10 Positive Impacts of an Apple enriched Classroom
Returning to school after the summer break can be daunting. Of course, some schools will have used the break to build, upgrade, adapt, and enhance their physical or technological environment. Therefore, some teachers will be returning to entirely new classrooms. We’re all guilty of getting comfortable or stuck in our ways, and new technology could knock us out of our teaching groove. However, it’s important to remember that change is a good thing. The positives of Apple technology far outweigh any feelings of fear or trepidation. If you’re walking back into a classroom full of iPad or Mac, here are just some of the positives that come with that…
1) Reduced teacher workload
Having enough screens for every table can reduce the amount of photocopying, resource collection, IT room booking, extension activity planning, marking, individualised provision, and so on and so on. When technology is used correctly, many manual jobs that teachers spend hours on can be turned digital. With the help of apps like Apple Classroom (an app that enables a teacher to control an entire class set of iPads), teachers can set up a lesson in less than a minute. Not to mention that Apple technology is famously fast. No more waiting for a computer to boot up.
2) Personalised learning opportunities
If every child has access to their own device, they can take an active role in their own learning journey. Multimedia functionality and an endless list of education apps opens a world of opportunity for a learner at any age. More technologically confident students can follow their imaginations and seamlessly use a device to aid their creativity. Less technologically inclined individuals can dip their feet in the Apple waters every now and then to help them progress in their own way. Ultimately, Apple technology is powerful and flexible enough to allow each learner to enhance their own experiences in any way they see fit.
Live collaboration tools have never been so good. Groups can now work together on the same document but on different devices seamlessly. Through apps like Explain Everything or Nearpod, a teacher can broadcast their iPad screen to every device in the room. They can then choose to embed interactive activities so that a digital back-and-forth between teacher and learner is achieved in the classroom. While this will never replace classroom discussions or learning through play, it will provide a platform for those who are less willing to collaborate in a more traditional way.
4) Quick wins
Sometimes the lesson plan needs to be ripped up and a teacher needs to improvise. The technology provides opportunities to quickly change an entire lesson’s focus or simply fill time through educationally enriching apps that require no setup. Through Digital Workflow tools like Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, or Seesaw, digital resources can be sent to the class in mere minutes. Apps like Quizlet or Apple Books are stacked with educational resources on any subject, and they can all be shared instantly. However, I think the intuitive nature of most educational apps allows teachers to confidently ask learners to take the lead if their planned resource fails to hit the mark. There are quick wins everywhere when Apple technology is everywhere.
5) Better modelling opportunities
Through wireless mirroring, a teacher can be far more mobile in the classroom. As a result, modelling the best approaches to learning activities can be far more flexible. For example, a teacher can turn their iPad into a mobile visualiser, showcasing anything in the room live on the screen. Alternatively, they can take a photo of some work and annotate on top of it from anywhere. Teachers do not need to be glued to their screens, and as a nice bonus, this has a big effect on behaviour management. The modelling can be conducted right next to that talkative table. Or better still, class members can be an active part of the modelling from their seats if the teacher hands over their iPad.
6) Marking and assessment
Apps like Showbie enable teachers to send, receive, mark, and send back pieces of work entirely digitally. This not only reduces teacher workload it also provides the learner with better feedback because the app enables teachers to leave voice notes or even create explanation videos. Without a doubt, the functionality of Showbie far exceeds the notes you can leave in a book margin. On top of this, there are countless engaging quizzing tools out there that can mark wrong or right answers for the teacher. Overall, the technology can help you get a much more rounded understanding of each learner’s progression.
7) Aiding additional needs
Apple has always been hugely invested in making their technology accessible to all. On every device, you’ll find the accessibility settings that enable an individual to personalise their technology. In doing so, they can meet their own needs. Multimedia functionality like voice notes or Siri dictation allow an individual to approach a learning objective in a different way. If writing is a barrier to a learner’s explanations, then Apple technology can break that barrier down. Outside of the iPad or Mac itself, there are hundreds of need specific apps out there that can make a hugely positive impact.
8) Aiding EAL
English as an Additional Language is certainly prevalent right now. It’s a hurdle that every teacher must jump over while still providing the best educational experience for the entire class. iPad or Mac can be loaded up with language apps to help accelerate comprehension, speaking, and listening. The keyboard can accommodate any language, and Siri can also speak any language. As a result, the device can become a translator as well as an educational tool. If every child has access to the same technology, it means that there is no stigma attached to the EAL learner that needs these additional tools. Ultimately, Apple technology can help level the playing field without drawing attention to itself.
It’s undeniable. Technology is engaging, whether you like it or not. Teachers can use this to their advantage. Subjects that are hard to teach or are verging on boring, can be spiced up by the addition of creative apps or explanation videos. Learners who would be disinterested might change their tune if they are allowed to approach a subject in a new way using a device that they enjoy using. Schools are understandably weary of their technology being used purely as a reward in the classroom. However, if the “reward” continues the educational experience and enhances understanding in an engaging way, then I do not see the downside.
10) Awe and Wonder
Most importantly, Apple technology can open the door to amazingly memorable moments in the classroom. Teachers can bring images to life, create green screen videos, contact classrooms in other countries, showcase any learner’s work on the projector, share engaging interactive resources, or broadcast their screen to every screen in the room. The list goes on and on. Apple technology can be a film editing suite or a recording studio. It can be a digital design space or a word processor. Through augmented reality, it can help us visualise abstract ideas. All of this adds up to a hugely enjoyable and enriching educational experience for both Teachers and Learners.
This blog could be a lot longer. There are way more than ten positives that come with Apple technology. In fact, sometimes it’s tricky to know which positive outcome you’d like to pursue first. The good news is, we’re here to help. At Select, we offer a range of Professional Learning opportunities that can introduce all the positive elements of embedding Apple technology into the classroom. We also specialise in providing ongoing support. It’s impossible to realise the full potential of these devices straight away. You need to strategically introduce a core-set of apps and keep the momentum going by constantly progressing. Our Apple Learning Institutes help leaders to tackle their Digital Learning Plans and ultimately create a step-by-step guide to becoming technological confident in all areas of the curriculum. It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to Apple or you’ve been using iPad and Mac for years, we can build a training plan that works for you. We want every school to be experiencing every positive impact possible.