By Jess Fick
Late last year, Matthew Thompson, in Grade 7 at St Andrew’s Preparatory School in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, achieved first place in the grades 7–9 age group in the national Apple in Education Competition1 for his project: ‘Bringing a historical figure to life’.
Thompson was also declared overall winner in this category across grades R–12. Widely considered the most prestigious and exciting technology in education event in South Africa, the Apple in Education Competition rewards awesome young people who create innovative school projects using iPads, who take brilliant pictures with their various digital devices, and the teachers who guide them.
Blending skills and resources
Using green screen technology,2 various apps and animated figures created out of plasticine, and combining them together in an iMovie, Thompson brought Winston Churchill out of the war-torn pages of World War II annals and placed him in a typical English pub on the streets of London, in discussion with present-day prime minister of the UK, David Cameron, regarding the situation in Syria. Through a number of his famous quotes, Churchill offered Cameron some sage advice.
Celebrating technology in the classroom
The Apple in Education Competition, run annually by Think Ahead,3 has had over 5 000 entries from numerous schools over the last six years. Celebrating technology, youth, learning and teaching, the most recent competition had photo and project entries from grades R to 12 from 42 private schools, 22 rural schools and three township schools across nine provinces in South Africa.
Thompson’s outstanding project won him and his information and communication technology (ICT) teacher, Karen Hobson, an iPad mini. The judge for this category, Tom Daccord, director and co-founder of EdTech Teacher in the United States,4 commented that it was a project of the highest standard and one of the best animations he had ever seen.
Michelle Lissoos, managing director of Think Ahead, a Core Group education partner,5 said: “The Apple in Education Competition is an opportunity for our partner schools to showcase how Apple technology has been integrated into the classroom to redefine the way we teach and learn, to meet the demands of the 21st century. It is about rewarding creativity, collaboration and innovation. Prizes are cool, of course, but more than that, the competition is a testament to the possibilities and potential of how we should and can be teaching and learning in today’s world.”
The judges included leading local and international education and Apple in Education specialists.
Gareth Allman, principal of St Andrew’s Preparatory School, reports that the school is now into its third year of integrating iPads into grades 4–7.
“We are seeing highly engaged and dynamic learning taking place across all areas of the curriculum. It is immensely rewarding to see how excited our pupils are about their learning as we grow their desire to become lifelong learners.”
1. See: http://www.aecza.co.za/.
2. See, for example: http://www.videomaker.com/article/c10/17026-how-doesgreen- screen-work.
3. See: http://www.isasa.org/think-ahead-education-solutions/.
4. See: http://edtechteacher.org/team/tom/.
5. See: http://www.core.co.za/ipad-education/.
Category: Autumn 2016