You might be thinking – what is the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) program? This is how Apple describes it on their website: “Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) are part of a global community of education leaders recognized for doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom. They explore new ideas, seek new paths, and embrace new opportunities. That includes working with each other — and with Apple — to bring the freshest, most innovative ideas to students everywhere. ADEs advise Apple on integrating technology into learning environments — and share their expertise with other educators and policy makers. They author original content about their work. They advocate the use of Apple products that help engage students in new ways. And they are ambassadors of innovation, participating in and presenting at education events around the world. Being part of the ADE community is much more than an honor — it’s an opportunity to make a difference.” https://www.apple.com/education/apple-distinguished-educator/
I first heard about the ADE Program in October 2014 when I went to an “iPads in Science” – collaborative inquiry PD. Our presenter was an ADE who talked about how iPads could be used in our classroom. He had stations set up where we learned how to use apps like Leaf Snap (https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/leafsnap/id430649829?mt=8) and SPARKvue (https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/sparkvue/id361907181?mt=8).
I found this picture posted of me on Twitter last month of me partaking in the PD – I think I look irritated? I swear, I wasn’t – or maybe I was…I recall having difficulty using the app on my iPad due to some new update. When incorporating tech in the classroom – always have a back up plan in case of technical difficulties!
Anyways, after attending this PD – I was intrigued by the presenter’s role because it seemed totally up my alley! I went online and found out that there is a small application window and you need to sign in with an Apple ID to be notified of key upcoming dates. In November 2014, my board sent out a notice – inviting interested teachers to attend a session about the application process. The information session wasn’t that informative as I had done my research online and it was just regurgitation of content out there. There was an Apple representative who shared general information about the selection process. He didn’t even know when the application window would be open – top secret stuff! Just that the video and written application are important components and that there is a board consisting of individuals across North America who review different components of the application. They emphasized the importance of story-telling when making the 2 minute video and understanding the roles of an ADE: advocate, advisor, author & ambassador.
The application window wasn’t open yet, but I knew I had to get to work on obtaining footage for my video application. So in December 2014, I decided that I would make an iBook for a Pig Dissection Lab with my Gr. 11 Biology class. 37 pages later – I had developed a week-long iPad lab that was student-driven. They worked in groups of 3-4 and took turns dissecting & being in control of the iPad. Each day, students loaded my document on iBooks and followed the instructions. Each section had different tasks utilizing different iPad apps – mainly Keynote and Camera. While they conducted the lab – I went around recording them with my Canon Rebel T3i.
I forget if it was late January or early February 2015…but the application process was live! There was about 3-4 weeks to complete both the video & written components. I had no idea what to do for my video application – so at the end of the school day, I just used Photo Booth on my 2009 Macbook Pro and recorded me talking about my role in education, my favourite apps I use in the classroom (Plague Inc & The Elements are shown in the images below) and the iPad Pig Dissection lab activity. I then used a combination of AirServer, Camtasia and iMovie to make my video!
I thought the video was going to be the hardest part – but no – the written portion was a lot of work and self-reflection – 4 questions & 2000 words later – I was done!!! Then came the waiting game…on April 22, 2015…I got this in my inbox! Wahoo! Now the realization has sunk in…what? I was chosen? What does this membership really entail? Eek – I am going to the institute with all these amazing people…am I going to fit in? I hope they didn’t make a mistake…the doubt has settled in that I may not be adequate enough. However, I saw this motivational piece online which I need to download into my OS: