Teacher Spotlight: Ruben Alcala
Ruben Alcala and one of his High School Choir Students
March 7, 2016
Ruben Alcala and Students Increase Practice Time Outside the Classroom with Music Prodigy
Ruben Alcala is a choir teacher at Mayde Creek High School in the Katy school district near Houston. He was an early Music Prodigy adopter in his classroom and he and his students have become super users of the platform, logging hundreds of hours of practice time and performances each month.
We caught up with Ruben for a quick Q&A on how he and his students have benefitted from Music Prodigy:
Q: How easy was it to get Music Prodigy working for your classes?
It was very easy to get the students signed up and using Prodigy.
Q: Had you used instructional technology before?
I have used some but not to the extent that this product allows.
Q: How has it helped you as a teacher being able to monitor and support your students’ practice time outside of the classroom?
It has shown me a great deal about the practice habits of the students and made them much more accountable.
Q: How much has student practice time outside of the classroom increased since starting with Music Prodigy?
I think it has increased a lot and the fact that I get updated reports encourages the students not to wait until the last minute to complete assignments.
Q: What is your favorite feature and how has it benefited you?
The daily practice morning report has been my favorite feature and eliminates excuses from my groups.
Q: What do your students like most about Music Prodigy?
They seem to enjoy the real time assessment and feedback that Prodigy gives them. The red note/green note aspect of the app makes it similar to a game.
Q: Do most of your student practice with Music Prodigy on mobile devices?
They practice mostly during our daily advisory time or at home around 8.
Q: To check on your students’ daily practice progress (time spent, scores, etc.), do you find the daily emails or Gradebook Grid feature more useful? Or do you use/find both useful? If so, why?
I find both aspects very useful and it serves as a great reminder in the morning of what needs to be accomplished each day. When I wake up for school, after I turn off my alarm, the morning email from Prodigy is the first thing I check.
Q: Do you share your student/class improvement with administrators? If so, how has that benefited your music program?
I have not shared with my campus principal but our Fine Arts Director and other teachers in the district have asked us about how we are using the product.