Whilst waiting to have her iPhone repaired at the Highpoint Apple Store, Melbourne, the Apple ‘Genius’ staff recognised my colleague’s email address as that belonging to an educational setting. After a few more minutes of conversation and idle chit chat, she had managed to book in her Year 12 VCAL Students in for an excursion! Simple as that.
Apple Stores are happy to, and do quite frequently, run in store sessions for school groups based on a wide variety of topics and areas. Apple Stores are beginning to tap a lot more into the education market, now even offering professional learning sessions for teachers before and after school hours. These themselves are being ran by ADE’s (Apple Distinguished Educators) at no cost to those in attendance.
My colleague mentioned that her students were working on developing businesses and business ideas and the idea came up of having the students create Business Portfolios. So after booking in a session and date, and a 30min bus trip into the city on the day itself, we arrived and all 15 students, and two excited staff, me being one of them, arrived not knowing exactly was in store (for us that is, the store itself is full of people, iPads and other Apple gear!)
We were greeted at the front of the store where we were all given a lovely bright yellow t-shirt, as you can see below (it’s fair to say that we were hard pressed to lose any of our students). After getting all the students connected to the stores wifi, in we went.
Now… I have never really experienced anything like it. I think staff meetings and even normal classes at work should begin this way. To walk in to the store and to have every Apple staff member, and there were quite a few, stop what they were doing, and then proceed to clap, cheer, yell, and shout causing for a very boisterous welcome, was awesome! The students and I were quite over awed and some were even embarrassed however it was a welcome that I know the students will not forget in a hurry.
The 3 Apple staff working with us decided to show the students two main Apple tools that would assist them with their projects. These being Apple’s iBook Author and Keynote software. Two great and simple, yet also quite powerful, tools for digital creation.
Most of the students had used either or both of these tools in the past, as I would have expected, however it was great to have Apple staff run them through these and show the students the shortcuts and tips that make using these tools so easy.
All in all after 90 minutes the students were very happy with what they’d just experienced. They were also keen to get into creating their business portfolios back at school. Several working on them in the bus on the way home. It was a simple yet powerful experience and one that was very worthwhile to attend.
For those schools wishing to take a group of keen students to the Apple Store, all that needs to happen is for contact to be made and a discussion to be had! This link might help… http://www.apple.com/au/retail/fieldtrip/
Lastly, for your information, our exit from the store was just as dramatic as when we entered! 😉