iPads for Learning

Teacher Spotlights

Phill Cristofaro

Mackellar Primary School

Role at school:

Innovations Coach - 0.6. Oversee the development of the school's BYOD program of 300+ devices. Apple Distinguished Educator program involvement.

My role as a part-time Digital Learning Coach at Mackellar Primary School sees me working closely with teachers and students in the development of project/problem-based learning programs linked directly with curriculum. Our BYO iPad program covers 12 classes from grades 3-6 (250+ iPads), supported by literacy and numeracy coaches. The Mackellar PS philosophy is built around the concept of developing learner dispositions through technology and blended learning (independence, resilience, creativity, self-motivation).


This video is a snapshot of where Mackellar Primary School is at in its learning journey. Watch the students talk about their learning with iPads.


From your experience, what are the top two or three apps the school has embraced? How are they being used?

Book Creator

This app is so versatile. app

Explain Everything

Great for making instructional clips for a flipped classroom. app

iTunes U

This app is re-shaping learning architecture through course design/workflow/deeper thinking. app

School initiatives utilising iPads

iTunes U

Tunes U is a free native app developed by Apple; it allows teachers to develop their own online courses and publish them. The power of iTunes U is in its ability to facilitate the planning, implementation and assessment of learning outcomes through a single resource. Students access apps, documents, videos and learning tasks through the iTunes U app and switch between tasks with ease. Our attitudes to learning data reflects high levels of engagement and growing learner confidence as we develop the pedagogy around the use of this tool. Our published courses are a work-in-progress, but we are excited about what we've been able to achieve in only two years since implementing our BYO iPad program. You can access the following courses by clicking on the links:

The Hive

This year we've established a robotics / makerspace attached to our MacSpace. The Hive is rich in collaboration, allowing students to explore curriculum concepts such as healthy eating, Earth and space and data representation through rich tasks involving robotics and coding. Dean Darmanin, our STEM Coach, models lessons for teachers who bring their students into The Hive for weekly sessions and through gradual-release-of-responsibility, provides a platform for teachers to transfer teaching and learning ideas back to the classroom. Our plan for semester two (2017) is to give teachers and student from other schools the opportunity to experience The Hive @ Mackellar and join us as part of the "Hive Collective".