This past week national Apple executives met with my Superintendent (@lmussoline) to assess the progress of our 1:1 Macbook program at the DASD STEM Academy (official site & my link). They reminded our superintendent NO SCHOOL has ever gotten the Apple Distinguished honor in the first year they applied AND the first year of its existence. Further, we only had 450 students last year. Again, a feat they said was remarkable. In the past year, Apple has sent administrators from around the world to see the progress in our school.
When executives from Apple’s education division came to our school last year, I got to meet with them and they were impressed how our students, in only half a year, were using their laptops for instruction, not just as an add-on. I was impressed that no other school had done anything like this. The Apple executives said they asked students in every corner of the building, searching for all different types of students, what made the school so great. The students resoundingly answered the same thing. Guess what it was? Not the sports teams, the band, the fact they got a Macbook… they said THE TEACHERS!
To implement a successful ANYTHING, and technology is no exception, TEACHERS are key.
This year, one of the many topics I will continue to track in my blog is how our 1:1 Macbook implementation is progressing in year two, and how teachers and students use their laptops in the classroom.
I look forward to an exciting year, and I expect questions and critique of our program as we go. If you are in the Philadelphia area, I suggest you stop by. Seeing our school in action is better than any blog or video could describe.