Schuylerville Central Schools
What makes a student remember or have a favorite teacher? They remember those that are passionate, engaged, and inspirational. The new Apple Teacher program helps teachers learn how to use the iPad in exciting and innovative ways that allow the teachers to be one that students will remember because they learned invaluable lessons in creative ways.
I first heard about the new Apple teacher program on Twitter. After clicking a link from a Tweet, I opened to the new Apple Teacher program information page. I couldn’t wait to sign up and check it all out.
The day it was posted was the first day of school for my district and our middle school was rolling out iPads to all students in grades 6 through 8. Because it’s such a huge event, our friend from Apple was there to help. I told Jody I couldn’t wait to get started on the new program and she laughed and said “I’ve got a conference call about it today, I’ll let you know what I learn.”
Signing into the program is a breeze, you just type in your Apple ID and password and you are welcomed into the world of Apple. There are two programs of study, iPad and Mac. I started with the iPad one because our school currently has iPads in grades k-9. I have been using an iPad as an educator for the past three years and know the value of having the device in the classroom. Through videos on iMovie, presentations on Keynote, and other apps, my students have developed a positive digital footprint, and learned important 21st century skills. Using the iPad has enhanced my student’s education in so many ways. So why wouldn’t I want to learn more from Apple to continue to foster this? This year, as an integration specialist, I am helping teachers use the iPads and I hoped this Apple Teacher program would show some amazing new ways to use the apps effectively.
The program is broken down into 8 segments that review core apps and features on the iPad. All of the guides open in iBooks and have information for both the newbie and the advanced. The lessons are also offered online or through in-store workshops to help prepare for the quizzes. Best practices, app smashing, and inventive ways to use the apps are discussed. The quiz questions are fair and thorough and offer great ideas for using the iPad in the classroom. For example, when reviewing the information about the app, Numbers, it showed how to use this app and Garageband for reading records. Once you pass a quiz, you earn a badge. Earn all 8 and you will earn a downloadable logo. Each quiz takes you through scenarios and key features of the apps and the iPad in general. If you get one wrong, the question will lead you to the resources you need to review the material to get the correct answer. You can retake the quiz if you need to in order to pass.Educators are always learning. We chose this profession because we want to help students be successful. Overall, the program fosters our understanding of how best to use the iPad in the classroom. Teachers who are leaders at their schools, and want to expand the use of the iPad to encourage achievement in students, should complete this program and proudly showcase the badge. The Apple Teacher program allows teachers to offer quality education that is meaningful and fun. I’ll give you the same advice Jody gave me after her conference call with Apple, “Go for it!”