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Merrimack College's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Office of the Provost recently submitted an application for designation as an Apple Distinguished School in recognition of efforts around Mobile Merrimack, a campus-wide initiative to integrate technology into classrooms and curriculum.
Mobile Merrimack was one of the earliest initiatives promoted and funded by President Christopher Hopey.
“When you are an Apple Distinguished School, it’s recognition of creating a culture of continuous innovation in teaching and learning on your campus,” said Associate Provost and Director of Strategic Initiatives Kathryn Nielsen. “It’s an impressive designation in higher ed.”
As an Apple Designated School, Merrimack will be able to share its story of using technology in the classroom on a national and international stage. It’s a leadership approach to academic excellence.
“It’s about demonstrating a vision for learning with technology that inspires creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking inside and outside the classroom,” Nielsen said.
There is an expansive list of criteria for application that includes a one-to-one iPad initiative for students, which Merrimack now meets. Merrimack has been giving iPads to first-year and transfer students for the last four years. Faculty are equipped with mobile devices, as are administrators and staff in admissions, academic success, and athletics.
Associate professor of psychology Michael Stroud has been an Apple Designated Educator since 2017 in recognition of his use of technology for teaching. Apple opens the application process to educators every two years.
Stroud was a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning faculty fellow who was instrumental in the Mobile Merrimack initiative. He has been working and collaborating with the rest of the Merrimack academic community as an early adopter committed to creating an integrated, tech-enriched classroom experience.
“Providing leadership, professional development and support, the CETL has been the nexus for the integration of mobile technology on campus,” Nielsen said.
The designation as an Apple Distinguished Educator gives Stroud access to conferences set up around educational technology, as well as a community of other educators who can share ideas and ask questions of each other, he said. Stroud has been assigned a group that includes a Stanford University professor and K-12 educators.
Merrimack is expected to hear in early October whether it is being accepted as an Apple Distinguished School.