Thornton Academy Middle School teachers enthusiastic about earning Apple Badges

Social Studies teacher Bob LePauloue is the Thornton Academy Middle School (T.A.M.S.) MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL). He learned about the Apple Teacher program during the October MARTL meeting and returned to T.A.M.S. excited to talk with his school’s leadership team about the possibilities he saw for his colleagues to participate. 
 
Apple Teacher is a free professional learning opportunity that teachers can do on their own time at their own pace. The program features curated resources that support learning about the tools on both Mac and iPad. Educators can choose to read an iBook and take a five question quiz to earn a badge, or they can jump in to the quiz and explore the tools as they answer the questions. The questions themselves are designed to be situational, so teachers are even seeing examples of ways to use the technology as they are earning the badges. 
 
LePauloue saw Apple Teacher as a way to assure all teachers at his school could gain foundational skills with their Apple MLTI devices, so that they could begin to leverage the technology for student learning more effectively and consistently across the school. His principal also saw the power of Apple Teacher, and issued a challenge to her staff to reach 100% certification (these means that each educator would earn all eight badges either for Mac or for iPad).
 
LePauloue lead this charge – supporting teachers by answering questions, cheering them on as they made progress, and celebrating their accomplishments once they earned the badges. Thornton Academy also decided to challenge their teachers to gain the Apple Teacher badges and had similar success! 
 
Ultimately, LePauloue and some of his colleagues were able to lead a webinar that shared the idea and its positive results with other MARTLs. Here’s a slide from his presentation that highlights the power of working on Apple Teacher as a group of colleagues:
 
Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 9.40.35 AM
 
Since then, we’ve heard about a number of other MARTLs and schools that worked to gain the Apple Teacher certifications — all as a way to help empower teachers to begin to use the technology to transform the learning in their classrooms. A number of teachers have also mentioned that this would be a helpful tool for their students. We’re looking forward to seeing how the use of technology will change in classrooms after a critical mass of people have gained foundational skills with the new technology!
 
For more information about MARTLs, you can visit this website or contact Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at the Maine Department of Education (amanda.nguyen@maine.gov or 207-624-6656).
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