An International Preschool-Grade 12 Academy 
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Tech & Innovation

Technology and Innovation Program

Whether they are sketching architectural details of well-known Chicago institutions on their iPads or learning the science of coding, GEMS World Academy students use state-of-the-art technology at every grade level of their education journey. Technology is not an end in itself at GEMS World Academy Chicago. Rather, it is a skillset and mindset that allows students to translate and interact with the world around them in meaningful, reflective ways. In 2016, GEMS was recognized as an Apple Distinguished School (see more below). 

At GEMS World Academy, our technology program is supported by an expansive global network of schools with a visionary message and reach, an innovative school structure that allows for a fresh look at what education can be and a strong team of educators poised to create and deliver a world-class education. GEMS World Academy’s core innovation ideas are designed to provide guidance and direction for the entire school in four important areas:

  • Student-Directed Learning is the key to being successful in a rapidly transforming 21st century. Our students evolve in their ability to responsibility manage their learning and are encouraged to be life-longer learners through project-based work utilizing acquired knowledge and insight both independently and collaboratively.
 
  • Mobile Learning through extensive Field Studies allows our students to be researchers who see their world as a learning laboratory. Our students build authentic connections to our city, where their education is enriched by a global, intercultural community and Chicago's many renowned institutions. Through this pioneering learning initiative, students closely examine their local community while developing the skills necessary to see and understand the larger world.

  • A School as Connected Hub of Learning means our students and faculty work with their counterparts across the GEMS Education network of schools to build knowledge and experiences together. GEMS World Academy students use our networked hub of whiteboards and computer stations to communicate, collaborate, document and reflect on their work. All of our students are challenged to think deeply and build an authentic and empathetic understanding of the interdependent nature of the world.

Partners in Innovation





GEMS World Academy Chicago has entered a partnership with the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. Our teachers collaborate with experts from CMU to find new ways to build upon the robotics programs already in place in our school and explore additional STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts in the classroom.  

The partnership with CMU underscores our commitment to remaining on the leading of thought and practice when it comes to integrating technology into a rigorous academic program.

For more about our robotics efforts and our work with CMU, read blog posts here and here

Apple Distinguished School






Our technological environment is robust and interactive. Students use technology as a tool to construct technical and 21st century knowledge that incorporates ways of investigating, communicating and analyzing information in new and meaningful ways. Our technology programs encourage research and critical reading and writing, while also giving students tools to present their findings through innovative mapping and modeling tools.

In 2016, we were named an Apple Distinguished School in recognition of our tech program. 


List of 4 items.

  • iPad Mini (1:1 Program)

    Every student at GEMS World Academy is issued an iPad Mini. The iPad Mini is a multifaceted tool for learning in the classroom and field studies. As a primary tool in support of our Field Studies and Mobile Learning Program, students use iPads to capture and create a multimedia media record. iPads are also used across the school as research tools and note-taking and reading devices. As our students study the city, iPad Minis enable students to bring the school with them into the field and the field back into school, while reflecting upon data that directly ties to their research and classroom unit of inquiry. 
  • MacBook Pro (2:1 Program)

    Beginning in fourth grade, every student is issued a MacBook. The MacBooks are adjunct with the iPad Minis for students to work on analysis, mapping of data, multimedia production, coding, robotics and word processing. Having a 2:1 student environment creates a complete mobile lab environment. 
  • Digital Learning Software

    We provide our educational community with a powerful and collaborative Learning Management System called Canvas by Instructure. This eLearning tool provides an ideal interactive cloud-based classroom. Canvas enables the teacher to post multimedia course materials, engage students in an interactive forum for discussions,and use the site for global school-to-school project-based learning. Students can be co-enrolled in the system with their parents, who gain a window into the classroom and ask questions of the teacher. Canvas also provides a platform to enhance and extend teacher professional development. 
  • Design and Innovation Lab

    Our Design & Innovation Lab is an ideal space in which to imagine, design, prototype and create in a hands-on, project-based learning environment. Students think like inventors, designers, engineers and scientists as they create products to address problems in the world and learn essential skills for new careers. Our lab features 3D printers, a laser cutter, Scatch and other programming language stations, electronics stations featuring Arduino and Rasberry Pi, hand and power tools and robotics. 

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