At the beginning of September, Apple released a self-guided learning course designed just for teachers. All you need is an Apple ID and a few hours to Become an Apple Teacher. Educators can choose from either the Mac or iPad collection of badges. Each collection includes 8 badges to earn. I completed the iPad badge a few weeks ago to make sure I was ready to support the 6th and 8th grade iPad Pilot this year and I've challenged all of our year 1 pilot teachers to do it too!
The iPad collection offers badges in iPad basics, Pages, Keynote, iMovie, Numbers, GarageBand, iPad Productivity, and iPad Creativity. You can choose how you navigate through the learning. Apple created these gorgeous interactive iBooks for learners who need a really guided experience or you can just go to the down and dirty "how to" if you want a more streamlined learning process. OR, if you're like me, you can just to dig into the app before taking a stab at earning the badge!
To earn each of the 8 badges, you need to get at least 4/5 on the quiz. The quizzes are challenging, but common sense if you have used the app before. I struggled most with GarageBand because that's not an app I use very often, but I was glad the course forced me to hone my skills. Now I can show off my beats to my musician brothers! The nice things is you can easily take the quizzes as many times as you need to and go back into the iBook or How To to check your learning. and try again. You get all the warm fuzzy feelings of rescuing Princess Peach from King Koopa each time you earn a little badge. Once you complete all 8 badges, Apple will send you a congratulations email with your badge included! Level UP!!
It's been exciting to see some of our pilot teachers earning their badge this week! Two teachers, Gidget and Smita, and one of our Digital Print Resource Specialists, Lisa, are already done! Other teachers have been working through it. For some, it's been a fun and painless process. For other who are just beginning with Apple products, it has been challenging. The Apple Teacher Program is allowing me the opportunity to see where everyone is at and customize our monthly time together to meet everyone's needs. It's also been great to see how everyone is supporting one another in getting their badges. As an instructional coach, I learned quickly that badging and micro-creditentials are an engaging way of setting the learning target and allowing adults the freedom to learn in their own way. The Apple Teacher Program is helping us create a culture of tech skill, collaboration, and a vision for the integration of tech in our classrooms! Go Gidget, Smita & Lisa!!!!
Become an Apple Teacher too!!