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!
Located just south of Pittsburgh, in the southern tip of Allegheny County, Elizabeth Forward Middle School sits quietly nestled surrounded by farms and acres of rolling hills. Our school may be far from the busy city streets, but EFMS is anything but ordinary. All students have a world of opportunity in their hands, as we are a 1:1 district, with each student having their own personal iPad. A typical school day is abound with innovative lessons that take students beyond the walls of our school to explore opportunities that would not be possible without the use of technology. Simple everyday worksheets have been replaced with engaging lessons that take place in some of the most modern spaces around.
At Elizabeth Forward Middle School, our vision is to provide easy access to tools and resources that enhance communication and instruction, sparks creativity, and promotes productivity in and out of the classroom for all students, teachers, parents, and administrators through the use of innovative and unique technological resources. Accessibility to current technology enhances diversity, equity, and inclusion. Stakeholders work together to create a culture that is student centered, responsive to change, and welcomes advances in technology. We are open to ideas that stimulate students to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. As a school family, we strive to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing technological ecosystem.
Students and educators at Elizabeth Forward Middle School use Apple technology daily to enhance their learning. The use of 1:1 iPad devices, MacBooks, Apple TVs, and High Definition TVs allow teachers to personalize learning for all students. Apple technology has empowered teachers and students through our EF IGNITE Learning Model. Student-centered learning and technology allow for flexible workspaces that inspire creativity and collaboration and accommodate student needs. Students have even gone outside the classroom using Augmented and Virtual Reality, iMovie, and Google Expeditions. Lessons have been enhanced by EFMS educators by using ChromeLab, Keynote, Clips, and more. When using these platforms, students are able to make choices that relate to their personal learning style and equip them with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to succeed in future.
Students can then take charge of their learning by utilizing the Green screen, the 1-Button Studio in our iCreate Studio, the SmallLab, and the Energy Lab. These spaces allow teachers to customize learning using a tiered instructional model that is personalized to the needs of all learners. Every teacher at EFMS is Apple-certified and goes above and beyond to create lessons that are rigorous, relevant, and related to the real world. The administration creates a vision and builds professional development that provides the means and opportunity to make these aspirations come alive in the classroom. See more by using the hashtag #EFCreates on Twitter!
The iPad has become as common to an Elizabeth Forward Middle School student as a pencil. EFMS has been awarded the Schools to Watch redesignation three times and is an Apple Distinguished building. The American Association of School Administrators named us as one of 13 school districts in the country that will serve as models of positive change in public education. EFSD was named “Digital Ecosystem of the Year” at the Virtual National Conference on Digital Conveyance. We are also part of the Western PA Learning 2025 Alliance. iPad devices are used to collect data from various sources to plan and create rigorous lessons that are aligned with student needs. The data collected has enabled teachers to make decisions that promote voice and choice in the classroom. Personalized learning has become a daily occurrence because of the effectiveness of Apple applications. EFMS has accomplished this by utilizing technology to excel as a school community and will continue to evolve.
As technology continues to change, Elizabeth Forward Middle School will evolve with it. Teachers will receive new MacBooks at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. The new iPad rollout will begin in the 2022-2023 school year for students and staff. We will continue our work with the Apple Teacher Relaunch program so we can continue to grow with Apple technologies to provide personalized instruction and demonstrations of learning. We will continue to explore methods to utilize the iPad to increase opportunities for personalized learning.