As we partner with Apple, it is a partnership. Unlike our Window vendors, we are getting more than just computers delivered to our door step. Apple supports our school with training and professional development for teachers and for the IT staff. The IT support includes on-site support for our students and staff as well.
Professional development for teachers has several different avenues to impact teachers in the classroom. Some involve attending conferences with other educators. Other options include having educators that specialize in effective technology integration visit our campus and work with teachers. I have attended Apple Professional Development (APD) training sessions and the facilitators are quality educators that can demonstrate classroom uses. Actually, these trainers are required to also be in the classroom at least part of the time with their full-time job assignments. By utilizing Apple training opportunities, we are able to screen out professional development opportunities and participate in high quality, strategic sessions that move our school forward. These training events do more than just focus on Apple applications. Training includes the use of many Web 2.0 tools that can be used with either platform.
In addition to specific professional development, we are connected with other Apple schools that are implementing similar 1:1 laptop programs. The connections to other schools is a powerful way to network with similar schools and build from each other. We are already connected through associations with Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS). Although Apple is not a specific association, the network and facilitation of Apple to share ideas between schools acts in similar ways. As a result of our exploration of Apple, we have already begun to build partnerships in other areas like IB with 2 others schools running similar programs.