Students at PS 25, The Bilingual School utilize apps such as Starfall ABC’s, Learning Farm, Sushi Monster, and Raz kids for individual improvement in phonemic awareness, reading, and math. Our students grasp concepts at a faster rate due to the personalized apps that cater to each student’s individual learning pace by provoking experimentation and collaboration. Students also are provided with opportunities to demonstrate mastery of skills by choosing from the Apple ecosystem. For example, students at PS 25 can choose to work on Pages, Keynote, GarageBand, Numbers, or an iMovie to prove mastery of concepts taught.
Instructors utilize iPad apps and the Apple ecosystem in order to facilitate learning and complete assignments for the respective academic subject. Students are provided with an array of technological options that allow them to exercise their flexible creativity. Teachers also use apps like Google Classroom in order to ensure that all students are on task. ClassDojo is used to reward points for student accomplishments and good behavior.
The curriculum is designed to have a balance that gives technology a complementary role that facilitates learning without replacing the instructor. The iPads, AppleTV, and all other technologies in the classroom function as an extension of the instructor, similar to textbooks and notebooks. Our curriculum provides room for students to cultivate their coding skills and acquire a head-start as young programmers.
Relevant and Timely Professional Development
Faculty continue to improve their methods by having meetings and reflecting on class practices and strategies that worked best for their respective class. Each instructor has a unique opportunity to participate in classroom inter-visitations to observe how other professors incorporate technology into best teaching practices. Faculty also remain updated with the newest apps and technologies that they can further implement in their classes through our online Apple News newsletter. Our classes also incorporate a Senior Specialist/professional learning coach for hands-on professional development. Our teachers also have achieved their Apple Teacher certifications in order to remain updated with the latest classroom apps.
In order to analyze the progress made with the initiative’s goals and vision, faculty measure the impact of the initiative on the students’ learning process via test scores and E-portfolios. The E-portfolios collected contain student keynote presentations, iMovies, and other works produced with iPads, which are then shared and reflected on by faculty. Additionally, student surveys, observations, and benchmarks provide faculty with more data for understanding and measuring progress within classrooms for continuous innovation.
School Design and Facilities
School schedules, facilities, and designs change in order to adjust to the needs of students and to accommodate new technologies that are introduced to the learning environment. Our schedules provide opportunity and flexibility for technology to be integrated in our daily teaching practices. Our building facilities have been modified to accommodate the new technology in the building.
Information Technology (IT)
The IT staff ensures that all technologies utilized by classrooms are functioning properly and are up-to-date with the newest features. Any technical issues that students or teachers may face are resolved through the IT staff. The IT staff is also responsible for mobile device management through JAMF and Apple School Manager. We also try to provide continuous professional development in the latest technology.