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Apple is extending its professional learning program, Apple Learning Coach, to an additional twelve countries later this year. The free program was launched in 2022 and provides self-paced lessons and virtual workshops with Apple Professional Learning Specialists. It offers training for instructional coaches, digital learning specialists, and other coaching educators.
Apple has highlighted the program and shared how it has transformed the Downey Unified School District in Southern California. The district’s educators have used insights and expertise acquired from the Apple Learning Coach program to revolutionize how teachers and students approach their studies.
Students in the district are utilizing Apple technology to produce podcasts using GarageBand, animations with Keynote, films with Clips, and other projects. The district’s elementary schools and middle schools provide every student with an iPad. The program has been credited with transforming schools in the district.
One coach, Marnie Luevano, an instructional technology coach at Downey Unified, helps the district’s elementary school teachers reimagine how they use Apple technology in their classrooms. “We work with teachers to identify new ways their students can demonstrate what they’ve learned beyond the use of a worksheet or simply writing an essay,” says Luevano. “And then the kids are taking off with it — they’re so excited.”
The Apple Learning Coach program gives coaches a coaching portfolio that they can use to implement what they have learned right away. Over 1,900 educators have already finished the Apple Learning Coach program in the US, and the next cohort is open for applications until May 30.
The Downey Unified School District has adopted the coherence model that ensures equal access to technology, education, tools, and services across all its schools, including an Innovation Lab in each school featuring coding, robotics, and green screen film projects. It also has a Student Tech Squad that offers leadership opportunities to older students to mentor younger students and organize district-wide creativity and innovation competitions.
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Jennifer Robbins, director of elementary education in Downey for 27 years and also an Apple Learning Coach, spoke about the changes she has seen as students’ access to technology increases. “Apple Learning Coach gave us the tools to be able to meet educators where they are, no matter the level of their technical knowledge,” Robbins said. “So we want to give voice and choice to our kids, but we want the same for our teachers.”
The Apple Learning Coach program is set to expand to 12 more countries by the end of the year. With the program’s success in the Downey Unified School District, it is clear that Apple’s commitment to education is making a significant impact.