Middle school teachers earn Apple technology certification
Middle school teachers earn Apple technology certification
Posted on 01/27/2017

The first ever Apple Teacher program is influencing the way a group of teachers in District 197 utilize technology in the classroom. Teachers from Heritage E-STEM Magnet School and Friendly Hills Middle School have been exploring Apple-native applications and devices to enhance and streamline productivity, personalized learning and technology integration.
apple teachers

For the past several years, staff from across the district have been engaged in technology training. And according to District 197 Apple Teacher program leaders, Jen and Craig Robe, the need for training has increased. Over the past 10 years, technology has emerged as a powerful tool for enhancing learning, when paired with a strong curriculum and high quality instructional methods.

“Teacher standards have shifted from teachers knowing how to use technology to teachers using technology as leverage for instruction,” said Craig Roble. “This has been a big shift. The role of technology has evolved and is now integrated within classrooms differently. “

The Robles see this program as a way for teachers to grow in their understanding of technology, which directly translates to the success of their students.

“Considering all of the opportunities we are giving students, especially as we look at personalized learning, teachers need to have competent technology skills,” said Jen Roble. “Technology literacy is a huge component in teaching nowadays.”

Participating in this program increases technology-based awareness and encourages teachers to become more skilled leaders in the classroom.

This unique opportunity for professional development is offered to teachers at no cost. The program structure is a self-paced series of training modules, which explores Apple applications in-depth. Through this program, teachers also have access to free user guides and upcoming workshops.

 For district teachers participating in the program, the Robles offer support throughout the process. Upon completion, teachers earn an “Apple Teacher” distinction and certificate.

So far, the Robles have helped two cohorts pave their way to becoming Apple Teachers. The first cohort had 16 teachers participate, and the second cohort currently has 12 teachers pursuing the program. Since beginning their training, the second cohort also attended a field trip to the Mall of America Apple Store for a free hands-on workshop to complete a few of their training modules.

Craig and Jen Roble, both Apple Distinguished Educators and teachers at Heritage, say they are very excited to continue offering this professional development opportunity for all teachers in the district.

Apple Teachers

Cohort One



Cohort Two
Adam Hegg
Kristin Baker 
Benjamin Hoehn Maureen Wilke
Tara Huestis Elizabeth Stedillie 
Joshua Lang Thomas Smith 
Stephen Meuer Suzanne Moulton
Shannen O'Ryan
Jo Ellen Miller 
Kristy Otte Sheena Meillier 
Alex Sackett
Matthew Huron 
Julie Schiltgen
Brianna Havir 
Leigh Danner Eileen Gilligan 
Susan Bujold Samantha Eisenbraun
Daniel Dutcher Kristin Dirksen
Harry Jenness  
Perry Tinjum