iPad Course Among New Electives to Be Offered at WHS in 2015


by Nick Bradshaw

For the first time, Woodbridge High School will offer a course based on Apple products to its students during the 2015-2016 school year. The class, “Advancing with Apple,” will focus primarily on using Apple iPads to the fullest extent.

The R-Track elective will be taught by Ms. Cuevas, an English teacher at Woodbridge High School who is also a newly-certified Apple Foundations Trainer after traveling to Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California this past February. “I’m looking forward to teaching this course because it marries my love for technology with education,” Ms. Cuevas said.

Students enrolled in the course will not be required to have any prior knowledge of Apple products, though it is preferred as it will help students become more familiar with the functions that the device has to offer.

As the school district more towards a greater emphasis on technology, a course focusing on the use of iPads in the classroom is a logical step. Most universities require students to have a laptop their first year, and some students prefer iPads. “I want to pass the information on to the students,” Ms. Cuevas said, “Technology is becoming so prevalent in today’s society.”

The Advancing with Apple course will showcase technology skills through creative implementation of the curriculum; students will use skills learned in other classes, such as Mathematics, English, and Digital Presentation, though projects will be presented using only Apple applications such as iMovie and iWork.

There will be two sections of the course offered next year: one during the fall semester, and one in the spring. Both sections have their enrollment around twenty students, and each student will be issued an iPad for the duration of the semester, which may be customized to the students’ preference. When the course is over, the iPad will be returned like any textbook would be.

Ms. Cuevas, who used to work for Apple through college, intends to invite guest speakers from Apple into the classroom to describe their experiences working for the company. They will discuss how Apple products are used and how it is important to know how their products work.

After students have gained the necessary knowledge, Ms. Cuevas said she hopes to have her students run their own “Genius Bar” in the school, which is the Apple troubleshooting crew.

With such an emphasis on technology in the classroom, a student-run Genius Bar would be a welcome feature to the school. “I think that would be an awesome experience for the students in the class,” Ms. Cuevas said. “It would be nice to have a place where teachers and students in our school could go when they have questions about their Apple devices.”

For now, the Advancing with Apple class will be an experiment to see how students will operate in a technology-based class. It provides a 1:1 experience, something that Woodbridge High School has not yet offered, and the hope is that it will better prepare students for life after high school.