Snow Horse named Apple Distinguished SchoolOct 04, 2021 10:05AM ● By Becky Ginos
Members of the Junior Tech Squad help in the second grade classroom. The fifth and sixth graders work one on one with students in the school. Courtesy photo
KAYSVILLE—Kids today are receiving a high tech education with iPads, learning apps and even coding instruction. To accomplish all of that, teachers need to be as savvy as their students.
Teachers at Snow Horse Elementary have been working for the last two years to incorporate Apple learning in teaching to become an Apple Distinguished School, one of two in the Davis School District and only three in the state. Sunburst Elementary in Layton also received the recognition.
“All of the teachers earned all of the Apple badges,” said Katie Scholer, STS/instructional Tech Coach. “To receive the badges they have to take a course and test on six different apps and the iPad in and of itself. Then last spring when we had met the requirement we were invited to apply.”
The application was a two page document, she said. “It linked to several videos that showed what we do at or school to elevate and enhance the learning experience.”
One example in the video showed how children were learning about volume. “Students created a video on how they found the volume of an object,” Scholar said. “They could use Keynote, iMovie or a camera. They could choose any medium they wanted.”
It personalized the education, she said. “By creating the video they heard the teaching on that subject over and over so it became ingrained in their own mind with that learning.”
Students have also been able to connect with kids in Guatemala, said Scholar. “We had a list of questions and the kids could talk back and forth and ask the questions. The class we connected with was learning English so it was really neat.”
Scholar said a Junior Tech Squad made up of fifth and sixth graders goes throughout the school to help with other classes. “A second grade class gets an introduction to Keynote and then the sixth grade students go into the classroom and work one on one with them.”
Teachers are also able to receive professional development through the program. “Apple comes in a couple of times a year to do training,” said Scholar. “I’ve become a certified Apple learning coach. I completed a six week session over the summer. It was 43 hours of independent work, creating a portfolio and turning it in. There were candidates from across the country.”
Last year, Scholar was the school tech specialist but now she is also the instructional tech coach. “I help with lesson plans to set goals on what we want to accomplish and how we’ll do that,” she said. “The teachers are amazing. They turn around and incorporate that into their class the next day. It’s amazing to watch them work.”
During COVID devices were available for children who didn’t have one, said Scholar. “Now kids who are missing school due to COVID they can receive that digital instruction. The teachers are working very hard to make that happen.”
Scholar is proud that Snow Horse received the recognition. “The teachers have done a lot of work,” she said. “They’re incredible. They’re definitely the stars in this.”