Flinders' Laura Bain Certified as Apple Distinguished Educator, Class of 2023

After being named an Apple Distinguished School from 2022-2025, it's now time for Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast to celebrate one of its staff being invited to join the global Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Class of 2023.

Flinders’ Head of Emerging Technologies and Innovation in the Primary School, Mrs Laura Bain is certified as an Apple Distinguished Educator.

The achievement recognises Laura as an author, advisor, ambassador and advocate of what’s possible by bringing new technology to teaching and learning.

As an ADE, Laura will also have the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues around the globe and turn fresh, new ideas into meaningful learning experiences for students.

Principal Stuart Meade congratulated Mrs Laura Bain for her work in being invited into Apple’s recognised community of education innovators.

“We encourage our staff to pursue their passions and build the capacity and capability to thrive and lead learning, which is certainly what Laura aims to achieve in her work implementing innovative technology in our Primary School,” Stuart said.  

“Flinders is recognised as an Apple Distinguished School, using technology to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking in learning, teaching and the school environment, with documented results of academic accomplishment.  

“And we are now thrilled to have such an experienced educator as Laura on our team to guide our students and staff in using the latest technology to further enhance teaching and learning.” 

Apple created the Apple Distinguished Educator Program in 1995 to recognise K-12 and higher education pioneers who are using Apple technology to transform teaching and learning in powerful ways. 

Celebrating 28 years, the program has grown into a worldwide community of visionary and innovative leaders in education, helping other educators rethink what’s possible with iPad and Mac. 

Flinders’ Head of Primary Mrs Trudi Edwards congratulated Laura for her ADE selection. 

“We are deeply committed to developing an accomplished, well-resourced and inspirational staff in order to support our students to excel in learning,” Trudi said. 

“Laura’s ADE recognition is yet another example of our team exploring exciting professional opportunities which enhance our students’ learning potential and engagement in the classroom.

“Laura has also taken on the important role of coaching our staff in utilising emerging technologies to deepen learning for our students.” 

Implementing Apple Technology in the Primary School at Flinders

Laura joined Flinders in 2020 and said her greatest Apple-related achievement was working towards Matthew Flinders Anglican College being named an Apple Distinguished School in 2022. 

“To reach that point, a lot of work went into supporting all the teachers to become Apple Certified and developing the workflows that best support teaching and learning,” Laura said. 

“The rollout of Primary students’ Apple Pencils and the work into the pedagogy behind how they are used is also something unique to Flinders,” she said. 

“An example of this pedagogy in action is how our Primary Maths Specialist, Ms Narelle Goan has been exploring innovative workflows where the students and teacher collaborate in shared portfolios made possible by the Apple Classwork App. 

“Students self-manage their own portfolio content, showcasing their learning. They use photo evidence and Apple Pencils to show their working out, which means we can eliminate paper in the classroom. 

“We see the value in hand-written thinking and so, the choice to give all students an Apple Pencil across Primary was intentional, to give greater learning opportunities to students that also align with current research in neuroscience. 

“The process also involves the students reflecting on their work and the teacher giving individualised feedback, which we know has an incredibly strong impact on student achievement. 

“This allows for greater individualisation and makes the learning visible between the teacher and the student. 

“Students can also work at their own pace and move ahead at their own rate of development and understanding.” 

Laura said the next Apple-related focus in the Flinders Primary was to continue supporting the staff’s professional development to further innovate on the way technology is used in our classrooms.

As a way of example, the Year 6 students will be using humanoid robots with their iPads to learn more about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.

Laura explains, “To my knowledge, there are no other Primary-school age students experiencing this kind of learning with AI and Machine Learning.

“In this unit, students will be looking at how AI is developed and training AI with their own dataset. 

“They will be coding their own programs to leverage the capabilities of an AI robot’s facial, object and speech recognition, allowing them to see how this technology may be leveraged for different purposes.”

In the Flinders Primary School, students work 1:1 with Apple Pencil and iPad across a range of projects and disciples, with the aim that these tools enable students to:

- be creators with technology, instead of solely being consumers on technology

- discover effective modes of communication and collaboration, and

- solve problems, think creatively and learn deeply. 

Learn more about the contributions of ADEs worldwide at https://www.apple.com/education/k12/apple-distinguished-educator/

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