Season 1, Episode 3 of the Educator’s Companion to PD (Show Notes)–Taking a Byte Out of Apple

Season 1, Episode 3 of the Educator’s Companion to PD (Show Notes)–Taking a Byte Out of Apple

I know that a lot of people enjoying reading and skimming through podcast show notes to get a gist of the highlights of the episode. This podcast was originally recorded back in June 2017. To listen to the podcast, please go here.

Can you think back to your first experience with an Apple product?  Was it with an iPod, iPhone, Mac or iPad?
My “aha” Apple moment was several years ago when we went on a trip to India with my family and friends. My daughter was turning 1 year old at the time and she was eager to explore and crawl around. Now I don’t know if you have ever been to India, which is a fantastic country, but with over a billion people, there is a lot of humanity and it was really hard to contain my daughter’s eagerness to crawl all over the ground. My friend Eric, in his wisdom, had downloaded a few toddler apps on his iPhone, and I can’t begin to tell you how much this saved us during our adventures in India. Although she was barely 1, she could completely navigate and engage with the games on his device. It blew my mind away. Clearly, Apple had designed such a user-friendly interface that even a toddler could use it. After this trip, I was transformed and became a technology optimist and began an advocate for its use in classrooms.
Now let me just say that Steve Jobs, the well-known founder of Apple, had been conspiring to hook us educators on its products nearly since The company’s inception.  You see Apple has always been vying for its place in education ever since the Apple 2 was introduced into classrooms in 1978. Back in the early 80’s Jobs marched up and down the halls of Congress for weeks to actively lobby them with an initiative called Kids Can’t Wait. This allowed corporations to make it easier to get tax breaks for donating to schools, libraries, and museums. It was after this push that  Apple soon came to dominate the education PC market (for a while at least), and developed initiatives like the Apple Distinguished Educator program and research projects like Apple Classroom of Tomorrow. So you could say that educators have been taking a “byte” out of the Apple for quite some time now. With the advent of iPads, tablets have become a staple in schools around the world, with over 8 million iPads in schools across the globe.
What is it?
So now that you know this, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Apple has created an online Apple Teacher program. When Apple first started teaching teachers about computing, its focus was on programming with LOGO. Nowadays the Apple program is focused specifically on the features and tools of their products, allowing you to take 2 tracks–either on the MAC or iPads. And you can deep dive into the tools on applications such as Numbers, Garage Band, iMovie, and Keynote. You may think you know these apps well, but I guarantee that you will discover new things they can do with Apple Tools. Once you complete the training, you are provided Recognition with a special badge that you can put on your resume or CV, website or blog.
How does the program work?
  1. How you get the certification?
  2. What the certification means?
First of all, yuh need to head over to Appleteacher.apple.com and sign in using your Apple ID. Once you’ve logged in, you have to select your learning track, which will be with Mac or IPad. There you will review and study materials and pass the quiz for each app which will earn you a badge. Once you earn all 8 of the badges, you get the certification. For example, when I got my certificates, I had to get learning badges for the iPad, Pages, Numbers iMovie, GarageBand, keynote, creativity, And productivity with the iPad. Once I had all the badges, I was emailed my Apple Teacher logo and certification. It was a very straightforward and easy system.

The 3/2/1: 3 Pros, 2 Cons, and 1 Tip
The Pros: 
  1. The program is constantly evolving and expanding. Since the program launched in the summer of 2016, Apple has already added badges for teaching coding with Swift Playgrounds. I expect more apps will be launched and the training will go with it.  Also, earning badges in education is a trend that teachers need to pay attention to. I think in the future, our degree programs will be either augmented or replaced by badge systems. My opinion, but I think earning these symbols of recognition will be an important aspect of determining whether a teacher is “highly qualified” when it comes to 21st-century learning. Apple means to be a mover and a shaker in education, so I believe that their badges are going to carrying more clout as the program continues to evolve. After becoming an Apple Teacher, be sure to get the little badge/graphic so you can advertise your expertise either on your classroom door, blog, or website.
  2. There is a growing community of Apple Teachers. You can get your geek on and join Follow #appleteacher on Twitter to connect with other like-minded educators.The resources are fantastic. It’s not just about the badges. There are some fantastic resources here. Stories of technology being used in the classroom, starter guides for the most often used apps, teacher-created iBooks and much, much more.
  3. You can go deeper and apply to become an Apple Distinguished Educator. As per the 2017 guidelines, you must be employed in an academic capacity and submit a 2-minute video that demonstrates how you transforming the learning environment and creating success in the learning as well as extending your reach in education beyond your classroom walls. All applicants must attend an in-person ADE Academy event, which would cost a chunk of change, but you could imagine what an inspiring and life-changing event this could be. Perhaps something to look forward to doing some time in the future if you’re an Apple Geek.
The Cons:
  1. Learning through iBooks:  Currently, the program’s content is offered through ebooks, which I personally found a bit bland and I really wanted more of a multimedia approach with the How To’s, especially when I worked through the module on Garage Band and iMovie. I ended up going onto YouTube to watch videos, which was a bit confusing since there are different ways to navigate features on the iPad vs. the Mac, and there are different versions of the apps.
  2. It’s easy to Cheat: Meaning that you can take the quiz over and over again without really demonstrating true expertise in an app. Once you know the questions, it’s easy to go back and find the answers in the ebook without really developing the skill. I have a confession, I totally did that with the Numbers module. I am not a spreadsheet person so the least amount of effort I could put into that module, I did, but I didn’t feel that I really mastered the nuances of the app because the quizzes didn’t demand it from me.
So head on over to appleteacher.apple.com
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Judy Imamudeen

Judy Imamudeen

Developing learners as leaders is my joy! As a highly qualified International Baccaluearate (IB) teacher and educational leader, I am committed and passionate about executing its framework and empowering students in creating a future world that works for everyone.

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