First off, I know I was aiming to reflect each night and provide some personal insight into what has been happening at the ADE institute. But to be honest, it was non-stop action from the moment of waking up at 6:30am to shutting it down around 11:00pm each night ( I know, a light weight). I am not complaining by any means, but the collaboration and engagement and peer connections that was occurring all week, was simply too hard to miss out on! Now that several days has passed, I have been able to conjure up some reflective thoughts about the ADE Institute.
Right from the get-go upon arriving at the first-class AT & T Executive Education conference centre located on the University of Texas campus, the ADE alumni and Apple employees made myself and everyone who walked through the door feel connected and welcomed into this new family of global educators and practitioners.
During the week long conference, there wasn’t a moment during the day when a new connection wasn’t established with fellow ADE’s. Whether he/she was part of the new class or a direct executive employee from Cupertino,California. Everyone was eager to know who I was and what I was all all about! Although there were 400+ individuals at the institute, connections and conversations were continuously being transformed with improv sessions hosted and facilitated by the improv lady herself, Rebecca Stockley (@rebeccastockley) or fully utilizing the digital medium using Twitter and Basecamp (which was our project management tool).
These connections emphasized the importance and the power of connecting and collaborating with educators and tech-enthusiasts that aim to transform teaching practice and student learning.
PLN and Collaboration
This years project is to create an iBook that will eventually be available within iTunesU. This iBook will not only introduce the ADE institute participants to the global audience, but it will showcase an idea/passion that aims to transform the learning landscape and experience.
When I first learned about the project a few weeks prior to the conference, the concept seemed very daunting and I found it difficult to narrow down to simply one thing. Like many educators, we all believe that we aim to do our very best.
Fellow YYC colleague Steve Clark and I met one night prior to the institute to hash out some ideas. We chatted briefly about possible ideas, but conversations quickly led to the anticipation and excitement of meeting some of the many educators we follow on Twitter and what the institute experience would potentially unveil to us.
Once in Austin and after a day of meeting many folks, we eventually separated ourselves into Professional Learning Networks (PLN’s) to be our support, feedback and networking group throughout the week. These groups were established by joining up with ADE peers that shared the same focus and passions for teaching and learning. This is where the magic started to emerge! Within my PLN there are members from all three countries that participated in the institute.
Canada: JP Dupont (@JPDupont2)
Together this passionate, educated and thoughtful group hashed out ideas, provided critical feedback and asked questions. You couldn’t ask for a better group of peers to question and challenge your idea. There wasn’t any hesitation to let it all out on the table and have your work critically analyzed.
The conversations and feedback about our projects was extremely beneficial, and it really challenged me to think more critically about my project focus. The collaboration amongst the group won’t stop at the institute. The sharing, conversations and feedback will continue to flourish using tools such as Google Hangouts, Twitter hashtags, Basecamp, Facebook and conference calls courtesy of Apple after the institute. This will insure that the magic still continues.
There were many fantastic professional development opportunities to participate in during two of the afternoons: Beginning with Aperture, Reaching All Learners, Final Cut Pro X, Ideas for iPad Workflow and Authoring as an ADE (just to name a few). Also included were workshops on iBooks and iTunes University.
These opportunities were extremely beneficial as I was introduced to new tools, ideas and concepts that aim to be implemented into current practice. This type of PD opportunity is simply the best kind available! When finished, you walk away from the experience with a new tool in the belt!
Here is a snippet at one of the sessions that I attended..
“Beginning with Aperture”
Aperture and the potential that this software has to to enhance photos, video and ultimately keep materials organized in workflows that can be easily accessible. I was keen on learning how to use this tool for myself personally and potentially for my students this upcoming school year (fingers crossed they school has the software).
One of my creations (not with an iPhone, but using a Canon Rebel (way too much camera for me to handle due to my inexperience) with utilizing some of Aperture tweaks and features of changing exposure levels, highlights & shadows and enhancement
Night photograph of the iconic University of Texas Watchtower. It’s displaying “63” to recognize the first national championship the Longhorns football club won.
Original Night photo (Tripod, settings on ‘P’)
Aperture Tweak #1
Aperture Tweak #2
(Original photos by Jon Patry)
As I sit here reread what I have written, I know that I haven’t even come close to describing the entire ADE experience. Even if I tried, I don’t think I would do myself or anyone any justice.
I’m still reflecting on Nancy Duarte’s (@nancyduarte)“Golden Rule,” Pulitzer prize winning photographer Bill Frakes (@BillFrakes) and Laura Heald’s (@HealdLaura) “Digital Storytelling session” and many more fabulous moments within and outside the ADE institute experience.
The ADE Institute has been by far, the BEST professional development conference that I have participated in. I am truly humbled and thankful that I was selected amongst the many and provided this experience. The opportunity to share, connect, and collaborate with like minded innovative “lone nuts” that strive to transform the learning in K-12 and Higher Education learning spaces from Canada, USA, and Mexico.
Thank you Apple and the Apple Distinguished Educator Community