News

Tune into the largest K-5 streaming concert ever

By Stephen Noonoo, Editor, @stephenoonoo
September 29th, 2015

Huge singalong will connect schools coast to coast and around the world

ruch-singalongTo cap off Connected Educator Month, classroom entertainer Dave Ruch is hosting what he hopes will become the biggest K-5 singalong ever — hosting a free, streaming concert Oct. 30 for schools around the world.

For the past 20 years, Ruch has been a veritable classroom troubadour, leading small concerts on topics that connect directly to curriculum — like a westward expansion singalong using 19th century tunes. But for the October event, he’s just focused on getting “classrooms together from all over the place and have a good time,” he said.

Although he’s using a webinar platform — which won’t let him see or interact directly with any participating classrooms, he’s working to make the 20-minute concert as interactive as possible, by encouraging kids to sing along. “Because I’ve been with live audiences and kids so many times doing these same kinds of programs, I kind of know what’s going to make them laugh, and I know how to structure a program to get them to say things back to me,” Ruch said. (He’s also working on a way to add a backchannel so schools can chat with each other while the event is live.)

So far, the concert has generated some big interest both at home and abroad, with registration from 37 states and countries as far as Saudi Arabia and Singapore. A school in Lagos, Nigeria will even stay late to take part.

“The response from the teachers has been really gratifying,” Ruch said. “I’m trying to expose teachers to the technology itself and how easy it is to be bringing experts or presenters in from anywhere in the world right there on the tech they already have.”

The Largest Online Gathering of K-5 Classrooms (ever!) will take place Oct. 30 at 1:15 pm EST/10:15 am PST. The webinar platform, Zoom, should be compatible with Smartboards and other devices.