Apple highlights An Australian school using iPads to overcome barriers

Australian School child using an iPad
Australian School child using an iPad (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has highlighted an Australian school that is using iPads to help teach kids.
  • Language problems and more are being overcome thanks to the school's iPad program.

Apple today highlighted the work an Australian school is doing with iPads as its students deal with the world today, not least the pandemic.

Apple says that the school's students represent "50 different cultures, of which 73 percent are from non-English-speaking backgrounds and three-quarters speak English as a second language." That leads to its own challenges, but iPad is helping where it can.

"All of our students have the right and the capacity to learn, no matter what challenges they may be facing," says Michelle McKinnon, principal of St Therese Catholic Primary School in Sadleir Miller. "iPad doesn't just allow our students to think outside of the box — they can redesign the box on their own terms. It gives our students the freedom to explore and express their ideas in the way that makes the best sense to them. That could be in writing, as an audio report, via a video presentation, or even an animation that they create themselves."

The lengthy Newsroom post (opens in new tab) goes on to talk about the COVID-19 pandemic and how the school's use of iPads allowed it to pivot in a way others might not have found so easy. Part of the process that got the school to where it is today involved giving iPads to all students and staff as well as installing an Apple TV in every classroom. That all happened in 2016.

"Four years on, we're seeing the success of our efforts: Our students and staff want to be here," says McKinnon. "Every educator at St Therese is an agent for equity. Ensuring our students have access to learning is our top priority. All of our students have a voice in creating and sharing their learning, and iPad is an essential tool that supports that."

The report doesn't go into which iPads are being used, but it's likely to be the inexpensive 2020 iPad. You can read all about how the school is using its tablets in the Newsroom post (opens in new tab) now.

Schools and parents looking to try and replicate this school's success could do worse than check out our list of the best iPads for students, too.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.