Apple details how teachers bring ‘students closer to nature with iPad’


Apple today published a lengthy newsroom post outlining how teachers are making use of iPads in the classroom and out of it. One example is Coppell Middle School East science teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator Jodie Deinhammer.

Deinhammer is using iPads to help students tend the school’s community garden, even though students are being taught remotely.

“Students having access to iPad has changed the way learning looks in my classroom,” she says. “With iPad, each student can design their own learning path and use resources and accessibility features that cater to their individual needs. … They can create infographics, videos, or drawings, compose music, or write to show learning and growth over time. There’s a lot more of an individual component to education through technology.”

Gardens aren’t the only place iPads are being used, either. Students are using apps like Keynote to collect data and all of their work is then combined into a book that can be shared with other classes and even their local community.

Last year, inspired by the Everyone Can Create curriculum, Deinhammer developed and recently released the “Everyone Can Create in Science” book with fellow Apple Distinguished Educators. Many of those concepts are being applied to the gardening class, as Deinhammer believes creativity and flexible learning encourages students to grow. She uses iPad to design lessons and assignments for each of her students in a format — audio, visual, or written — that works best for them. Students capture their findings in a digital field guide created in Keynote, combining all of their work in a book to be shared with future gardening classes and the local community.

Unsurprisingly, students like the idea of using iPads and even iPhones when learning as well. Oh, what I’d have given to be able to do the same when I was at school!

Stayton Slaughter, a student in the gardening class and a co-leader of the school’s sustainability club, which started the garden last year, is a fan of Deinhammer’s teaching style. “When I get to create my own final product, I can make something I’m truly proud of,” he says. “When I go to the garden, I can take pictures; I can make observations with my iPad or iPhone. Learning digitally as well as physically gives me the resources and tools to make my own decisions, my own observations, and my own creations for class. It’s a more enriching learning experience.”

Be sure to check out the full Apple Newsroom piece for some great quotes and even better photos of the work these kids are doing.

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