at The New School for Music Study to develop and expand the students’ functional keyboard skills, i.e. teaching different technical warm-ups, writing lead sheets, etc. The possibilities are endless. I also plan on using these videos to review theory concepts.


This is what I envision happening: Each student will be connected with me through Edmodo, an online classroom in which assignments and videos will be disseminated. The students will watch the videos at home and then be able to come into the lessons with more knowledge.  I won’t have to spend precious class time introducing the next project.


There are so many new tools that aid in making instructional videos so much easier than they have in the past. There is some cost that I have  incurred to be able to make them, but they were definitely worth every penny. The following is a list of equipment and programs that many teachers use to make the videos. Thanks to Mario Ajero, Shana Kirk and Stella Sick for the wonderful tutorial at NCKP this summer that convinced me of how easy making instructional videos has become.


Here are the programs I will be using.

1. Keyboard with MIDI capabilities

2. MIDI USB cable

3. Computer with a webcam

4. Screen Flow (video making program)

5. Classroom Maestro


Below you can view a sample video, sent out to class students. Classroom Maestro and Enmodo were used to create it.  Please type in NSMS where the password is required:

4 thoughts on “Technology Tip: An Online Classroom

  1. The folks at NCKP really inspired me to start using videos with my students, as well. I’m enjoying the process, and students seem to be finding it helpful.

    In addition to Screen Flow and Classroom Maestro, I’ve found the Explain Everything iPad app to be very helpful for making a quick video too. Thanks for sharing some of your work.

  2. Yes, you can import PDF files into the Explain Everything app. Then you can scribble and annotate all over them while recording a video of the whole process.

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