Every other year Apple in Education selects up to a maximum of 50 applicants from the Canadian region to become Apple Distinguished Educators. The applicants are front-of-the-line educators of K-12 and post-secondary institutions, all sharing the passion for innovative teaching.
After submitting my mini-essay and video application on January 15, 2013, I have been eagerly waiting to hear from Apple and the end result. Today, I was humbled to find out that I was accepted into the Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) program. Needless to say, I am pretty excited and honored to be joining this community of educators.
I didn’t submit my application to solely seek the title of “ADE” but more for the exceptional opportunity to network, collaborate and participate with other innovative educators. Albeit, it was a risk to submit the application. My nerves were jittery knowing I was placing myself up against other innovative (and exceptional educators). In the end, completing the application was very reflective and made me appreciate and further solidify the reason why I teach. If the application wasn’t a success, it meant that there was someone more innovative in the classroom then I and I can only learn from what they do.
As I slowly start coming down from the natural high of being accepted, I thought I would share my application. I have had the opportunity to view some of the application videos many have shared and I am even more humbled and even dismayed to have had mine accepted. The innovation and the successes the other applicants shared was mind blowing! Humbled once again.
The application consisted of two major components: a heavily time restricted 2-minute video and a written response to four questions. Here are the four questions with my responses and my video.
How have you as an educator transformed your learning environment?
The classroom environment is one that takes new shape each school year as the learners coming into the room are never the same. During the past few school years and with our schools increase use of technology in the classroom, it has become even more important to emphasize to our learners that technology is more than just a flashy screen or a gaming device. Technology has shifted and is promoted as a means to share, be innovative, and communicate with others in a responsible and ethical manner. The students coming in and out of my classroom will be 21st century learners who will be well prepared and ready to join the outside and continually changing working world.
This school year, more emphasis has been placed on using technology in a more meaningful and purposeful manner. ISTE’s National Educational Technology Standards have become a valuable reference for myself to insure that technology use is more then just a time filler.
The learning community extends beyond just my classroom and includes not only the teachers and students, but the parent community as well.
Within my learning environment, I am committed to providing for students, parents, and other teachers the following:
- Digital Citizenship: committed to practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology
- have access to a personal computing devices (laptop, desktop, iPad)
- Able to connect to teachers and other students via their computing device.
- Connected to classroom via email, and web-based communication tools (Kidblog)
- Digital Citizenship: educate and ensure parents are aware and informed of how technology is being used to practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology within the classroom and at home.
- Connected to the schools D2L Learning Management System
- Connected to the classroom via email, web-based communication tools (Kidblog)
- Digital Citizenship: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility by advocating, modeling, and teaching safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology
- Providing access to personal computing devices or mobile learning devices
- Provide opportunities for in-house professional development in current technologies.
- Provide supports and services to become proficient in integrating technology across all curricular areas
Illustrate how Apple technologies have helped in this transformation
Apple technologies has had a great impact on how I rethink my lesson design and implantation, even more so with the use of the iPad. The iPad has become a tool for my learners that instantly places access and control whenever and wherever they are in the school learning environment. This school year, learners have used the iPad to create authentic learning artifacts using applications such as Pages, iPhoto, GarageBand, and iMovie to create stop-time animation movies of visual stories that they created. Students are also able to connect with the global community using the iPads to communicate and collaborate within the web-based blogging platform. Students are eager to share discoveries or written entries and with the portability of the device, can literally go anywhere to share this.
Within this school year, the goal is to also use and implement Augmented Reality Apps, which will be used to provide a learning experience which the students will immerse themselves into.
What success have you seen with your learners?
The greatest success that has been observed with the learners in the environment is engagement and task achievement. Learners are actively engaged in the tasks presented to them, and are far more self-directed and immersed in the learning experience. Throughout the stop-time animation project, learners had multiple learning entry points to start from. Many students immediately began taking photos, while began to methodically plan out a storyboard using a Pages template. In the end, students were able to determine their own personal entry points into the learning experience and meet or exceed the initial learning goals. During the experience learners collaborated not only with teachers but with other peers as well to seek and clarify answers and to be supported. Throughout the process, learners were building confidence, engaging in discussions, and becoming masters with a new technological tool to create and showcase a authentic product one was extremely proud to showcase.
How do you share these successes to influence the broader education community?
Success are shared to the broader teaching community within our school environment in several ways. Each week, we meet as a small Professional Learning Community discussing task design and share and showcase what tasks were completed successfully or unsuccessfully. Here we are able to collaborate with our colleagues and share how technology is being purposefully integrated into the classrooms.
To share student work, we use an external web-based program Kidblog to allow students to have the opportunity to have projects uploaded and shared with the larger global community. This has become extremely beneficial when joining larger professional development communities as the blog can be shared to others for access at ones own connivence.
Another way that we have implemented sharing the learners work is using a web-based eportfolio called IRIS. This allows for the learner to upload authentic artifacts of his/her selection to represent their learning. Parents and teachers have direct access to viewing the artifacts and what the learner has selected and has the ability to comment and continue the learning ongoing learning experience.
Jon Patry ADE 2013 Application Video
I just want to say THANK YOU to all my colleagues, administration, students, and parents who helped with the video. It wouldn’t have been as successful without your images and voices. My parents and siblings, wouldn’t be here without you all!