Music.ly is an app that allows for the creation and sharing of music videos. Like any app that allows for public sharing, there are definitely pros & cons. I have heard educators talk about this app as the worst app for kids to be on, and yet when you play with it, you can definitely see why kids (and adults) would be drawn to it! It allows for the creation of professional-looking videos which are easy to share with friends. Here’s one that Sylvia Duckworth created during a Pub PD–just for fun!
I just “followed” my 8 year-old niece’s account and my sister is so proud of how very creative Ashlin is when using the Music.ly app. She doesn’t just use it for music videos, but also to create skits. Just the other day, a little girl with whom I was speaking, told me that she loves the app and that it is the one she uses most on her iPod.
The app itself offers unique features which is why users would be drawn to it. It is fun and easy to use. Within minutes you can create professional looking music videos (lip sync or original). Check out an overview Here.
There are teachers and parents who are concerned due to content that may be sexually provocative and issues around privacy. Despite the fact that the app suggests 12 as a minimum age, parents are saying it’s more appropriate for older kids. This is what parents had to say via Common Sense Media, despite the fact that kids themselves rated it much lower.
One of the main ideas of my upcoming book, Social LEADia is that any social media app or tool can be used for good or for nefarious reasons. I firmly believe that rather than shut it down, or ignore its existence, it is important to have conversations around privacy and appropriate content in the context of using the tool
Better yet, we need to listen and ask about how your students are using this app. This not only helps us strengthen relationships with them, but it may lead to surprising opportunities to allow the curriculum to come alive for some students.
I LOVE this video example:
I love it because it shows how very creative people can be and how some tools may be made for one purpose but offer incredible opportunities for other applications.
The most important conversations involve privacy and appropriate content. You do need an email to sign up and you need to create a username. Some people don’t feel comfortable using their full name and so a crucial conversation involve pros and cons around real vs user name.
The default is set to public. This means that anyone can download your music.ly. For example, I downloaded the above video to my Youtube channel. You absolutely need to know that someone may possibly download your Music.ly. That is not necessarily a bad thing if students are using the tool for digital leadership.
Like any app that allows a user to create content and other users to comment, necessary conversations need to be had around how to comment positively and how to react when there are negative comments made on your video. This is SO important because it provides an in-the-moment and authentic opportunity to teach Digital Citizenship.
Use in the classroom
When a tool is used authentically and with the guidance of a classroom teacher, there is an opportunity to have those crucial conversations and explore some of the concerns together. Music.ly might be a good choice for any extension activity in which students create their own rap or dance or as in the example above for the creation of art with a music background.
The infographic below gives you an overview of the app.
Link to infographic with hyperlinks here
What are your thoughts on this app? How can we create Music.ly apps with our students to be a more positive influence on others?