Earning the Apple Distinguished School award requires schools to apply, document, and prove they are using technology in innovative and creative ways. It requires a school to SHOW
, not TELL, the innovation happening in classrooms and beyond.
Ascension’s journey with Apple began in 2013 when the school’s parent organization purchased iPads and app gift cards for all faculty and staff. As the Innovation + Technology program evolved over the years, they acquired new equipment, moved from shared carts of iPads to 1:1 devices, added access to laptops, and have seen tremendous growth in teaching and learning.
Three Ascension 7th graders spoke about how technology has benefited their education during the presentation to the school community. Catherine Oretmond shared, “Our teachers taught us how to use apps and programs for managing learning, studying, and playing interactive activities to keep us engaged. One of our favorites is digital escape rooms!” Kate Aldridge added, “Our teachers allow more flexibility and student choice in how we share our understanding digitally while still holding us accountable for turning in assignments on time. Each year, more textbooks become available online, and our skill set continues to grow and multiply.” And Margaret West concluded, “Throughout the middle school Media program, we practice video editing with the Clips app, green-screen effects in iMovie, and more advanced features and techniques using Final Cut Pro and Garageband.”
Ascension has always been at the forefront of innovation and technology. Morgan Vondenstein, Director of Innovation and Technology, expressed what it means to receive the award, “At Ascension, we have always pushed the boundaries of technology beyond word processing, presenting, and browsing the internet. We aim to prepare our students to navigate a world and a future we can only imagine, to hold jobs that do not yet exist, and to face challenges that will not emerge for decades. As an established school and technology leader in our community, Ascension strives to maintain continuous growth, promote innovation, and share our unique experiences and abilities. Partnering with Apple is one of the many ways Ascension remains at the forefront of innovation.”