Tuesday, 23 July 2013

ADE2013 ~ Scattered Reflection

Wow. That was a grossly over estimated goal of writing a reflection a day or even any during that conference! Throughout the week my head was exploding with ideas of innovation as well as the many new connections I made!

ADE 2013 Summer Institute
Picture by @Liz_Castillo
As many other ADEs have expressed in their written reflections (see @techgirljenny's post to see some more), to describe last week in words is a difficult task. The overwhelming feelings of nervousness of what was coming, excitement about being a part of it all and the feeling of "why the heck should I be here", were apparent in almost all new ADEs. The amount of times I heard these words or ones similar, astounded me. There were others feeling the same way as me!

Kind of happy to be there!
We were welcomed to the conference centre by checking in and registering through 5 or 6 stations. We even got our own personalized stickers. This was so we could meet others and swap stickers to add to our own passports. With 300+ people attending this was going to be big job!

It was an unbelievable feeling being welcomed in as the new class of 2013. 49 educators from
across Canada, 90 odd from USA and roughly 11 from Mexico were all welcomed in. It was amazing. the Alumni that were present did an unreal job of welcoming us in and making us feeling welcome and incredibly special!

As I wanted to post something almost everyday, I started writing a couple of things. Here is a couple of things I started during the institute:
One of the biggest things I am finding with this experience is the connections I'm making already. It's so unbelievable to meet people that you've spoken to online and/or follow on Twitter. People that are new Apple Distinguished Educators and people that have been in the ADE community for a longer period of time. Everybody here shares at least two same passions and probably more. The first is for education. Every single person I have encountered is passionate about teaching and speaks with enthusiasm about what they do in their building. That has been so refreshing to hear and is getting me excited for the new school year all over again.
The other passion people (all 300+ of us) have in common around here is obviously a love for everything Apple (and technology in general). This is my biggest WOW! The things that all of these people are doing in schools and universities are unbelievable! The innovation I'm seeing this week has blown me out of the water. It makes me feel like I've only just begun to use technology. It has made me feel incredibly humbled to be a part of this community of educators.
The tiredness kicked in after day 2 finished and day 3 started. It was exhausting (but still awesome) flying high all day, every day attending professional development workshops, attending full group sessions, eating with newly made friends, and even seeing a couple of Austin sites.

I was lucky enough to be included in a special @MrHooker. We saw the famous Bat Exodus where up to 1.5 million bats leave daily their home daily just before sunset. Then we ate some BIG FAT GORDOUGHs (unhealthy but amazing donuts). We also went out for a Texas style BBQ lunch the next day. It was amazing to experience these few things in an already jam packed schedule.

My roomie and fellow bow tie buddy, Jon Patry and I also ventured out on the last day to see the awesome sight of the Texas Longhorns COLLEGE football stadium. And of course I snapped a few token pictures of the University of Texas Clock Tower, which was right down the road from our conference centre.

I tried to remember (and of course I missed a ton of people) to take pictures of all the tweeps I met and have conversed with on Twitter prior to the Institute. I managed to snap some selfies!

Rebecca WildmanChristine DiPauloTanya Avrith

Rebecca StockleyCarl HookerCathy Yenca

Karen LirenmanDavid MaloneSue Gorman

Leah LaCrosse

I also got to try out Google Glass, thanks to Christine DiPaulo who was amazingly willing to share the experience!

Here's is some of what we did throughout the week:


The work that we would do throughout the week was centred around Authoring our One Best Thing in iBooks Author. We attended workshops that would help supplement the work we do to write our chapter that could possibly end up in a Multi-Touch book published by Apple. If that will happen my work will have to be the best professionally produced work possible! We learned our way around iBooks Author and let me tell you, this is an amazing App that produces the most amazing multi-touch books for iBooks on iOS devices.
Apple iPad with Retina
Apple iPad image used by agreement

The 4 As

We learned more about the the four As of the ADE program. These are the 4 primary roles of Apple Distinguished Educators.  I would love to write more about these and plan to in the near future. The following descriptions come from the Apple Distinguished Educator Home Page

Advocates - ADEs are passionate advocates of the potential of Apple technologies and they provide expert assistance and best practices to educators and policy makers. ADEs are frequent presenters at local, state, national and international educational conferences. 
Advisors - ADEs provide valuable input to Apple on the realities of integrating instructional technology into learning environments.  
Authors - ADEs publish authentic work to share with peers such as teaching and leadership best practices, exemplary lesson ideas, and a range of content items that showcase Apple products and technologies for the advancement of education.  
Ambassadors - ADEs are innovators in building community and capacity for teaching and learning in a global context. Through online projects and collaboration tools, they empower each other to expand the walls of the classroom and bring global experiences to classrooms everywhere.

The following video is also made by Apple to describe who and what ADE's are about. This copy is from YouTube (and I'm pretty sure is not authorized). I'm not sure that I can upload the original file but will do, if I can, once I have found out.

App Developer Session

One of the evening sessions included a chance to meet 28 different App developers. The highlights for me was meeting the three following people. I know most people would be highlighting these three people too but I just have to. All three apps have inspired a lot of the work I have done in the last year.

Evernote and Skitch Apps

It was amazing to meet these guys. Skitch was probably the first app I came to love when we got our iPads. Such an amazing tool to taking photos and drawing/writing over the top. 
Evernote and Skitch Developers

Book Creator App

I've tweeted Dan Amos before and shared some amazing work that students have done using Book Creator App . Meeting him was amazing!
Dan Amos - Book Creator!

Explain Everything

Reshan Richards is responsible for creating Explain Everything. He also a fellow ADE Class of 2013. Enough Said! Reshan is Awesome guy and an inspiration to many of us! It was funny, as earlier that day I was partnered up with Reshan to play an Improv game showed to us by Rebecca Stockley. I had no idea who he was!
Reshan Richards - Explain Everything
I hope this post doesn't seem to scattered. It certainly still feels all scattered in my head!

There will be more to share as my brain decompresses. I plan to write more as I think and use some of my new found knowledge, also as my One Best Thing unfolds.


  1. Love this post and your pictures at the end are priceless! :)

    1. Thanks Jenny! Your picture was one I didn't get :) If only we met before the last night!

  2. This was so fun to read! From your pictures, it's clear that you have absolutely no personality at all ;-) Ha ha!

    1. You're right Cathy, I have no personality at all! and I didn't like Austin much either ;)

      Hope you're doing well and enjoying family time before you head back to school!

  3. Steve, I was mad when we didn't meet in Calgary but was so glad that we did spend time together in Austin. What an incredible experience eh? I look forward to keeping in touch and hopefully helping entice some of your primary teachers to join in on the fun. In the mean time I sure miss those bow ties!

    1. YES! How amazing is it to meet (in person) those you respect and collaborate with on Twitter! My mission this year will be to get some more teachers connected! for our 'little people' teachers, I will pointing them in your direction!

  4. Wow! What an amazing experience Steve! So when are you running PD sessions!!! Definitely want to connect to hear more about it and pick your brain!

    1. Thanks for the comment Lisa! Look out CCTC2014! Would love to share more too... I will work out something. Maybe something at the #CBEILC too. Hope your summer is going well!