As you return from a well-deserved vacation and start planning your 2019-20 school year, we want to take some time to remind you about our Soundtrap for Education platform and share with you a few of the exciting new classroom opportunities that continue to shape our comprehensive slate of offerings.
It’s an exciting time – the beginning of a new academic year with all the promise and nervousness that brings. You may have noticed that podcasting in the classroom is capturing the attention of teachers and students. So, this year might be the time to try something new. We have made a lot of new tools available to you over the summer. Here are some ideas for your classroom for the coming months:
Soundtrap for Education
Soundtrap for Education is a cloud-based, music and audio-creating platform that integrates seamlessly with Noteflight, Flat.io, Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Canvas, Schoology and MusicFirst. Students can use Soundtrap for Education to create music or podcasts with unlimited storage – it is simple to use and appealing to young people because it mirrors the intuitive, collaborative nature of the other social and educational platforms they use every day.
Soundtrap for Education’s intuitive platform works across all devices, giving learners the freedom to work on their projects outside of school, any time, anywhere, if necessary. Students have access to more than 4,000+ royalty-free quality loops, educationally vetted non-music sound effects and 400+ instrument sounds, which allows them to create professional, polished projects regardless of their ages and ability levels. There’s also a handy Time Restore function, which makes it possible for you and your students to go back to earlier versions of your projects.
Student safety and security is our number one priority at Soundtrap for Education. Designed from the ground up for teachers, the platform allows educators to create an invite-only group in a secure, protected digital environment (we like to call it the “walled garden” of creativity.) Teachers can check in remotely and create new assignments, comment on student progress, and check on project status. Unlike Soundtrap’s consumer version, which is an open platform, the education version offers a walled environment in a protected online space. Only guests invited by teachers can join the project. In Soundtrap for Education, teachers have a unique EDU Admin tab where you organize the students and groups. You can easily integrate Soundtrap for Education with several LMSs (Learning Management Systems) such as Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Schoology, Canvas and MusicFirst. Teachers can also create and organize assignments easily for students.
By default, Soundtrap for Education is COPPA-compliant, supports CIPA certification and meets GDPR and FERPA standards. All users are initially placed in a safe, protected environment where they can collaborate. Their profiles are not visible to the outside world and they cannot contact or be contacted by people outside of their group. A minimal profile only allows for the first name and last name to be stored in the profile. No profile picture, tags, location or description are stored.
What about Soundtrap for Storytellers?
Soundtrap for Storytellers is a podcast creation tool that was recently introduced to our consumer market. It has some great features that happen to support STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education initiatives. In June of this year, we gave FREE access to Soundtrap for Storytellers features to all our Soundtrap for Education subscribers to help amplify student voice and develop essential creative and collaboration skills in their classroom.
These new features save hours of time by enabling users to transcribe and edit the spoken-word audio file as they would in a text document, eliminating the need to listen to the podcast over and over again. Automatic transcripts, at the click of a button, will differentiate instruction for all ages, abilities and individualized education plans. This tool allows learners to see their spoken word, easily edit the text and tell the story of their learning process.
We’re already getting great feedback from some of our subscribing educators who are taking advantage of the new free features. Patrick Donovan is the Director of Technology at Ames High School in Iowa, a public school located just north of Des Moines. Donovan began experimenting with Soundtrap for Education and then encouraged the district to purchase every middle-schooler a subscription to Soundtrap for Education, which they did!
As the district rolls out a planned transition to Google Chromebooks at the high school this year, Donovan plans to use the podcasting capabilities available through Storytellers, which is now part of the district’s Soundtrap for Education subscription, to create spinoff podcasts. The topics for these will come from a five-minute news segment that the social media club broadcasts once a month.
Donovan says the best ways to reach learners is to offer them opportunities in the digital space that they’re most comfortable.
“Kids need options,’” he tells us. “If they don’t want to write that paper or present in front of the class way to show what they’ve learned, a podcast can support the same outcome.”
Remember, Soundtrap for Storytellers does not offer the same walled-garden protections that are the hallmark of Soundtrap for Education and does not integrate with major learning management systems, which prevents teachers from monitoring their students’ online work and administering their assignments and student groups. We would never suggest that teachers use an open format in their classrooms.
Another Consumer Soundtrap Solution is Music Makers
Because it is one of our consumer products and open to users across the globe, Soundtrap also has a solution called Music Makers. Music Makers hit the headlines during the holidays because it offered “free tier” or unlimited storage for songs. Again, it does not offer the same walled-garden protections that are the hallmark of Soundtrap for Education and does not integrate with major learning management systems, preventing teachers from monitoring their students’ online work and administering their assignments and student groups.
Interested? Try Us for 30 Days
There are a few different ways to get started with Soundtrap for Education. We first always invite interested parties to sign up for a free 30-day trial at soundtrap.com/edu or through their preferred reseller. Our base package is $249/a year for 50 users (flexible licenses). If your district is interested in a site license or large deployment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If your district is interested in purchasing from their preferred reseller, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.