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The Best of #ISTE19 News from Soundtrap | Day 3

Did you hear the news? This week I’ve partnered with Soundtrap for a special blog series! On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week, Soundtrap is sharing the very best from the ISTE Conference. Here’s the announcement in case you missed it!

A large industry conference like ISTE can feel overwhelming for everyone. This is my seventh time at the annual ISTE Conference and each year feels just as full as the last. So I always appreciate a rundown of the things I might have missed as I jet between sessions. Well Soundtrap has come through this year. Thy have put together three days of special podcast episodes. These episodes to let you know about everything happening on the ground at this event.

Soundtrap is a collaborative audio-recording platform I absolutely love. You might have seen this feature on the blog earlier this year. In the blog post I shared a favorite “app smash” using this tool. With an open-ended creation tool like Soundtrap, the possibilities are truly endless. Some of you know that I am a former New York City public school teacher. In the video below you can see Soundtrap in action in a New York City school.

Updates from the ISTE Conference

On Tuesday of the ISTE Conference, I had an opportunity to connect with lots of educators. From leading sessions on storytelling and digital reading strategies to chatting with the Soundtrap team on the Expo Hall floor, it was a very fun day! If you listened to the Day 2 episodes of Soundtrap’s Best of ISTE podcast you heard me share some takeaways too.

All of your Updates from the ISTE Conference are here in one place! Check out these three episodes from Spotify that share all the best from this week.

Today is Day 3 and time for the third installment of Soundtrap’s Best of ISTE podcast. They have interviews with Keith Krueger and Susan Bearden of CoSN as well as Maker Movement guru Sylvia Martinez. You can listen to the new episode (and the first two) by heading over to Soundtrap’s special ISTE page.

A Message from Soundtrap

At ISTE, Soundtrap will be talking a lot about podcasts. But it’s also worth knowing that Soundtrap can be used to make wonderful songs and music too.  Here’s a powerful story from teacher Sarah Minette. 

Music Making Inspires Students from Diverse Backgrounds

Music is a powerful unifier. When you’re working with students from incredibly unique backgrounds, music and music making can be a common ground for communication — even beyond the classroom.

Sarah Minette knows first-hand the power that music holds in her quest to bring her students creative projects that accommodate her very diverse classroom. Minette is a musician and music teacher at South High School. The school of 1,850 students is located in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is part of the Minneapolis Public School District, an urban community rich with multi-cultural refugees and immigrant students. These students represent the diverse city.

 Many of her students are first-generation students who are not part of the “digital native” culture that is embedded our society. Additionally, many of them are Level 1 English Language, meaning they speak little to no English. To keep all excited and engaged, Minette is always looking for educational practices that support every student, regardless of their backgrounds.

This is How We Do It

Her students “create” in every one of her classes, and many of them get so excited about their projects that want to work on them outside of school. Not wanting them to lose this vital momentum, Minette began searching for a collaborative platform to give her kids access to their work outside of school.

All of your Updates from the ISTE Conference are here in one place! Check out these three episodes from Spotify that share all the best from this week.

She started using Soundtrap, a cloud-based podcast and audio recording studio ( that lets students collaborate with their classmates because it works across devices—smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs. Plus, they can work on their projects anywhere because they’re working in the cloud. Soundtrap also addresses the challenges that come with a classroom with multiple languages because it doesn’t require advanced language skills. 

A Platform for Everyone

Here’s a sampling of how Minette is using Soundtrap in her music classrooms:

In her class called “Music in America,” students were tasked with creating a podcast based on music that was inspired by events. One group explored the Los Angeles riots in the early 1990s, using the platform to create a podcast that examined the riots and the rap music that came out of those events. The group took the project full-circle, going so far as to research local artists and the music they created as a result of the city’s recent Black Lives Matter protests.

Every semester, students in Minette’s ”Guitar II” class record an album. They record the music in ProTools and Minette uploads the files into Soundtrap. From there, the kids do all the mixing, transforming the songs from the raw files into an album with 10 songs.

Minette’s Guitar II students loved using Soundtrap so much that they asked to do another project. She gave the kids these objectives for the assignment,  “Soundscapes:”

  • Identify the sounds that create a sense of place in the classroom 
  • Record the sounds for others to hear
  • Identify the sounds as natural sounds, human-made sounds or sounds of humans and the environment interacting
  • Create a song using the sounds

One day, using their phones, the kids recorded the sound of the elevator, footsteps in the hallways, ambient sounds, or whatever else they found interesting at South High School. They uploaded the sounds to the cloud via Soundtrap and then, incorporating their guitars, collaborated to create songs from the sounds.

Minette is convinced that this type of music project can work in any grade, in any setting, and include every single learner.

To learn more about Soundtrap, stop by their booth—2153—today to chat with their team. And don’t miss today’s presentation. It’s from 11:30 am–12:30 pm, when Soundtrap expert Audrey O’Clair joins a panel on “Effective EdTech Partnerships.”

I can’t wait to hear what you think of these special episodes featuring the Best of the ISTE conference!

Stay up-to-date on all things EdTech.

EdTech tips and resources for educators, straight from Monica’s desk every Monday. Don’t miss a thing. 

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Blog Author and EdTech Consultant Dr. Monica Burns

Monica Burns

Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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