Apple technology helped educators and learners stay connected amid COVID-19 pandemic
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world, the masses have turned to technology with educators and learners taking up remote learning using Apple technology. It has connected millions of people and helped them continue with their work and education.
Educators in the United States, from launching an online high school musical to exploring history with iMovie and GarageBand, to producing a virtual graduation ceremony, have created innovative ways of teaching. And this will definitely be carried forward for future generations of learners.
Castlemilk High School, located in one of Glasglow’s (in Scotland) most economically deprived areas, as per Apple, was part of the city’s push in 2019 to get an iPad into the hands of every student. Five year ago, 20% of Castlemilk graduates went on to higher education. This year, in the midst of a pandemic, that figure has jumped to 50%.
Lynn Gibson, the Head Teacher, said the students each having an iPad isn’t the only reason that’s happened, but without iPad, none of it could have happened. “During the lockdowns, I was worried, how do we keep them safe and make sure they are okay? And iPad was the tool that enabled us to keep that contact going and support them as they planned for the future.”
Scott Anderson, in Glasgow, Scotland, reimagined how to teach history remotely. He started by teaching himself iMovie and GarageBand, and then used them to create self-narrated virtual lessons featuring archival photos, sound effects and video clips that his students could access digitally at any time.
“I think during the lockdown period, remote teaching became slightly repetitive, so I think it’s a good to vary the teaching style,” Anderson told Apple. “iPad and its built-in creativity apps made it so easy for me to do that quickly and virtually. And to be honest, I would certainly say the pupils are outshining me in the technology department now.”
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New Rochelle High School in New York debuted its production of the musical “Is There Life After High School?” on April 30, 2021. Instead of playing to a packed house in the school auditorium, it was streamed online. Anthony Stirpe, drama and film teacher, decided to make sure that the show went on in 2021 after 2020’s musical was cancelled due to the pandemic. Stirpe reimagined every aspect of the production, using iPhone, iPad and Mac to shoot and edit the vignettes and songs remotely, and, when in person, socially distanced.
“The musical is based around the idea of adults looking back to high school and remembering the kid inside all of us,” he shared. “A lot of the material is about loss or regret, or overcoming something, and I wanted the students to see that, yes, this is a difficult moment, but we all deal with difficult moments in our own special way. And one day, you’ll tell this story like you’re telling these people’s stories.”
Preparation for the musical got underway in late 2020, when students submitted auditions shot on iPhone and iPad to Stirpe. Rehearsals started in the New Year, and cast members uploaded their video monologues so that Stirpe could give feedback. After all of the scenes were shot, he edited the musical with iMovie and Final Cut Pro on a MacBook Pro.
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