Burhanpur (Madhya Pradesh): Frequented by historians and art lovers seeking solace in its rich past, another transformation, albeit quietly, is taking place in the city of Burhanpur and this time, Cupertino-based tech giant Apple is empowering talented kids at the Macro Vision Academy (MVA) find their place in the fast-changing world.
One of the handful schools in India that has employed iPads and Mac desktops for imparting education, the CBSE-affiliated, day-cum-residential school here has customised Apple products to improve students' results and rankings - thus earning the tag of 'Apple Distinguished School' (ADS) for the second time in a row.
Worldwide, there are 470 ADSs in 34 countries and four are in India. Apple Distinguished Schools share their achievements by collaborating with Apple teams to host on-site Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) visits. The educators showcase best practices for using iPad, Mac, apps, multi-touch books and other digital materials to create powerful learning experiences.
At the Academy which is touted as the complete Gurukul, students are creating world-class apps while teachers are busy imparting lessons via Apple TVs in classrooms as students deploy iPads at the same time to imbibe real-time learning, including music on iPad.
The benefits of learning on iPads - nearly all students at the Academy are equipped with iPads and the Academy has over 150 top-of-the-line iMacs at its fully-equipped iMac Lab -- are numerous: Learn and revise on the go, lesser books to carry, analytical performance reports to improve and track the growth, digitised voice notes at a secured Wi-Fi campus, and much more.
Today, the MVA students are working at Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, Uber, IBM, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Infosys, Microsoft, Adobe, and several other top-notch firms. They have got admissions to prestigious universities like Penn State University, The State University of New York and all IITs.
According to Anand Prakash Chouksey, Director, MVA, iPads and iMacs are part of students' everyday life at Macrovision.
"The devices help teachers connect with students in a seamless way. The digital approach has increased kids' interest in studies and their confidence levels have gone up too. They think in a more creative manner while looking at the same old curriculum. This has increased parents' confidence too," Chouksey told IANS during the campus visit.
Apple School Manager at the premises is a simple, web-based portal for IT administrators to manage people, devices, and content all from one place. There is a redesigned user interface, more powerful ways to manage bulk activities, and greater control over accounts and classes.
"With the help of Apple School Manager, installing, maintaining and integration of 2,500 iPads was simple and did not incur any extra cost. It also gave us the flexibility to customize and implement policies as per our school needs," informed Vijay Sukhwani who takes care of the entire Apple ecosystem at the campus.
Apple Classroom app turns iPads and Macs into powerful teaching assistants. The app also makes it easy to share information and send and receive files with the entire class and individual students using AirDrop, or show student work on the big screen.
All Apple products are built with an integrated approach to privacy and security and providing schools with devices, apps, and services that keep students' work and personal information secure.
With Managed Apple IDs, the school controls student information and can choose to enable or disable apps and services such as iMessage, FaceTime or student progress reporting with the Schoolwork app.
Jay Firke from the school who attended Apple's annual flagship Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, last year is super excited.
"I have created an e-portfolio app wherein class teachers can fill the students' report about their skills and educational topics. The app currently works on school Wi-Fi," Firke told IANS.
"I have also worked on an iOS school app which is made with Swift 4.1. This app includes all our school details," he added, as his team members showcased some of the apps they have built in the classroom.
Apple has also developed apps that help teachers at the Academy put the power of technology to work, bringing ideas into their lessons and productivity to their classrooms, according to Sukhwani.
The 'Schoolwork' app makes it easy for teachers to share class materials, assign activities within apps and view students progress. Students have one place to see assignments, submit work and view their own progress.
Apple Teacher is a free online professional learning programme designed to support and celebrate the great work of teachers around the world.
"We are aiming for an all-round development of not only students but also teachers as true digital learning can only happen then", said a beaming Chouksey.