Apple features iPad project led by Las Vegas teacher Mike Lang

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 18
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Apple has highlighted a Las Vegas technology teacher who uses the iPad to teach students how to craft their own stories.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Apple on Monday published a feature story of the project, which was headed up by elementary school teacher Mike Lang. Lang works as a technology educator in the Clark County School District's Laura Dearing Elementary School.

The project involves students taking and editing images of themselves, their family and their community. From there, they craft "their stories about why they matter" using a coding app. The first part is designed to "show kids that they are valuable," and uses Christian Robinson book "You Matter" as a starting point.

Each student will then research Dr King's life and legacy using Brad Meltzer's "I Am Martin Luther King Jr.," and compare and contrast themselves to him with a double exposure portrait. In the final part of the project, Lang asks each student how they can be of service to each other and their neighbors.

During each part of the project, Apple says students use interactive workbooks in Keynote. Lang will then compile students' thoughts into a collated book, which they will be able to share with community organizers and lawmakers in Las Vegas later in 2021.

"My hope for all my students is that they see and consider themselves as citizens of the world who are responsible for helping others be successful," Lang says.

The project seeks to both honor Dr. King's legacy and "instill a sense of civic duty" in both kindergarten and first grade students in the Clark County School District.

Students will use Apple's iPad and various iPadOS apps during the project. Credit: Apple
Students will use Apple's iPad and various iPadOS apps during the project. Credit: Apple


"That's the ultimate goal: We want people who are going to be informed, passionate, patriotic in the true sense of that word, and who are going to be empathetic," Lang said.

Each part of the project uses apps and programs available on iPadOS, including the PBS KIDS ScratchJr coding app and Apple's own Keynote.

Lang has been teaching in the Clark County School District for 14 years and has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator. Before arriving in Las Vegas, he first explored how technology can be used as a learning tool when teaching English to students in Taiwan.

"I saw how technology could transform and transfer information to students far more efficiently than me trying to explain it," Lang said. "I became a digital learning coach after that and started to spread the gospel of having kids make things with devices. I've been blessed to grow with the evolution of digital in classrooms."

Alongside the feature on Lang, Apple also highlighted the launch of the second challenge in its own "Taking Action on Racial Equity and Justice" series. The second challenge, "Make a Positive Impact in Your Community," is designed to help educators, community leaders, and individuals have "thoughtful conversations on issues related to race and inequality."

On Jan. 13, Apple announced an expansion of its $100 million racial equality and justice initiatives, including a new innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,260member
    This is an area where Apple can help change the world.

    Kids love technology and feel comfortable with it and are learning how to use it productively to advance themselves and the world is the future.

    Unfortunately, too many 'technology teachers' are locked into old ways of thinking about technology and its uses.  That's not all bad -- people still need to know how to format a letter in Word or a spreadsheet in Excel.   But, for kids these days, that's the equivalent of memorizing the alphabet or the multiplication tables.

    My own experience this week with my 8th grade grandson:
    His technology teacher assigned him to create a tutorial video.  After he decided what he wanted to teach in the video I worked out how to film it and edit it using Apple's Clips.   When I showed him what I intended he dismissed it immediately and showed me a far more powerful tool!  Nobody taught him or showed him how to do it -- he found it and figured out how to use it all on his own.   (And, I'm feeling like the old timer who can't figure out how to use the VCR!).
  • Reply 2 of 4
    fred1fred1 Posts: 828member
    I’m with you, GeorgeBMac. Technology can be used for so much, like telling stories, finding out others’ stories, encouraging our creative side, etc., etc. It can be used as so much more than just a tool. 
    Of course some low-tech skills are still needed, like being able to draw by hand, sing without adjustments, create with “real” materials. We need a balance. 
    So it’s wonderful to read about people like this teacher who “get it”.
    GeorgeBMacdewme
  • Reply 3 of 4
    Isn’t Apple contributing $100 million to HBCU’s distinctly the opposite of the stated wish of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Singling out people strictly because of their skin color is racist and feeds into troublesome longstanding collectivist narratives which extols group identity over individual achievement.
    edited January 18
  • Reply 4 of 4
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,260member
    Isn’t Apple contributing $100 million to HBCU’s distinctly the opposite of the stated wish of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Singling out people strictly because of their skin color is racist and feeds into troublesome longstanding collectivist narratives which extols group identity over individual achievement.

    No, no it isn't.   Not at all.
    Between 1892 and 1903 almost 3,000 black people were lynched in this country.  And the discrimination that fueled that is still rampant today -- just look at the "very fine" NeoNazis who have rampaged through America these last 4 years -- or the multitude of black men the police have gunned down for no reason -- or the right wingers who claim that helping this oppressed race is itself racism.

    Actually, what you are proposing was the goal of Macolm X -- separate but equal through 'Black Power' -- but we now know that there is no equality with segregation.  But then Malcolm X believed there could never be integration in America -- that blacks and whites could never live together peacefully.   And, I suspect, George Floyd may agree with him.

    Racism is slowly dying in America.  But there are those who try to keep the Tiki-Torches lit.
     
    edited January 19
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