Johannesburg, 07 Dec 2023
The concept of global education is becoming more and more important to South African schools as they move to meet the demand to prepare students for a globalised, digitally enabled future.
For schools to offer world-class education, they need to become innovative and offer an advanced, enabling ecosystem for teachers and students.
This is according to Michelle Lissoos, education technology expert at Apple Authorised Education Specialist, iStore Education, who says the education space has changed dramatically in recent years. “This space has become very competitive. Schools compete to retain good teachers and attract and retain families – even across borders. Where they once competed with schools in the same country, they are now competing globally. Skillsets need to be globally and locally relevant. Now more than ever we know that work and life will be played on a global stage.“
Lissoos adds: “There is more competition in terms of the type of students emerging from schools. Now, it’s not just about their results in standardised testing, but about what defines them, their soft skills, their ability to become global digital citizens.”
Helping schools embrace change
Lissoos cites George Couros, a worldwide leader in the area of innovative teaching, learning and leading, who said: “You can wait for change to happen to you or you can make it happen yourself.”
Lissoos says in line with ISTE Standards, which are a useful framework that guides educators, leaders and coaches in using technology to create high-impact, sustainable, scalable and equitable learning experiences, iStore Education believes teaching and learning have to evolve into truly transformative experiences that spark children’s imagination and prepare them to thrive in learning and life.
To enable this, iStore Education is working with its partner schools to harness the capabilities of Apple devices and the Apple education ecosystem to reinvent teaching and learning.
Mike Notley, Education Programme Manager at iStore Education, says iPads and Mac are proving their value in leading schools, thanks to their superior build and performance, impressive battery life, longevity and trade-in value. Apple devices have an extended lifespan and can be traded in when it’s time to upgrade, with a residual value of around 20% for an iPad and 25% for a MacBook Air after four years, he notes. Apple devices also offer better security, data privacy and operational efficiency, with fewer IT helpdesk requests.
A Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact (TEI) study on Apple in US K-12 schools found a 48% ROI, 35% reduction in device maintenance and management labour, and improved teacher productivity. Student enrolment improved by 2%, and schools said using Apple devices improved student creativity, engagement, collaboration and learning outcomes.
“The benefits of the Apple education environment extend far beyond the Apple devices,” says Notley.
Accessibility and inclusion are key priorities in education, and Mac and iPad address these with a range of features to support vision, mobility, hearing, speech and cognitive needs.
iStore Education brings Apple’s relevant programmes to partner schools. Examples include – Everyone Can Create and Everyone Can Code. The Create curriculum helps educators to bring creativity into any lesson and fosters creative expression in learners, who can explore digital art, photography, design, music and video creation. The Everyone Can Code and Develop in Swift curricula include lessons on iPad and Mac, teacher guides and apps to make teaching and learning coding easy. Another programme iStore Education brings to schools is Apple Teacher, a global certification for teachers – motivating and rewarding educators who embrace the school’s vision of change.
“When a school or parent buys the device from iStore Education, all the support and education comes with the device,” Notley continues.
Leading schools such as Archers College in Johannesburg – an Apple Distinguished School – use 1:1 iPads and iStore Education resources to make learning an exciting, experimental and practical experience for students. At another Apple Distinguished School, the inclusive Sun Valley Primary School in the Western Cape, a 1:1 iPad programme for grades 4 – 7, supports the school’s vision of creating learning that is fun, exciting and relevant to the children, with the iPad accessibility function supporting this vision.
“iStore Education partners with schools, ensuring their infrastructure is correct, the devices are managed properly and teachers are trained and inspired. We help teachers to think out of the box, to transform the teaching and learning experience,” says Notley.
Lissoos notes: “As an iStore Education partner school, you are not alone in this journey. You have the full support of iStores and iStore Education. You get technical support, ongoing leadership training and teacher development in the form of events in stores, at schools and virtually. These events focus on topics like how to be a coding teacher, using iPads for digital art, safety online, the impact of ChatGPT and using storytelling in teaching to keep your school at the cutting edge of digital trends.”
iStore Education is an Apple Authorised Education Specialist. Through the application of Apple technology,
iStore Education’s team of education specialists create innovative solutions that support teaching and learning,
working with hundreds of schools, higher education institutions and parents across South Africa.