Apple has unveiled a program to support teachers who want to use technology in authentic and innovative ways, and it’s been keeping Sister Martha Rolley busy for over a year.
Sister Martha is Director of Education Professional Learning Content at Apple. She and her team were responsible for creating resources for the newly launched Apple Teacher program. Its goal is to inspire, train and celebrate teachers as they develop more effective learning and teaching experiences using an iPad or Mac.
Educators who sign up for the program gain access to online resources and digital books to expand their knowledge about iPad devices and Mac computers, which schools frequently rely on to assist learning. After participants successfully complete a series of quizzes online, they can receive a downloadable Apple Teacher logo to recognize their achievement and expertise.
One teacher who signed up for the Apple Teacher program wrote in a blog post, “Educators are always learning. We chose this profession because we want to help students be successful. Overall, the program fosters our understanding of how best to use the iPad in the classroom… The Apple Teacher program allows teachers to offer quality education that is meaningful and fun.”
On the program’s website, which went live at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, dozens of posts describe how technology is helping students learn everything from English as a second language to the workings of the human heart. Videos, slideshows and articles explain how to take students on a virtual “fly-over” tour of distant cities, create interactive charts to illustrate patterns in data, and personalize learning for students on the autism spectrum, among other topics.
Working on the Apple Teacher program was an appropriate project for Sister Martha due to her decades of working in high tech and her dedication to the Sisters of the Holy Names’ historic teaching mission, which especially embraces those who are underserved. Sister Martha has encouraged SNJM educators to enroll in the program, both to earn recognition as an Apple Teacher and to learn more about the technology they and their students use in Holy Names schools.