Each and every day, teachers facilitate learning for their students, working to provide them the optimal conditions for learning. It is equally important to ensure teachers take the time and allow themselves the same opportunities for learning. With the many responsibilities as a teacher, it can be hard to always attend professional development opportunities in person, making websites such as Coursera and edX more viable options for educators where and when it works best for their lifestyle. One of the new online learning opportunities for educators is the new Apple Teacher program.
Originally launching in the US, the Apple Teacher program has been available for Australian educators since earlier in 2017. The Apple Teacher program provides free online professional learning about Apple products in an educational context. Educators can dive deeper into their learning about the various Apple products, with a focus on either the iPad or MacBook as their device of choice as they work towards completing the eight badges.
Through the online Apple Teacher Learning Center, the multi-touch starter guides allow teachers to work at a pace comfortable for their individual needs as they continue to develop their skills, no matter where they are in their learning. These guides offer lesson ideas, samples and step-by-step learning to create projects. Once teachers feel confident in their knowledge and skills, they can take the online quiz consisting of five questions per product or theme. Upon successful completion of the quiz, educators are awarded a badge for recognition. When all eight badges have been earned for either the iPad or MacBook, the educator has successfully become an Apple Teacher. The products and themes explored through the Apple Teacher program include Keynote, GarageBand, Pages, iMovie and Numbers, as well as learning how to use these products’ creativity and to support productivity within the walls of the classroom.
Coding helps students unpack step-by-step instructions while developing their problem-solving and creativity skills. Through the Apple Teacher program, teachers can begin to explore coding and Swift Playgrounds through an additional four badges available to be earned. Beginning with coding concepts and working towards understanding how coding might be used in the classroom and curriculum, educators can explore Swift code and the Swift coding app.
Professional development is often more effective when learners have someone to discuss their learning with. Teachers could ask a colleague to work through the program with them to develop their own support system to stay motivated or work with learning leaders to build time in professional development days or meetings to support teacher growth on the products they use every day in their classrooms. By working with their administration to create the time for their own learning, students and the school community also reap the benefits.
The Apple Teacher program supports teachers not only on the technical aspects of the products but also provides inspiration, lesson ideas, resources, tips and stories of how to meaningfully integrate technology into lessons, shifting the focus on student learning and not always the technology. While a badge might be earned in a short period of time, the resources available through the Apple Teacher Learning Center provide an ongoing source of inspiration and ideas.
For more information about the Apple Teacher program, visit www.apple.com/education/apple-teacher or go to the Apple Teacher Learning Center at appleteacher.com to begin your Apple Teacher journey by enrolling with an Apple ID.
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