Apple – Education – Challenge Based Learning

Apple has everything students need to tackle any challenge. From generating ideas through presenting solutions, Apple technology allows students to connect deeply with content. And in Challenge Based Learning environments, Apple products are helping them become even more involved in an engaging and collaborative 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 organized 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. Like, let’s improve what we eat. OS X Lion 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 analyze 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 organizations. And with iPad, they can find what they need anytime, anywhere.

6. Solutions, Implementation, and Reflections

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, view the pilot study video, or watch a webcast.

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