Last week was a big one for Apple enthusiasts, but perhaps the best surprise was for educators with the release of the Apple Teacher program. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, you’ll enter the Apple Teacher Learning Center, where you have the opportunity to earn your badge as an official Apple Teacher.
The Learning Center has four different areas to explore.
1 - LEARNING RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS
Here you will find the starter guides for both iPad and Mac. Topics include Getting Started with the iPad/Mac, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie, Garageband, as well as Productivity and Creativity. I particularly appreciated the fact that the resources are geared towards both beginner and proficient users. Each guide not only has a wealth of information but the interactive nature of the guide gives you an opportunity to apply everything you learn.
2- SELF-PACED LEARNING MODULES & BADGES
This is an outstanding resource for both beginners and advanced users of the iPad and Mac. Despite having taught in a 1:1 iPad environment and being Apple Distinguished Educator, I learned so many new tips, tricks, and ideas to take back to my classroom as well as to the teachers with whom I work. There are eight modules for both the iPad and Mac that you need to complete in order to get your certification. I most enjoyed the experience of interacting with the scenario-based quiz questions.
3 - INSPIRATION FOR TEACHERS
You’ve mastered the apps, and you’ve earned your Apple Teacher certification, so what’s next? This area will provide you with lots of lesson ideas and inspiration that you can use to apply everything you’ve learned to transform the teaching and learning experience in your school. Read stories about how other teachers are using the different apps with their students and explore video exemplars. You can also stay up to date with new tips about how to use the features on your iPad and Mac.
4 - EVERYONE CAN CODE
"Everyone Should have an opportunity to change the world." -Apple
This is the driving vision behind the new coding and app development curriculum recently launched by Apple, a story beautifully told in this video. There are two parts to this new initiative - Swift Playgrounds and App Development. From elementary to higher ed, there is something for everyone.
Like most things that come along, these tools are only as great as we make them. As the stories from the Inspiration for Teachers section show us, iPads and Macs present an opportunity to truly reimagine what is possible.