Presbyterian Day School (PDS) in Memphis, Tennessee, is an all boys’ elementary independent school with 630 students in grades PreK - 6th grade. In November of 2014, PDS was selected as an Apple Distinguished School for 2014 - 2016 for its innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. This book tells the story of their journey beginning in 2001 with the 6th grade iBook laptop take-home program through 2014 where each student in kindergarten through 6th grade has his own MacBook and access to 8 iPad carts and 3 iPod carts. Students in grades 4 to 6 take their MacBook home.
At this school, Apple technology focuses on the academic program that develops critical and creative thinking skills to help students analyze, connect, research, and synthesize their ideas.
Presbyterian Day School strives to design learning environments that adapt or adjust the curriculum on a daily basis to meet the needs of each learner. Instructors use a systemized approach to teach and assess for deep understanding. Students are given a choice of how to demonstrate their understanding from a variety of OS X applications, including Keynote, iMovie, Comic Life, and GarageBand.
The program also includes one-to-one professional development for teachers using technology coaches. The coaches provide training when teachers are actually working in settings where they apply technology to teaching.
The teachers’ willingness to continue to learn and the internal technical support staff allow the school to implement technology in such a way that it enhances the curriculum thereby helping to create classrooms that are models of excellence.