Andrew Fitzgerald

Andrew Fitzgerald

Southern California native. Happy husband and father. Bachelor's in Music Education from Florida State University, currently finishing up my Master's degree in Educational Technology and Media Leadership at California State University Long Beach. I've been teaching middle school band and orchestra for over 10 years, and have taken on the reins of teaching multimedia as well. I actively seek out and find new ways to improve my pedagogy and professionalism using technology for both research and practice. I not only enjoy teaching my students everyday, but also teaching my colleagues as well. I keep an open mind, loathe limitations, take one day at a time, and adhere to the advice I received when I was younger, "Make it work!"

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Snipping, Gif-ing, and Kahooting

After hearing about all the formative rage last school year, I decided to dive in and check out Kahoot. I tested it out with my music students with some beginning-of-the-year school rules, and they loved it immediately. I was hooked (so were my students!), so I started brainstorming on how I could adapt the Kahoot platform into my music curriculum.

It's the beginning of the school year, and before I teach my advanced students their theory lessons, they need to review the names of the notes on the Treble and Bass Clef​ staffs.… Visit the author's original post

Data is DONE!

The data gathering portion of my Thesis is done! Whew! I actually managed to get some teachers to interact with my e-learning app. Analysis has begun, and results are looking pretty good :-)

So what! Don't you want to see what I did? Well, here you go. My TPACK (Z)app.
You'll see that it is not actually fully complete. When I designed the module, I had a grand plan for it, but I couldn't get the whole thing done on time.… Visit the author's original post

Getting close….

After many months, I'm just about ready to release the beta test of my thesis/project. Afterwards, if all is well, it will be released to two middle schools within my school district. Today I finished my intro video, which will be the first part of the module that users are introduced to. My goal was to use Knowles's andragogy principles to grab the audiences' attention. I'm crossing my fingers it works.

Here is the video:
I was really lucky to find music I could use at the author's original post

Presenting at CSULB Today

I've been making some progress on my Master's Project, and tomorrow (today) I'll be presenting it at California State University Long Beach, even though I'm not done yet. To prepare, I made a PowerPoint! I also recorded some of the project in action using OfficeMix (free screen capturing!), edited, sped it up, and placed it at the end of the PowerPoint. From there I
  • Exported the entire file as a video. I did this so I could just leave it running while I watch visitors interact with the app directly on my devices.
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Ready, Set, Office! Developing new Pedagogies with the Power of Microsoft Office – Part 2

In my last blog post I presented how I was able to create new resources to transform a regular music class routine (chair test) into a more meaningful activity for my students. Besides performing the required music excerpt for their test, they were also engaged in the analysis and evaluation of their peers as well. Not only does this support our school wide tier 2 academic vocabulary words, but also requires my students to listen and evaluate using musical tier 3 academic vocabulary concepts such as Tone, Pitch, Rhythm, etc.… Visit the author's original post

Ready, Set, Office! Developing new Pedagogy with the Power of Microsoft Office – Part 1

At my school site I'm involved with a group of teachers that are currently  looking for instructional positive deviances in our classrooms through research and data. We decided as a group to focus on building our students' use of academic vocabulary. Currently we're  analyzing the student use of vocab within our content areas, as well as focusing campus wide on 10 specific words. This has been a challenge for me. In the past my curriculum focused on building my students' reading skills of western music notation, not the English language.… Visit the author's original post

Teachable Moments with OneNote & Office Lens

My String Orchestra class didn't go exactly as planned this week, and it's all OneNote's fault. On Tuesday we were supposed to continue in our method book, working on playing in the key of F Major. We were going to get to the next page and play one of my favorite songs, Waltzing Matilda! Alas, it did not happen thanks to that cape-wearing purple program called OneNote, and her little sidekick Office Lens.

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How OneNote is changing my pedagogical instruction, Part 2

Over time, the information I've been required to post on my classroom whiteboard has evolved from a Learning Objective, to the Learning Objective + Classwork and Homework agenda, to a Learning Target (students will Know X and Understand Y by Doing Z) + the Classwork and Homework agenda. It's a lot of information. Don't get me wrong, it's totally appropriate and necessary for students' learning, but there's an issue. I teach five completely different classes, so getting all that information on display for all the students is a challenge.… Visit the author's original post

How OneNote is changing my pedagogical instruction….Part 1

Two things about me: 1. I've always been a BYOD teacher. When I stepped into my classroom for the first time eleven years ago and saw the dinosaur computer sitting on my desk, I knew I'd have to supply my own hardware if I wanted to get anything done electronically. I first bought a Dell XPS laptop for work/life, which over the years eventually turned into a Samsung laptop. This was replaced two years ago by my current device, a Surface Pro (generation 1).… Visit the author's original post

Advanced TPACK Scenario for my project – Laptop Cart & Padlet in the math classroom

I'm brainstorming, creating scenarios for my project, and am trying to come up with an example of using a mobile laptop cart in a math classroom. As a middle school teacher, I'm also imagining the setting is also in the middle school classroom as well. What if......students had to present.....the steps of using FOIL in algebra....using a laptop? I did some research and think I may have figured out something that could work.
1) Students use PowerPoint to create the presentation, breaking down the steps onto individual slides.… Visit the author's original post

Problems, problems, problems


My district blocks YouTube, so I cannot host my instructional videos there. I've switched to using Amazon's AWS service to host the videos. Hopefully my district doesn't block Amazon......

ZebraZapps is giving me some trouble. Flash isn't working anymore on their site using IE11. IE11 is my preferred browser since Chrome currently has a battery killing bug in it right now. 

They just had a monthly update......and it broke my project(s) :-(((((
Contacted support to see if the problem is on their end or mine.… Visit the author's original post

Section 3 Questions

My latest set of questions/activities, last ones involving the mouse and keyboard. I've had to increase the text and add some "glowing" effects to objects in order to increase the activities' ease of use. I'm also  implementing a zooming function so users can increase the size of the activities. Of course, as I'm typing this, I'm already noticing a graphic error :-/


Section 2 Questions

These questions apply knowledge from section 1 questions, although the 2nd part isn't really a question as much as it is a process for the user to follow. The idea is to show the user they can troubleshoot a simple problem on their own, instead of just making a phone call or putting in a ticket to IT. This still has loose ends and missing elements, but the meat of the section is there.