EdTech Round Up

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“As a piano and percussion instructor for nearly 20 years, I have a deep-rooted passion for the incorporation of music and fine arts into K-12 education.  I strongly believe that music education can be both a powerful and empowering component of a student’s education and I believe it’s a shame that so many schools have moved away from music requirements and integration.

Therefore, I’m always incredibly happy to see products like Cantata Learning’s new story books which incorporate music and movement in engaging and enjoyable ways.

The video
covers a lot of awesome ideas about cross-curricular connections and student production tasks, which I love. I think it also draws a solid connection between what we typically focus on here at the Roundup in terms of education technology.  Having students create their own stories, or their own music, dance movements, etc. are all awesome ideas (which can be supported through multiple edtech pathways), as is integrating the books with a smartboard or interactive screen.

Plus, the narrator’s note about using these books for differentiation for ESL and SPED students is an excellent suggestion.  I also really love the fact that each book has a QR code on the back for students and teachers to be able to access the music online.

As for pricing, each book generally runs at around $10 for the paperback edition and $30 for the library-binded/hardcover edition. Paperback has the option of with or without the CD and hardcover comes with CD. All of the music is available to download and stream for free from their website as well: www.cantatalearning.com.

From simple sing-along stories (e.g. The Muffin Man, She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain) to books that cover more social-emotional learning (e.g. The Mad Monkey) to inspiring students to get involved in STEM fields (e.g. Math Saves the Day) to learning about social justice issues (e.g. Peaceful Leader: Martin Luther King, Jr.)  there are an enormous number of topics these books aim to cover.

For those looking for any research backing the idea that music can support literacy, increase motivation and engagement, and allow for a wide variety of other benefits, you can check out Cantata Learning’s research page as well.

Overall, I’m a really big fan of what Cantata Learning has put together here.  The combination of music and story works incredibly well, the topics that are being covered are beneficial for preK-3 students, and there are a lot of great connections to EdTech possibilities and student production tasks.  If you are in a preK-3 classroom and looking for ways to incorporate music or get students more engaged with stories and literacy, I absolutely recommend checking out Cantata Learning.

Final Score: Outstanding”

– Michael Karlin, EdTech Roundup

Titles reviewed:

Math Saves the Day
The Muffin Man
She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain
Who Lives By a Pond?
When You Want to Cross the Street, Look Both Ways
The Mad Monkey
Chocolate Chimpanzees