Beginning today, MacBooks will be rolling out to elementary and middle school professional educators. The MacBook provides a powerful tool for teachers working with students both in-person and remotely. Working in tandem with an iPad, teachers will be better positioned to effectively engage with their students using Microsoft Teams when working with remote learners. MacBooks also share common software and communication options across the Apple ecosystem, lessening cross-platform issues and frustrations.
Working with colleagues since the beginning of the pandemic, one common theme I hear often is concern or outright anxiety about the significant learning curve experienced in the adoption of our new learning management system, Schoology, the challenges of engaging students via video conferencing using Microsoft Teams, and adapting their content to be delivered virtually rather than in-person. The good news is that teachers have risen to the challenge. For many, the level of discomfort and anxiety has lessened. In fact, many have mentioned that they are surprised at the level of technological skill they have acquired since the beginning of the pandemic. The learning curve is still a challenge, however.
For teachers accustomed to using Windows-based computers, the Mac operating system (OS) on a MacBook would seem like another challenge. Many may discover that they are already familiar with aspects of the OS after using an iPad for instruction. In fact, many have iPhones that they use every day. Apple tends to keep experiences similar across devices, so, for example, using Apple Classroom on an iPad is almost identical to using Apple Classroom on a Mac.
Multiple teams across Wood County Schools have collaborated extensively in the planning process to help make the adoption of MacBooks as smooth as possible.
The Academic Coaches, along with the Technology Integration Specialists, have created a Schoology course to assist you with questions you may have about a MacBook. From where to find the power button to how to install Office 365 products, including Teams and Outlook, the course allows you to start from the beginning and work at your own pace, or jump around and just learn concepts based on your needs.
Innovate also provides videos and how-to information for beginners as well as advanced users.
You will find these resources linked below, but we want you to know that we are here to support you. The technology integration specialists, Jimmy Stewart, Amber Matty, as well as myself, along with Academic Coaches, Greg Merritt, Joanna Mulligan and Candace Lewis want to help you find success using your new devices.
The MacBook Essentials Course on Schoology is open and ready to use. As teachers, we know all about learning styles. Learn in ways that work best for you.