APPLE IN EDUCATION
Because the Mac is so user friendly to use, even students new to computers are able to create projects that demonstrate their learning. And because using the iLife and iWork suites is so intuitive — with skills transferring easily across applications — students are able to frame their results in polished Keynote, Pages, and iWeb presentations that integrate text, video, and sound; in sophisticated movies edited in iMovie and Final Cut Pro; and in engaging podcasts and soundtracks created using GarageBand. The emphasis on making high-quality presentations encourages students to create projects that reflect the best work they see in the world. And their successes create even higher levels of engagement with the material.
In 2005, RE2 International Computer School decided to create and develop new educational initiatives. For CEO Miss Catherine Teh, it was a chance to pitch her own vision for a new kind of school experience. Her idea was to combine project-based learning with modern tools like the Mac to help students develop the high-level thinking and skills they would need in today’s world.
When her proposal was accepted, the school features a curriculum in which students learn by creating research projects that try to answer fundamental questions raised in classroom sessions. Learning is measured not just in test results but in how effectively students develop their arguments and present their research.
Because of the central importance of the Mac in supporting the school’s curriculum, funding for Mac computers for every administrator, teacher, and student at the RE2 International Computer School is written into the school’s operating budget.
Although most new teachers arrive at the school already familiar with its learning approach, they participate in a weeklong boot camp that covers curriculum and technology.
During the school year, faculty members meet for two hours of professional development each week to examine their own practices and share insights from the classroom. Staff development continues on the school’s website, where teachers discuss tools and resources in forums and blogs and post unit plans that are shared across disciplines.
In the nine years since the implementation, RE2 International Computer School has received nationwide recognition for its innovative educational approach, which has translated into student achievement.
We chose the Mac platform because it is such a powerful content creation device.”
— Kevin Cheong, Principal, the RE2 International Computer School