How I Use It
Anyone who has used GarageBand or similar music sequencers will be right at home with Soundtrap - a whole recording studio in your browser - it works on iOS, OS X, Windows, Linux and Android. If your school is connected to either Google or Microsoft for Education you will love the single sign-on (how did we manage before that?!). Once in to the main interface the children will be making pretty impressive tunes before long - dragging and dropping the sample blocks into place. It works well as a podcasting tool - you can record directly onto a track from an iPad or Chromebook, for example. Then there is the collaboration element - students can work together by inviting one another to a particular project. I used the website in an open-ended way as part of a wider video 'how-to' project - 10/11 year-old students had to make a soundtrack to accompany their film; in future I would not allow them to rely too heavily on the demo tracks provided by Soundtrap - lesson learned for next time! But all in all a fantastic, free resource that would have been unheard of just a few years ago - all those features in your web browser! NB You can use their premium paid service but for most uses in the primary school the free edition should suffice.
Like most tools these days, I always allow children time to just play with a new tool and see what they can do with it. I recommend that with Soundtrap to begin with. Later you can get your class to tell you what they have discovered, and then fill in any gaps they may have missed - for example the 'snap to grid' tool and useful keyboard shortcuts may need to be explicitly taught, for example. The great thing about Soundtrap being online is that the lessons don't need to be confined to the school day - children are often busy working on their projects at home, and collaborating with each other as they do so. Once you begin on Soundtrap the sky is the limit -your podcast & music production possibilities are literally endless. Get out there and start experimenting with Soundtrap now!