I can add the last seven days to the list of ‘good things that happened in 2017’, for this was a week in which I achieved two proud moments in my University life.
Firstly, I became an Apple Teacher.
What is an Apple Teacher? Well, to become a recognised Apple Teacher you must read through guides and complete a quiz to earn eight different badges. Each badge relates to a different app or skill, and you can complete the badges for Mac, iPad or both.
Once you’ve earned all eight badges you’ll become an Apple Teacher, and receive an email with your official Apple Teacher logo, which looks a bit like this:
I found working through the materials to be a great CPD tool, and I would encourage educators of all knowledge and experience to consider doing as I did.
If you’re still not sure, here are a few of my thoughts about the whole process:
The guides are written with a consistent structure flowing through each one, meaning you can pick up a guide on any subject, from Guitar Band to Numbers, and easily find the section you need. Finding information within each guide is not difficult, as each has a contents page with hyperlinks to take you directly to the section you need. This could be a fantastic tool for more-able learners in KS2 to use and teach themselves new skills.
The problem I often have with guides is that reading the theory alone can can make it difficult to picture how you would apply it to a real life scenario. The Apple Teacher guides address this by actually taking you through the process of creating something. For example, the Numbers Guide talks through the creation of the ‘Butterfly Investigation Lab Report’, including a simple table, checklist and pie chart. Seeing this come together makes it much easier for me to understand how I could use this in other projects in future.
The addition of interactive functions within the guides adds real value to what you are reading. For example, within the Garage Band Guide you can listen to sound clips of what you’re supposed to be creating, to check that you’re on the right lines. Many of the pages have windows you can swipe through to see the progression of the stages you are following. All of these functions add a great deal of support on just one single page.
The process of taking the test online is also very simple and easy to access, with a smooth transition between the different sections.
Having completed the Apple Teacher badges, I then looked in to further learning available on the Apple Teacher site.
Which brings me to my second achievement. I sat down yesterday determined to complete the Apple Teacher Playground Swift badges too. The Swift badges are all related to coding, a subject that is surely daunting to many teachers who have never taught this before.
However, after reading through the guides and drawing on some hazy memories of previously-forgotten A-Level Computing knowledge, I successfully completed the Apply Teacher Playground Swift badges.
Yes, it’s true I had a previous understanding of coding, and a good familiarity of Apple systems. But consider this – I last studied coding 11 years ago, and I’ve never used apps like Garage Band in my life. I was basically a beginner again. If I can do it, why can’t you?
Interested in becoming an Apple Teacher yourself? What are you waiting for? Follow this link, read the resources, take the tests and get qualified!
Right, pencils down. That’s the end of our time. Until next time – hwyl fawr!