Mobile Learning at AIS with Macintosh
Antwerp International School (AIS) believes in moving with the times, and when it comes to learning, mobility is vital for its students.
In January 2011, AIS changed its approach to Information Technology, recognizing that mobility and personalization are the two most exciting game changers in digital devices today. The school also knew that they had a duty to put the best tools for 21st Century learning into the hands of its students.
A Dynamic Partnership for a Dynamic School
AIS began looking around for the company doing the most dynamic work with education and that had the most personal and mobile devices. There was really only one choice and that was Apple. With their integrated software and beautifully designed devices, they were the perfect fit. The school asked its students which company they preferred and they chose Macintosh too. In fact, there were more owners of Macintosh laptops among students in the high school than any other platform!
Information Technology is now such a normal part of a student’s life and access to the Internet so ubiquitous with WiFi and 3G smart phones that it seemed an obvious next step to bring IT right into the classroom. The school has always encouraged students to bring their own laptops into class as a prelude to its rolling out a whole school one-to-one laptop program in January 2012, using Macbook Pros. AIS will also be conducting a trial with iPads in the Elementary School.
The 21st Century Student
21st Century students should now be able to learn anytime, anywhere. They should also be able to collaborate with each other – not only in their own classroom, but also with students in a different city or even country.
Recently, AIS worked on a project with an international school in Vienna and two schools in Beijing. It is imperative that students can ‘think digitally’ and know how to establish authenticity, critically evaluate and synthesize information. They must also be digitally responsible and aware of how to live safely and happily in an online world.
Macs are also a good preparation for university and there are endless amounts of online resources on the iTunesU, where leading universities and k-12 schools post course notes and lessons that can be viewed and downloaded for free. Macs are also terrific for creativity and students have been quick to exploit the iLife Suite to make wonderful multimedia with movies, still images and sound.
The big computer labs are being phased out and parents, students and staff are excited about the advantages and possibilities of mobile learning. It is wonderful to see students sitting in the sunshine outside the classroom working on assignments.
At AIS, students are 21st Century Learners and it’s all happening with Macintosh.