There are a few things Apple does that represent the very best in technology companies. Swift Playgrounds is one example. The Apple Teacher program is another.

We designed the Apple Teacher program to help you build skills and stay inspired. You'll discover new ways to enhance creativity and productivity by unlocking the magic of iPad, Mac, and built-in apps. You'll get news and fresh ideas, featuring real stories, product tips, and great educational apps. And after completing online quizzes, you'll receive an official Apple Teacher logo that you can share with the world.

So far, the reception seems good. From the Barrington 220 School District:

Joe Robinson, our Director of Instructional Technology, and I have completed the Apple Teacher program and both of us highly recommend it! We believe that this program is an excellent starting point for any teacher—and it reaffirms the skills of teachers with more technology integration experience with recognition. At the same time, the process for earning badges is set up to suggest classroom activities for even advanced Apple technology users. Teachers can choose to pursue either iPad or Mac training paths—or complete them both.

Support is also being offered from professional learning organizations, like EdTechTeam:

Building upon the Apple Teacher Starter Guides, these professional learning experiences introduce key features and skills on iPad and Mac, such as using Magic Move in Keynote to visualize change over time, Instant Alpha in Pages to create beautiful visuals that focus on the subject of a student report, and workflows for getting organized or telling compelling stories using multiple apps. Participants also explore the new real-time collaboration features in iWork, allowing them to collaboratively edit documents with colleagues and students.

Yes, sure, all these things also help enmesh educators in Apple's ecosystem, which is good for Apple. But self service is always best when coupled with public service.

If you know a teacher who's into Apple technology, send them to the Teacher program. If you're already involved with the Apple Teacher program, let me know what you think!