In an effort to motivate all Fox Hill students to learn more about their iPads, become more savvy when using their 1:1 device, and increase their confidence when using technology, Mr. Murphy and I are excited to officially introduce the Fox Hill Apple Genius Certification Program. The goal of this program is to empower students to independently or collaboratively research how to perform 15 different tasks on their iPads. Once they’re ready to prove they are in fact an Apple Genius, students will visit the Learning Commons and perform all 15 tasks for me or Mr. Murphy. Students will then earn an Apple Genius certificate featuring their name and picture. Certificates will also be signed by me, Mr. Murphy, and Mrs. Johnson and will be displayed outside the Learning Commons.
Ultimately, we hope all Fox Hill students (and all elementary students in Burlington) become Apple Genius certified, and we look forward to developing app-specific certifications for Google Drive, Docs, and Slides, Book Creator, and iMovie. Several fourth grade Help Desk students assisted in the development of this certification program and below is an informative public service announcement they produced explaining the specific tasks students will need to perform in order to earn their certificates.
How Do I Become an Apple Genius?
As stated in the video, the tasks students must perform to become an Apple Genius include:
Turning on air drop and changing it from receiving off to everyone
Splitting the on-screen keyboard
Finding the name of the iPad
Finding the iPad’s serial number
Updating the iOS software
Turning off autocorrect
Disabling and enabling key flicks
Changing the iPad’s language
Docking and merging the on-screen keyboard
Changing the iPad’s wallpaper
Changing Siri’s language
Determining how much battery life is being used by each app
Knowing their school gmail address and Google Drive password
Turning off magnifier
Knowing how to perform the tasks mentioned will benefit students, classroom teachers, and the IT department. For example, if students are working on a group iMovie project, they can use air drop to wirelessly share video clips to one iPad. They can save their teachers time by being able to independently update their iPad’s software, and they can assist the IT department with knowing the name and serial number of their iPad in the event it is lost or damaged. Similar to knowing how to properly use a pair of scissors for cutting, pencils and markers for drawing, or glue for art projects, students should be well-versed in how to use their district-issued iPads.
Real-World Curiosity and Creativity
By design, the Apple Genius program sparks curiosity and empowers students to take ownership of their learning. Earning a certificate and the distinction of the title “Apple Genius” also provides an incentive to learn independently. Furthermore, the real-world, hands-on nature of this learning experience gives naturally inquisitive elementary students the opportunity to explore and tinker with the settings gear of their iPad. In doing so, curiosity isn’t an abstract concept. Curiosity, having a strong desire to know or learn something, becomes more concrete when students are given the freedom to learn independently or alongside their peers. Because students use their iPad daily and rely on it heavily for their learning, this experience is also relevant and meaningful for students.
So let’s just imagine if students pursue their Apple Genius certifications, might they become curious to know even more than the 15 tasks we’ve identified? Might they start wondering more about hardware, software, computer programming, and technology in general? Perhaps students will realize that by using technology and the Internet in particular they can not only learn how to perform tasks on their iPads, they can learn about any topic they could possibly imagine. In other words, the Apple Genius program could lay the foundation for continuous curiosity and in turn, a passion for lifelong learning. Isn’t that our ultimate goal? To inspire a love of learning in each and every student?
This program is much more than a fun learning activity that empowers students. In fact, when students earn their Apple Genius certifications, they will have met a variety of Massachusetts state and ISTE curriculum standards. The specific Massachusetts Digital Literacy and Computer Science Frameworks this program meets includes:
K-2.CS.a Computing Devices
K-2.CS.a.1 Identify different kinds of computing devices in the classroom and other places (e.g., laptops, tablets, smart phones, desktops).
K-2.CS.a.2 Identify visible components of computing devices (e.g., keyboard, screen, monitor, printer, pointing device).
K-2.CS.a.3 Explain that computing devices function when applications, programs, or commands
K-2.CS.a.4 Operate a variety of computing systems (e.g., turn on, use input/output devices such as a mouse, keyboard, or touch screen; find, navigate, launch a program).
3-5.CS.a Computing Devices
3-5.CS.a.1 Identify a broad range of computing devices (e.g., computers, smart phones, tablets, robots, e-textiles) and appropriate uses for them.
3-5.CS.a.2 Describe the function and purpose of various input and output devices (e.g., monitor, keyboard, speakers, controller, probes, sensors, Bluetooth transmitters, synthesizers).
3-5.CS.a.3 Demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency (connect and record data, print, send command, connect to Internet, search) in using a range of computing devices (e.g., probes, sensors, printers, robots, computers).
3-5.CS.a.4 Identify and solve simple hardware and software problems that may occur
The ISTE Standards for students the program meets includes:
Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfertheir knowledge to explore emerging technologies.
Ready to Become a Genius?
Click here to get a printable copy of the Apple Genius Certification requirements. Show your students the video to get them excited about the program, and encourage your students to become Apple Genius’s today!