Friday, 22 February 2013

Apple Distinguished Educator - Class of 2013


I got in!

About this time last year I heard about this "club" called Apple Distinguished Educators. All over Twitter, I started discovering teachers from around the world that were part of this program. I was continually in awe of what I saw these people sharing. I wanted to be a part of this community!

After a little digging, I found out that ADE's are only selected every 2 years or so, or at least once a year, so would have to wait for my time. In November, the email came to say that the doors were open for applications. So I decided to take the risk and do it.

As part of the application process, I had to answer the following questions in written format and also a video response.

  1. How have you as an educator transformed your learning environment?
  2. Illustrate how Apple technologies have helped in this transformation?
  3. What successes have you seen with your learners?
  4. How do you share these successes to influence the broader education community?
The application, even thought it seemed relatively easy to answer these questions, was a rigorous process. The video took me between 30 or 40 hours to edit a 2 minute video. Here is my video response.

After my acceptance on February 14, 2013, I am now a humbled member of an elite group of educators  (about 2000 people from around the world). ADE's share what they know with each other, as well as the wider community. Every ADE has a goal of improving teaching and learning in their own field as well as helping others to maximise their own learning opportunities.

ADE Roles

ADEs have four primary roles in there. They are as follows:


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.


ADEs provide valuable input to Apple on the realities of integrating instructional technology into learning environments.


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.


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.

I promise...

My pledge, as I begin this new journey, is to share what I learn from other ADEs with other people I interact with. Through my interactions with other ADEs around the world I hope to learn a ton. I vow not only to learn more about Apple products but also to keep an open mind in what technology is available to students and teacher to help them learn more successfully. I promise to be an active ADE community member and share what I do within my setting too. I will continue to blog about the amazing learning I see happen in my school and my two blogs, and I will carry on sharing my learning on Twitter via @stevewclark and I will also learn to be as active as I can be within the ADE community too.

I look forward to the challenge laid out before me. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

See you Austin, Texas,  on July 14-19, 2013, for the Apple Distinguished Educators Institute.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Networking Works! But how do we get more interactions?

In the past year, I have been trying to network as much as possible. I have tried to do this for a couple of reasons...

1) To share some of the awesome work I am a part of in our building. The power of sharing has really shown itself to be powerful for me. It confirms that we are a doing some great in our building and also is great to get some feedback from other educators. I also believe we do not have enough sharing of great resources and ideas that work within our system.

2) To get to know as many of the great people around me in our huge organization. After applying for jobs last year, I realized I knew no-one. To get my name out there and be known, I have come to realize I need to know people. For career development I think this is crucial. I don't want to rely on getting lucky (or unlucky for that matter) in my next job, I want to be in control of where I work next.

Twitter Handle - @stevewclark

Utilizing Twitter as a networking tool has showed me the benefits of networking. What is weird to me, is that it's been easier to network with people around the world than the people that are geographically close to me and work for the same public school board.

Area III Learning Commons Collaborative Blog

My blogs have been great to do the first of the above examples of networking. However, a lot of the time I don't get any feedback from people that read or browse my blog posts. It would be great to see the comments come in and get more interaction. To do this, I think I need to increase the amount of people that actually visit the blog to start with. Maybe over time the interactivity will increase. Maybe teachers in general don't like to comment and leave feedback. I wish this would happen more so the conversation can continue past the point of one person sharing.

Marlborough Mobile Learning (iPad Blog)

I have never enjoyed my work as much as I do now. Getting to know a ton of new people and having great conversations about learning has played a big part in my enjoyment of teaching. I look forward to the future conventions and interactions we have.