Apple Teacher Lessons learned

A few weeks ago, on a training day, the planned speaker cancelled at short notice. As a school we were left with a very short period of time to organise an alternative. I am currently between two schools and had started some work introducing Apple Teacher in a recent staff meeting at my other school. I chatted with the Leadership Team who agreed.

To cut a longer story short, by the end of the day the vast majority of Teachers and Teaching Assistants had gained their Apple Teacher status. Those that hadn’t were well on the way.

However, the Apple Teacher status is not the thing that I think is the best part and although staff were proud to get the recognition a more powerful factor was the individual development that went on that day.

Earning Different Badges during the day.

The day started with a brief introduction to the site and expectations for the day. This didn’t take very long as we have had 1 to 1 iPads throughout Key Stage 2 for some time with groups of iPads in each class for the younger children so most staff were already familiar with how to use an iPad. The staff then split up into small groups across the school. They worked in a range of ways. Some worked individually asking for help when needed. Some worked with a partner and others worked in a small group exploring the different apps. My role was a bit of troubleshooting at first. Some TAs didn’t have their own Apple IDs, out filtering was blocking some aspects of the site. These were soon sorted and everyone was working through. There was a lot of discovery that day. Instant Alpha available within Keynote and Pages was a big hit across the school. This is something so simple, but was something many of the staff weren’t aware of. There were a few tips like this that came out of the training. There was a lot of discovery and alongside some very rich conversations on how these could be used within the context of the learning.

I have already seen impact across the school. An assembly by the older children incorporated a Chipmunk voice and I have also since seen these being used with Reception children completing and Speech and Language intervention. Both these were discovered by the teachers on the day.

The training itself was approached in different ways. Some teachers went really in-depth into the materials and had a wider explanation of the apps involved. Where this was the case there tended to be a lot of development. Others approached it from the quiz point of view and then researched to find the answer. Where this was the case the development was of a shallower nature.

Overall though I don’t think we have had a training day where there has been such sustained work through the day and more importantly immediate impact in the classrooms. Although not chosen the training day was an excellent way to introduce Apple Teacher. The materials are high quality, easy to use.

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