We’re pleased to be recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2022-2025 for our use of Apple technology as a vital component of our digital ecosystem!
Elizabeth Forward High School serves a small rural community in the Pittsburgh region,
but through the opportunities enabled by Apple, the school has been able to:
- Enlighten and educate teachers and parents on how educational technology has transformed the educational experience for our students.
- Reshape the way that students engage with material that can serve students with a variety of learning needs.
- Provide spaces for students to express their individual voices through new ways of demonstrating their understanding.
- Prepare tomorrow’s leaders to be global citizens by combining educational technology with quality content.
Elizabeth Forward High School aims to develop an innovative and collaborative environment where students can demonstrate their learning and content mastery through a variety of technological modalities. Elizabeth Forward High School creates the intersection between student learning and educator facilitation that enhances the learning experience for everyone in the classroom.
With a 1:1 initiative in place, our teachers actively seek to develop creative and engaging lessons and assessments using technology and learning management systems that allow students to showcase their knowledge, talents, and skills. Our student learning model enables creative problem solving, collaboration, communication, and student voice and choice. Below are some of the ways that our school has incorporated these concepts into the classroom and building culture:
- Within each classroom, teachers have Apple TV devices that allow for interactivity for both teachers and students in daily lessons.
- Teacher education with Apple technology is a priority in our school. The Apple Relaunch initiative allows for teachers to grow their own learning through interactive and engaging professional development.
- Gaming and coding classes created their own apps that would allow them to solve a problem in a creative way.
- Students in public speaking classes create their own TED Talks on topics that speak to both them and the world in which they live.
- Students studying foreign languages created family trees and cooking videos using Pages and Spark to communicate their personal histories and recipes that matter to them.
- Seniors created their own virtual community through a podcast series called Senior Speak.
- In English classes, ninth graders explored 20th century dramas using multimedia and a variety of Apple apps to demonstrate their understanding of the material in creative ways.
- In Chemistry, students examined molecular compounds and periodic trends using the Happy Atoms App as well as GarageBand, Clips, and iMovie.
- Biology students used Pages and other iPad apps to create brochures and video tutorials about cell structure and mitosis.
- Mathematics students used the self-paced IXL App for mastery learning as well as the PicCollage App to connect mathematical concepts to realworld applications.
Transitioning from a "sage on a stage” approach to a “guide on the side” mentality has completely reshaped the way that teachers and students see their roles within the classroom space. Administrators and faculty in the building consistently measured the school as "innovating" in three areas: Vision, Learning, and Success. Our school is also consistently recognized by outside parties for its vision and progress in developing and applying technology. The school's Maker Lab partnered with a local assisted living facility and received national recognition from Adam Savage. Our easy access to tools and resources has been recognized as a Digital Ecosystem of the Year by the National Council on DigitalConvergence. The district was recognized for its seamless transition to virtual learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although our school was prepared to transition to virtual learning, the pandemic highlighted how important it is to rethink how students are educated. Technology has provided new possibilities for learning and demonstrating understanding, but our next steps need to be toward an environment in which technology has been integrated naturally and smoothly into students’ everyday learning. New ways of innovating have already begun. An expanded eSports program develops the existing extracurricular program into a new curriculum. The ubiquity of new technologies will allow for the development of a new hydroponic freight farm. Within the next calendar year, all students and teachers will be receiving new personal devices to stay current with new technological trends.