In US, it's common for Apple, Google, Microsoft and other world's top technology companies to collaborate with local schools to offer customised curriculum and even offer their devices particularly laptops and tablets, which will greatly benefit students in understanding complex topics such as physics, chemistry, biology and even software coding at an early age.
Now, a similar trend has begun in India and Canadian International School (CIS, Bengaluru) is one of the very few with Apple Distinguished School recognition. International Business Times India Edition was present at the recently concluded CIS' TechConX seminar. It was attended by close to 200 educators from schools across India to learn how technology integration techniques can be utilised to get the children engrossed in a classroom and make it fun infotainment, unlike the sombre session all through the day, which I went through my school days.
TechConX 2019 event, whose tagline is 'EXPLORE, ENGAGE, EDUCATE' was a learning curve not just for the invitee educators, but also for me. I briefly attended two seminars by CIS' faculty, who articulately taught several aspects of the iOS tools such as Keynote apps, video editing app and others, which can be used to bring out creativity among kids to make presentations and video projects.
Some of the educators attending the TechConX never used iPad before, as a teaching tool in schools, but during the training, they were pretty impressed and were eager to make use of technology more when they return to their work.
During the session, educators were given time-bound activity to create a presentation, there was pin-drop silence during that period and Rekha Chari, CIS' curriculum coordinator, reminded us how quiet the session was going on and invitee teachers will surely have similar engrossing interaction with the children in the class back home.
After the session, I was briefed about the CIS initiatives on how they make use Apple iTunes U course in their academic curriculum and how they conduct iPad boot camp for children along with parents to educate them about digital citizenship.
Here's how iTunes U Course works:
Schools just have to register with Apple for the iTunes U Course and they will be given special Apple ID. Then, it will be made available to students via iPad.
- Teachers create iTunes U Courses.
- Students have to sign in to iTunes U with their Apple IDs
- Teachers provide students with an Enrolment Code and students then join these courses.
Basically, the iTunes U Course is platform, which the school can subscribe and will be offered iOS tools.
The school will also be able to provides students access to course outlines, daily lesson posts, worksheets, assignments, resources used in the classroom and much more. Children will also get rich learning materials like apps, books, videos, podcasts, and primary sources from across iTunes.
Teachers will also be able to see the progress made by the children all through the academic year and also monitor and assign home works to the kids.
"At CIS we encourage our students from K-12 to safely, ethically and consciously explore, create and communicate in a 1:1 environment so that every student at CIS will become good decision makers and consider their digital footprint from a personal and community perspective. As knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens our students will be able to harness the learning potential of an increasingly connected world and lead happy and successful lives," reads CIS' TechCorner website.
I am impressed with CIS for taking initiatives of having strict screen time rule for children so that they use iPad productively at school and home, and how parents can involve themselves in helping kids develop responsible internet usage behaviour in addition to improving their knowledge.
Reporters interacted with Ted Mockrish (Head of School) along with Rohit, one of the bright students of CIS. Mockrish said school teachers openly communicate with students not just on subject matters, but also on improving learning techniques. That's very encouraging that CIS is taking such measure to improve teaching; wish other schools too, embrace similar methods for the benefit of the students.