Here I am in an apple computer store in Washington D.C. Why on earth am I blogging on vacation? I just wanted to share with you another way that my job as music educator has changed. I just checked my webmail, my blog comments (even though I don’t have any!), my band’s website forum for any questions about my upcoming bandcamp (again here- just in case my students and parents are reading this blog- we do a Drum and Bugle Corps for our marching band, but since that is such a rarity, for the purposes of this blog, I’m just calling it “marching band”).
This is a pretty big deal because in the past I would have a knot in my stomach the night before coming home from vacation anticipating all of the problems that have arisen and the work that would need to be done answering all of those questions and getting information out, etc. By using webmail, I have started heading off several potential problems such as an incorrect date posted on the booster’s web calendar for camp, a particularly sickening email from my head guidance counselor telling me that a large number of students couldn’t be scheduled in my classes due to conflicts…..aaarrrgh!….
I have also used our band’s forum to converse with some students with questions about camp, and approved a parent’s request to be added to the band’s yahoo group for access to emails and the web calendar. Even a year ago, I would not have even considered this type of activity over vacation, but with the anonymity of the web and the fact that I can check it on my terms when I am ready is very empowering. For all of you music educators who have not set up a yahoo group (or a google group or .mac group) for your organization, I strongly encourage you to do so- the amount of communication and information flow is staggering.
I am really looking forward to getting back to work (gasp) I am excited about using my new tools (especially my ActivBoard- a competeor to SmartBoard which is capable of some amazing things!). When I get back to good ol’ Florida I’ll begin work and blog about the progress of my year. I might even podcast on it! I’ll also take some more time with wordpress so that I can get more features up and running.