Apple has published a host of educational resources for UK teachers to help them use its iLife 04 applications in UK schools, while the government here extends its commitment to bringing technology into the classroom.
Apple's extensive resources collection is available on Apple's Web site. It includes real-life classroom examples of how these technologies are applied. It also includes specific areas dealing with the way iLife technologies can be used in teaching literacy, numeracy, science, geography, history and art.
"Discover how with Apple’s new iLife ’04 applications, you can bring multimedia into your classroom, allow creativity to flourish and change the way you teach and your pupils learn," Apple says.
Examples hosted on the site come from real teachers who are using iLife to invigorate their teaching methods and to enhance their students’ performance.
One article discusses the impact of deploying such stimulating technologies in the classroom on one pupil, who has grown a fresh interest in learning.
Apple's site explains some of the emerging advantages of using this kind of technology in the classroom: Teachers get access to easy-to-use digital learning resources; Creativity becomes a central part of the learning experience; The importance of group collaboration grows; Pupils learn using tools and media that are part of their everyday life; Such technologies make it possible to explore ideas that were inaccessible to traditional teaching practices; Pupils can share their work with a wide audience outside the school.
Recent studies conducted by British technology in education group Becta, in conjunction with Apple, Canon, Regional Broadband Consortia and others has proved that utilizing digital video and computers as part of lesson plans that are engaging has reawakened interest in learning among some previously disinterested pupils. Trials have seen reduced truancy rates, higher levels of interest and attainment and a variety of other advantages.
Apple's site also offers teachers links to a selection of PDF resources for download, gathered by Apple Distinguished Educator David Baugh, as well as links to a selection of other valuable resources and research matter.
Teachers interested in learning more may want to check Apple's next Apple Teacher's Institute event in Cheltenham. This takes place March 30–April 4 and its theme is: "Learning in a digital world."
Macworld yesterday learned that Apple's UK education market share climbed to 8.5 per cent in the quarter ended October 2003, from 6.4 per cent in the same quarter in the previous year.
The focus on developing educational solutions that match the needs of individual students is attracting strong support. Delivering his keynote speech at BETT 2004 yesterday the UK governments education and skills secretary Charles Clarke said: "We have to make our education service increasingly personalized, increasingly address the needs of every individual learner, every individual child in what we do, and how we take it forward. And an e-confident school, as we call it, one which allows teachers in a school to be confident of using the technology to drive the standards up, is the way to do it."
Clarke also announced a £25 million of funding in the current financial year that schools can use to buy digital electronic whiteboards, and relaxed rules governing certain funds available to schools (called devolved formula capital money) so schools can choose to invest those funds in technology.