Apple shared the story of Jodie Deinhammer, an Apple Distinguished Educator and how she uses iPads in teaching to get students closer to nature.

Gardening With iPads

Ms. Deinhammer is an eighth-grade teacher in Dallas, Texas, and this fall she’s teaching the school’s first elective class in gardening with her students in the school’s community garden.

Our driving question for gardening is, How can we improve our garden space to make it more environmentally friendly and encourage more visitors, from more people in our community, to native animals and wildlife. I believe this challenges the students to think of the garden as a place to learn and a place to help others. We want our garden to be not only a place to learn how to protect the environment, but a place that’s inviting to all.

She designs custom lessons and assignments for each student in the format that works best for them, like audio, visual, or written. Students capture what they learn in a digital field guide created with Keynote and use apps like Seek by iNaturalist to identify bugs and plants.

Coppell Middle School East eighth grader Stayton Slaughter uses the Measure app on iPad at the school’s community garden.

Coppell Middle School East eighth grader Stayton Slaughter uses the Measure app on iPad at the school’s community garden.

The class is currently learning about sweet potatoes, like how to plant them, figuring out the ideal soil pH, and what moisture levels are appropriate to help the plants thrive. Stanton Slaughter, one of the students in the class:

Everything that we have — our clothes, our medicines, our materials, our iPads — is made from things from the environment. It’s important to make that connection to things in your everyday life, so you can make a better connection to your own actions.

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