Teaching a generation of students who are native technology users still comes with challenges, and while students may be tech-savvy, parents can still struggle with new tech for learning. With the new emphasis on remote learning and so many unknowns heading into the school year, having a smooth start to a new tech tool can make a big difference for your students and their parents. Using these four steps can help.
Be Clear with Logistics
Great communication solves all sorts of problems, and giving clear, step-by-step instructions for setting up and getting started with new technology can save parents time and energy.
We’ve created some great resources to help introduce SmartMusic to parents. Our one-sheet helps explain why SmartMusic makes such a difference for their student’s musical development, and our Parent Resources page has those step-by-step instructions for getting started.
The Parent Resources page includes instructions for enrolling in a class and for completing the first assignment, complete with videos so there’s a visual aid.
Set Expectations for Families
Setting expectations can also help introduce parents to new technology. First, explain what the expectations are for students so that parents can help hold kids to that expectation. Will SmartMusic assignments be weekly? Monthly? Are these focused on the method book, or concert repertoire? When families know what to expect it’s that much easier for parents to become allies, rather than a roadblock.
Modeling usage also helps. Just as you’d model for students in the classroom, modeling for parents helps key them in so they can ensure students are using the tool correctly. Some key features to explain in SmartMusic include:
- Setting up the microphone to record
- Creating a loop for practicing
- Recording and listening to multiple takes (not just submitting the first attempt)
- Submitting an assignment
- Checking the Gradebook and Practice Analysis tools so parents can see student grades
Demonstrating these features in a quick Zoom or Google meeting means that even if you’re remote, parents and students will know how to use SmartMusic.
Share Support Resources
As a teacher, you have a lot to do. The last thing you need is to be front-line tech support for students and parents. SmartMusic’s world-class customer support team can take that off your plate.
Students (or parents!) can email our support team by clicking the “?” icon in SmartMusic’s navigation bar at the top of the screen or using this link. A real person with expert SmartMusic knowledge and musical experience will be in touch to help.
Get buy-in and support to keep using technology by demonstrating the progress that’s being made! Because SmartMusic archives student recordings in the Gradebook, it’s easy to show parents just how far their student has come. As a music educator you know better than anyone how much better your students sound at the end of the year. Share that growth with parents! You can also turn on Awards to help encourage student engagement and share Practice Analysis data with parents as well.
Introducing parents to new technology can be difficult, but set them up for success with these four steps and watch as your remote teaching gets easier than ever.