In April 2015 I received an email that I had waited a couple of years for - CONGRATULATIONS you are an Apple Distinguished Educator!
Excellent, I along with others who had received the email proceeded to Twitter to congratulate each other and look to Institute where we would have a chance to communicate, collaborate and look at ways in which we could continue to inspire and motivate innovative use of technology in teaching and learning.
I made some long lasting friendships along the way, met some new people, caught up with those I knew and at no time was made to feel any less significant than others there. You were an ADE on your own merits and everyone respected that and wanted to know your story. It was a wonderful experience and I looked forward to being a member of this community moving forward.
That wasn't meant to be.
In August 2015 I was made an ‘inactive’ member of the ADE community as I had joined a ‘for profit’ organisation and would work with schools in my capacity as an Apple Education Trainer. It was a fulfilling role and allowed me to continue what I love doing - working with staff and pupils to see the potential of iPad in Education. Yet, something was missing. No matter how may #adechat Twitter conversations I took part in, I knew that I wasn’t a full member of the ADE community and it left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth.
ADE Academy 2017
In January 2017, Apple opened the application process for the new class of Distinguished Educators. This would lead to the new class and Alumni attending a 2 day CPL session in London filled with showcases, chats, workshops, chats, ADE TeachMeets, chats, and…. well, you get the idea. I would once again miss out on the opportunity to apply as an Alumni as I wasn’t ‘active’, queue the gut wrenching realisation that I wouldn’t get a chance to meet with a group of people I admire and respect. Plus, I wanted to share some of the practice that had been happening around me and showcasing some of the wonderful work that my pupils had created. Yes, my pupils. In January 2017, I was sub-contracted to work in a school to help deliver digital skills to pupils and to support teachers in their delivery of learning and teaching through the use of technology. This didn’t lead to me being made active again as I wasn’t a full time member of staff.
In May 2017, Robert Gordon’s College; the school I had been working in since January; indicated that they would be looking to bring a full time Digital Skills Specialist into the school to work with staff and pupils. This was perfect. A role I could sink my teeth into, a keen and open minded staff, an opportunity to build upon good practice and take them to the next level. I applied, I interviewed, I was successful and I am an ACTIVE ADE again. What a feeling!!
I was too late to be included in this years Academy but by the magic of social media I was able to follow along with the Tweets, Instagram posts and Facebook updates that came out. Not the same as being there but close enough. Make no mistake, I’ll be back and I can’t wait to show you all of the amazing things that the pupils in my school will be creating and sharing using iPad.
In the meantime, ADE Class of 2017 - Welcome and Congratulations.