Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Apple Distinguished Educator

During the first weekend of this month I attended the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Event in London along with just over 80 other educators from all over Europe. We spent 3 days in the hands of representatives from Apple Education who led the event and other ADE’s who came to guide us and present their work and research to us so that we too could start our own journey as an ADE.

Being an ADE involves 4 primary roles – advocate, advisor, author and ambassador. Each is connected to our relationship with Apple and the devices we use in our teaching and learning.

Advocate – passionate users of Apple technologies and able to present to others how to use these tools in education
Advisor – feedback to Apple how these technologies influence education
Author – publish examples of work using Apple technologies for others to learn from and use
Ambassador – build global communities to “expand the walls of the classroom”

Expanding the walls of the classroom was a theme that resonated throughout the event and we were given opportunities to explore this, bouncing ideas off each other and creating the basis of a collaborative project that we will be working on over the next few months. I will be looking at how we can give a voice to the learner and bring the learner back to the forefront of what education is all about. I have already posted a ‘in30seconds’ tip about this which involves setting up a video diary space for children to feel comfortable to go into and leave a video comment of their learning throughout the day. Making this a global project is the challenge. There are other projects that I was interested in and one in particular which is very exciting (but I’ll leave that under wraps for now).

The 4 primary roles are roles that I have also considered bringing into my classroom. Children could choose a role that would best fit the skills they have, for example, in Technology I could have:
advocates are passionate about technology and can demonstrate its use to others
advisors share why technology works for them and how it can help others
authors publish their own content for others to use and learn from
ambassadors build the community in school using a website and share this to the world, looking for new ways to collaborate and expand the classroom.

The event was a fantastic opportunity to build on my own community of educators, share ideas and gain a better understanding of how others are using Apple technologies in their own environments and I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to attend.
Read more about being an ADE here