OLCHS is pleased to announce that it has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2017–2019. During the spring of 2014, Oak Lawn Community High School launched an iPad pilot program that consisted of three carts of 30 iPads shared between 18 teachers. During the 2014-15 school year, 25 teachers chose to use the iPad in one or more of their classes, which resulted in 600 student-issued iPads used throughout the day. During the 2015-16 school year, all students were issued an iPad. Initial and continuous professional development provided teachers with the skills and tools needed to integrate 1:1 technology into the curriculum. Support was also provided to ensure that technology was used to its maximum potential in the class room.
The selection of Oak Lawn Community High School as an Apple Distinguished School highlights its success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment. Technology has provided students with endless opportunities for personalized learning, and they've fully embraced all that it provides. For example, art students apply Japanese painting techniques while using an iPad to virtually visit a garden in Japan. Students in a Mobile Apps class learn professional software design using Swift, with the course conducted in a renovated classroom space that's modeled after a Silicon Valley startup. In culinary classes, students record themselves performing various tasks and then view the videos along with teachers and classmates. In the Art Gallery, students using augmented reality create auras linking to iMovie projects illustrating their artistic process and personal meaning. Rather than passively viewing imagery, observers can connect with student artists. Collaborative features available with iPad apps and tools allow for greater student voice, choice, and interaction. For example, for a labor strikes project in U.S. History, students create digital newspapers, iMovie projects, and newscasts staged in that time era using a green screen.
Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment and have documented results of academic accomplishment. Dr. Jeana Lietz, Principal, said, “This distinction from Apple just validates the outstanding work of our teachers and students. Since the adoption of the iPad program, the teaching and learning at OLCHS has been redefined and transformed and has reached higher levels. I am excited to see what our students and teachers will produce next.” For more information about Apple Distinguished Schools, or to download our electronic book, visit https://www.apple.com/education/apple-distinguished-schools/.