Apple Initiative puts trainer in local classrooms

Published 12:35 am Thursday, January 25, 2018


Students and teachers in the Andalusia City Schools system are learning ways to use technology in the teaching and learning experience this week.

As part of the school system’s Apple Initiative, in which is has leased computers from the tech giant, an education specialist spends four weeks each year exploring applications that aid in the education process.

Tammy Wiggins helps Emma Wunsch and Brayden Parrish.

“We started the Apple Initiative to make sure that all teachers and students know how to handle the equipment we are giving them,” Patty Taylor, curriculum coordinator of Andalusia City Schools said, “It is really going to engage the students and teach them by a more hands on way of learning.”

Although the system is already using an array of Apple products, this week the board voted to lease 426 iPads for the elementary school. The iPads and computers currently in use there will be moved to the junior high and high schools.

Each classroom will have approximately 10 iPads, each equipped with different apps to teach different subjects.

Students say they enjoy working with the technology.

“Today we worked on vocabulary words, but you can use the apps for whatever subject you want,” 2nd grader Destini Hourel said.

“You can even take AR tests on the iPads!” Zoey Jones said. AR is shorthand for accelerated reader, a program which encourages reading by testing reading comprehension and rewarding readers for the points they earn.

Cade Taylor of Mrs. King’s 2nd grade class said that he loves using the iPads, but he enjoys reading books more.

Students were also able to take videos and put them on a project for vocabulary words that they had been learning.

“I like making a video to learn because I get to make it funny if I want to,” 2nd grader Alyssa Garland said.

The assignment included creating a video of students using their vocabulary words correctly in sentences.

Wednesday, the Apple expert was in Mrs. Tammy Wiggins’ classroom.

“It really is a different way of learning that I am excited to teach,” Wiggins said. “It keeps their attention span going longer than books do.”

For those who are concerned that students will goof off when given access to technology, Wiggins has an answer. She said that she is actually able to control the kids’ iPads from her own so they will not be able to stray from their work.

“The Apple Initiative goes across the entire curriculum, so now the junior high and high school will have even more equipment,” Taylor said. “It is going to be great to have students learn how to collaborate and look at things in a different way with the help of these tools that are being brought to us.”

Taylor said that the community has been a big support for the school system and she could not thank them enough.