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Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow

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Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) is a research and development collaboration among public schools, universities, research agencies, and Apple Computer, Inc. Initiated in 1985, ACOT began its work in seven classrooms that represented a cross section of America's elementary and secondary schools. Its goal was to study how the routine use of technology by teachers and students might change teaching and learning. Over the 10 years, ACOT has studied learning, assessment, teaching, teacher development, school design, the social aspects of education, and the use of new technologies in more than 100 elementary and secondary classrooms throughout the country. After a solid decade of research, the ACOT project is one of the longest continuing educational studies of its kind. Now, in its second decade, ACOT is collaborating with schools internationally to explore constructivism mediated by technology, emphasizing collaboration over the Internet.

In ACOT classrooms, students and teachers have immediate access to a wide range of technologies, including computers, videodisc players, videocameras, scanners, CD-ROM drives, modems, and on-line communications services. In addition, students can use an assortment of software programs and tools, including word processors, databases, spreadsheets, and graphics packages. In ACOT classrooms, technology is viewed as a tool for learning and a medium for thinking, collaborating, and communicating.

ACOT's research has demonstrated that the introduction of technology to classrooms can significantly increase the potential for learning, especially when it is used to support collaboration, information access, and the expression and representation of students' thoughts and ideas.

Realizing this opportunity for all students, however, requires a broadly conceived approach to educational change that integrates new technologies and curricula with new ideas about learning and teaching, as well as with authentic forms of assessment.

ACOT's mission is to advance the understanding of teaching and learning in global, connected communities of educators and learners. This includes investigating how teaching and learning change when people have immediate access to technology as well as helping people better understand how technology can be an effective learning tool and a catalyst for change.

ACOT Sites

There are three ACOT sites in the United States:

  • Portal Elementary School, Cupertino Union School District, Cupertino, CA
  • Dodson Elementary School, Nashville Metropolitan School District, Nashville, TN
  • West High School, Columbus Unified School District, Columbus, OH

All three of these schools house ACOT Teacher Development Centers, where a full time Teacher Development Center Coordinator hosts weeklong Practicums with teachers from throughout the District, where they can observe the constructivist practices of the ACOT Mentor Teachers in a situated learning environment. They also host 2-week long Summer Institutes where teachers and students can learn experiment with new technologies and constructivist practice.

There are currently four International ACOT sites:

  • Ă–rbyskolan, Stockholm, Sweden, Apple Computer Press Release
  • St. Andrew's High School, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
  • St. Berthuin, Malonne. Belgium, Apple Computer Press Release
  • Apollo Parkways Primary School, Melbourne,Victoria, Australia

In addition to these school districts where research has been conducted for more than a decade, ACOT has been associated and affiliated with other schools during the past ten years exploring the use of new technologies from Apple's laboratories.

Affiliated Schools

  • Ross School District, Ross, CA


See Also