Apple has everything students need to tackle any challenge. From generating ideas through presenting solutions, Apple technology allows students to connect deeply with their subject matter. And in Challenge Based Learning environments, Apple products are helping them become even more involved in an engaging and collaborative step-by-step process.
1. The Big Idea
Every challenge starts with the selection of a big idea — a broad topic that has importance to students and their community. Topics like democracy, the environment or sustainability. Using Safari on a Mac, students can browse the web to quickly define and better understand their big idea. Let’s use food as an example.
2. Essential Questions
Students explore their big idea by asking questions that reflect their individual interests and community’s needs. How does food impact our health? How do our diets impact the environment? What are the benefits of organic farming? A simple way for students to keep their questions organised is with Pages. This streamlined word processor and page layout tool is included in iWork — a powerful suite of applications for creating amazing documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
3. The Challenge
From the essential questions a challenge is developed to guide students toward a real-world solution. For example, let’s improve what we eat. Snow Leopard Server can help students collaborate and communicate throughout the challenge by ensuring safe and secure access to email, chat, calendars, wikis, blogs and more. Documenting the process is also key. With iPod touch or iPhone 4, students can record audio and shoot HD video of themselves in action and on the go.
4. Guiding Questions and Activities
To meet their challenge, students need to ask guiding questions. What exactly do we eat? What nutrients do we need? What foods can we grow locally? To find answers, teachers work with students to identify guiding activities they can do at school and in their community. Students can interview people about their diets via FaceTime* and analyse nutritional data in Numbers — the easy-to-use application for creating spreadsheets included in iWork.
5. Guiding Resources
Students take advantage of websites, podcasts, apps, audiobooks and other resources to help answer guiding questions and develop solutions. iTunes U provides instant access to some of the world’s best thinking for free — including lectures, videos and articles from hundreds of distinguished universities, libraries, museums and news organisations. And with iPad, they can find what they need anytime, anywhere.
6. Solutions and Presentations
With their research complete, students choose one solution to develop. In this example, creating a school garden. To showcase their thinking, they can build engaging slideshows in Keynote — the presentation application in iWork. Once the solution is approved, students implement it in the real world. The challenge is now complete and can be shared via a video made in iMovie or a website built in iWeb — apps included in iLife, the creativity suite that comes with every Mac. At the end of each challenge, students reflect on the entire process to help deepen their learning and enrich future projects.
To find out more about Challenge Based Learning and integrating technology into the classroom, download the white paper and reports, visit related websites or watch the pilot study video.