Darlington School: Learning from the Pros at Apple's Headquarters 
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Learning from the Pros at Apple’s Headquarters

Rebekah Kinney | October 19, 2015 | 319 views

With the famous 1 Infinite Loop sign at the Apple Campus in Cupertino, Ca.

Last spring, our Apple representative suggested that I apply to attend the Apple Foundations Trainer (AFT) Academy because of Darlington's successful implementation of a 1:1 program that utilizes iPads and MacBooks.

Applicants were to hold positions that include responsibility for delivering technology-based professional development within their organizations, and to be able to demonstrate the required level of competency with Apple apps (i.e. Pages, Keynote, Numbers, GarageBand, iMovie, and iPhoto) based on a skills assessment.

I was thrilled to be selected with 23 other educators from across the country to attend the program at the Apple Campus in Cupertino, Ca. on Oct. 5-12.

The focus of the program was on enhancing the readiness of individuals for their roles in leading professional learning for Apple OS X and related creativity apps at their respective schools. I learned how to teach the iWorks and iLife applications efficiently, but I also acquired so much knowledge about how to teach effectively, and the learning process in general.

The Apple Belief Statement:
“Learning occurs through an ongoing process of taking risks, connecting prior knowledge, leveraging personal inquiries, and addressing the unique needs of the learner.”

I think everyone needs to focus on this statement closely when trying to teach or learn any new skill. The lessons I learned regarding instilling in others an ongoing passion for learning are invaluable.

Having the opportunity to learn in the group of 24 professional educators in the technology field was amazing. We gained so much knowledge from one another and our experiences as technology integration specialists, coordinators, and directors.  

The instructors were extremely devoted to making AFT a meaningful experience. Classes were rigorous and took place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Each night, we reflected on what we learned through creating videos or journaling.

I was also given the opportunity to create an iMovie, Keynote presentation, Pages document, an iTunes U course, and an iBook, all focused on Darlington’s 1:1 technology program. Having that time to reflect and create provided me with an opportunity to share the successes and lessons learned from assisting with the development of our school's technology initiatives.

Visiting the Apple Campus was a “dream come true” for me. I purchased an exclusive and rare Apple shirt, and I took a picture by the famous 1 Infinite Loop sign!

I was provided with several guides to assist with instructing others on how to create using the iWork and iLife applications, how to develop courses using iTunes U, and how to become a published writer using iBooks Author. I will also be able to train individuals in Apple's Vanguard Certification Program!

I would like to thank Darlington School and I.T. Director Stefan Eady for providing me with the opportunity to attend the Apple Foundations Trainer Academy. This truly was a life-changing experience for me as an educator, and I am looking forward to sharing the knowledge I acquired with fellow Darlington faculty members.