SmartMusic 2011 is here, part 2

In last week’s blog post, I announced the release of SmartMusic 2011, which you can download here. While I have additional exciting news to share, first I’d like to continue where we left off by showing you a little more about SmartMusic 2011.

Both teachers and students now have a personalized Home page called My Home, which appears immediately upon logging in to SmartMusic. This is where you see what is going on in your class.

Below is an example of a teacher’s Home page. It offers easy access to everything related to the class: “Current Assignments,” “Practice Reports,” “Classes,” “Class Announcements,” “Method Book,” “What we’re playing” and “More Assignments.” Also note that you have easy access to all of the repertoire categories in the Left Navigation panel:

For those of you who’d rather not have my photo on your Home page,
rest assured you can use one of your own too: school pictures are a great resource!

Let’s take a look at what a student sees on his/her Home page. While similar to the teacher’s view, it includes important information which will help students (and parents) to be more involved, including the grades the student has received for each assignment:

What should I practice first, Mary Ann or First Suite in Eb?

Now for the latest exciting news I mentioned above: SmartMusic developers have also completed the new gradebook component, allowing you to create and send assignments for 2010-2011 school year.

How does it work?

After a student submits a completed SmartMusic assignment, the corresponding screenshot and audio recording are sent directly to the teacher’s gradebook. Here the teacher can hear and see the student’s work. Access to this documentation is a huge benefit when working on individualized instruction, grades, student portfolios, parent conferences, and any number of other tasks.

Anyone who, like me, remembers recording all your students and trying to organize boxes full of audio cassette tapes can instantly see the elegance of an electronic solution to that challenge alone!

The information is clearly presented: A legend that explains what each icon represents. Once you no longer need these reminders you can hide the legend for more screen space.

I’d like to point out two specific improvements regarding the view of the gradebook on the page. First, more students can be viewed at one time. Second, you can now view your gradebook by section [indicated in red below]: Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, Vocal, and Percussion – which I find really helpful.

All those trumpets getting an A? This must be a fake class!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief overview of SmartMusic 2011 and the corresponding gradebook, and that you will visit us again soon. In the next few weeks we plan to cover some additional aspects including Activation, Enrolling Students, How to Create Assignments, Presenting SmartMusic to Parents, the new SmartMusic Help System, and much more.

Let us know what other subjects you’d like us to cover by leaving a comment below.

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