Wednesday, September 8, 2010


In searching out Web 2.0 site, I stumbled on a company that really hits my sweet spot for functionality, ease of use, has many options for user interface, and also includes social participation somewhat like facebook.   The site is called ischoolband.


I am a band director and I have had a website for my band for years.  I have news, pictures, resources, videos, and a calendar (shelbybands).  It works great and I have a great following locally and even a farther reach that covers the country through relatives of band students.  The problem comes is that it is work-intensive and I have to format everything from scratch.

ischoolband is a new Web 2.0 tool that creates a complete environment for my students with less work for me and it has features that I haven’t gotten to or have no idea how to do.
The number one feature it has is a secure entrance.  This is great.  All students and parents get an opportunity to sign in and be a part of the site and it is password protected and it is also allowed through our school’s network.

This site is so deep it will be difficult to completely describe in this essay.  But I will begin in saying you can create a location for each of your ensembles.  From there you can add media and documents.  This includes the syllabuses, pictures, parent information sheets, and media that include actual mp3 files and videos. 

The calendar is another feature that is included in the site.  We have a tremendous amount of gigs for all the various groups that needs to be organized and this does it simply.  It also is an email generator that sends out automatic notifications and special announcements.   There is also a place for the student to post about whatever they want.  This means that they can socialize at school!  With everything being stripped away from the access students have this is a real winner for me.  

There is a cost to this program- $199/year, but the savings of time and the depth of it's functions make it well worth the cost.  I have decided to add this tool to my website at school.  We'll see how it works as I add content and get the students involved. Check out ischoolband!


  1. Hello Curt,

    The ischoolband tool you have found really sounds incredible! Your description is very detailed. I can see where it would make your organizational tasks MUCH more efficient and easy! One of the features you mentioned that I particularly like is the “email generator that sends out automatic notifications and special announcements.” Not having to stop to do this type of busy work should save you a LOT of time!!

    Any tool that can encourage parents to get involved (easily) is great! I wholeheartedly agree with you that even though there is a fee for this program, it should prove its value by enabling you to save your time so you can do other more important things – like actually teach!!

    Thank you for finding and sharing this tool! Good luck in using it. I will be anxious to see an update!


  2. Curt,

    I swear this site is exactly what I want out of my AR project. I don't think it will flow too well to use this site only as my AR, I'd still like to create a site with a little more personality for our school. But this site has the functionality that I think I need to use with my band program. It seems like such a pain to print out handout after handout and have the kids lose them or leave them in the band room for me to pick up. This site is a great way to get rid of that stress and keep everyone up to date! Our school went to a text message way of sending out announcements and delays to anyone that signs up. This is a great tool to remind kids of departure times for competitions and other important information. I am going to for sure check out this site a little more. Are you really going to use this site to compliment your band program and if so, how are you paying for it? Is it just coming out of your school budget?

  3. Hey Curt!
    What a great find for you!
    I can imagine your glee (glee club haha!) when you found it. So you students get to be connected to each other to you and anyone else in the community - even their...parents.
    Being able to promote your events and get people into the intimacies of your program and how these kids love music is priceless.
    Iam sure it will be a great tool for fundraising too. Just imagine being able to prove to the powers that be how important music is to the kids, the school and community! Bravo!

  4. Knowing how much work band directors have to do makes me wonder when they have time for anything else. So, any time a tool is found that can streamline the job, life is good. Finding iSchoolBand is like hitting the motherlode.

    From the description you have provided, it looks like this tool does it all. Being able to combine calendar, scheduling, email capabilities, posting and publishing and more in one program is well worth the $199 cost. And, if yours is like most music programs, I'm sure the Band Boosters would gladly foot the bill if you school does not, especially once they see the power and capacity of this program.

    As Mary-Ann mentions in her post, having this lighten your administrative load will allow you to focus on your classroom instruction and the rest of your responsibilities. Best of luck with this Web 2.0 tool.

  5. Thanks for all the great comments about ischoolband. Yes,If I was going to design a Web 2.0 tool this would be it. As with many new tools we are researching, it is in beta mode and there are a few problems I am working out as I sign students up. I have been in contact with a person from ischoolband and they are very friendly and take suggestions well. I still think I have to have a portal website so I can add things and features not available from them.
    As far as the cost goes, I just have to get 20 more people to my fund-raiser and I have it covered. The funny thing is though, they have a 'goodwill' program through the site and I filled out the request letting them know I am in one of the poorest counties in Michigan and they waived my fee for a year. Wow! That solves that problem - now the choir director wants to know when they're coming out with ischoolchoir.

  6. I love this tool. I don't have anything to do with the band or music department, but I can see where it would be enormously helpful to any music teacher. I'm looking for the tool to use for my science class that has this type of depth.

  7. I implemented a theatre arts program in my school a few years ago. I know how difficult it can be to maintain communication with parents, students, and the community while trying to manage after school activities, dates, and the like. This seems like a wonderful way to tackle such a daunting task.
    I can't wait to tell my school's band director about it.