SMART Board Music: XC Beta Add-On for Notebook Software

This article originally appeared on the EDCompass Blog.  Click here for the original URL. Shared with permission.

Cherie Herring is a SMART Exemplary Educator who teaches at Hammond School in Columbia, South Carolina. Cherie writes and manages a really exceptional blog called Just a Little More, where she shares her ideas and resources — connecting with other educators about her experiences in an elementary classroom. She kindly agreed to share her post about her experience with XC Add-on Beta for SMART Notebook software with the EDCompass community and I know you will enjoy it. Please note that is is a beta widget only. Used with permission.

By Cherie Herring

Text your thoughts. Text your answer. Text your discovery. Text your feelings. Text your questions. Send an image.

One of the newest (beta version only) add-ons for SMART Notebook 11 software is “XC.” I decided to give it a go and see how I can use it in my music classes. Although I’ve only used it a handful of times, I’m already excited about the possibilities and just have to share my experiences with you. In my class, SMART Board Music, XC Add-On Beta for SMART Notebook software is part of my new adventure using 1:1 iPads.

“The XC Add-on Beta for SMART Notebook software brings student collaboration from mobile devices to the SMART Board interactive whiteboard so every student can text ideas to actively contribute to whole class discussions captured on a single SMART Notebook page.”

Download the XC Beta Add-on for SMART Notebook software here.

There are three very good tutorial videos that I watched to understand how to use XC. I admit that I dislike watching tutorials.  I’d rather figure it out by myself, but these videos were well-done, fast-paced, and interesting enough to keep my attention. In about 16 minutes, I understood completely how to use the add-on and it saved me tons of trial-and-error time.

SMART Exemplary Educator Jeff Peterson from Texas created these videos on how to download and install the XC AddOn, also describing the activation process.  Here are the links to his videos. Thanks, Jeff!

Video 1: Downloading and Installing XC

Video 2: Starting a session and inserting a QR code

Video 3: Student collaboration

Using XC in the Music Classroom

  • After listening to musical examples from the Romantic period, students used their iPads to text their ideas about the feelings the composer was trying to create in the music they heard.
  • While listening to “The Carnival of the Animals,” younger students used their iPads to guess the animal.
  • During a study of the orchestra, students identified the instrument heard and sent the answer by text.
    photo 2
  • After using the Quaver Romantic Music Episode video, students teamed up to complete a research project. Each team had to text in their findings. Examples: Name at least four famous people from the Romantic period, Find 6 inventions from the period. How did the orchestra change during the R. period? What instruments were added? ETC. What dances were popular? Were there any women composers during the R. Period?
  • For our upcoming collaborative concert with the Upper School choirs, students brainstormed ideas for (Lion King) costumes, drew pictures or downloaded examples, and sent them in. Images were displayed on the SMART Board. We were able to save the discussion and continue it with other classes.
  • XC allows students to sign in anonymously, or by name.  Teachers can set up classes and keep track of student answers. I like having the children sign up with their names because I can easily see who has or has not answered, and if any answers are “naughty” or silly, a simple click of the button reveals the source.  Uh- huh!

HINT: Once you start the session, use the screen shade to hide the answers until everyone has finished. That way, no one is reacting to what someone else wrote.

Easy to Setup, Easy to Use

Once the XC Add-on Beta is downloaded, installed, and the account is made, this feature is ready to use at a moment’s notice. It’s similar to the SMART Response clickers, but since we don’t have those in all of our classrooms, XC is a good alternative for recording collaborative learning. The setup probably takes about 10 minutes initially. During class, the process only takes seconds.

I hope you’ll take the 16 minutes to watch the training videos and take 10 minutes to download and setup the add-on. XC Add-on Beta for SMART Notebook software  is an exciting addition to the interactive classroom. I won’t use it every class time, but it’s great to know that with just a few mouse clicks I can extend the learning and record it on the SMART Board.

Happy Spring!

About Cherie Herring

Hi there! I share creative ideas for teaching music with technology. I am a SMART Exemplary Educator teaching with 1:1 iPads and a SMART Board, I create interactive SMART Notebook lessons and blog about technology integration in the music classroom.

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