How did we get there?
My colleague and friend, Linda Rubens, and I both applied to become Apple Distinguished Educators this year and we were both fortunate enough to be successful. We were required to make a 2 minute video and answer a series of questions in which we told the story of how we used Apple technologies to enhance teaching and learning.
We attended the Asia Pacific Apple Institute in Singapore in early August with 400 other ADEs who included newbies and Alumni from Australia, New Zealand, Greater China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Phillipines . The theme of the Institute was Telling your Story.
Highlights of the Institute
The Institute started each morning at 8am with an auditorium full of excited delegates and loud, pumping, pop music. After the plan for the day was introduced we heard from many of the Alumni who each told their story in a 3 minute presentation. It was inspiring to hear what people were doing and how Apple technologies were helping them: from schools deploying a 1:1 iPad program to a whole school Minecraft construction, a 66 year old dentist who had written an iTunesU course for her students to a cross-curricular film project.
The product developers for Garageband and iMovie gave an engaging presentation in which they wrote a soundtrack to a short film and then edited it and added a 3D title in front of us in one hour. No pressure! While doing this they gave us extra tips on how to use each app more effectively. The result was pretty impressive.
Creativity is Magic
On the programme we saw that we had a special guest presentation but did not know who it was. It turned out to be Chinese popstars, The Yao Band. This is the band who featured in the advert for the iPad Air. They performed a song for us, to the great excitement of the Chinese and Korean delegates, and then demonstrated how they put a song together using a Macbook and iPad. They got several people up on stage and sampled them clapping and saying funny things which were then included in their song. After they had added a bassline they then sang and performed the song. As one of them said, “Creativity is magic.”
CARP to avoid CRAP
One of the Alumni, Kerri-Lee Beasley, presented her work on design in a morning session. She has created a multi-touch book titled Design Secrets Revealed. Her ideas were expanded on in an afternoon session. We were shown how to format a page or slide effectively by using the design principles of CARP – Contrast, Alignment, Repetition and Proximity. I feel inspired to use these principles in any resources I create from now on. These ideas will also be great for teaching static image.
Each delegate got their photo taken by photographer, Bill Frakes, and we will be able to use this professional shot for our profiles. Bill Frakes presented his body of work in a session and told us some of the stories behind each photo or film that he had made. One shot was of President Obama playing basketball and another a close up of the Pope. We found out that the unassuming guy who had taken our photos was in fact a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer. Very humbling. The clip below is a film that he has made.
Speaking the same language
It was great meeting new people from lots of different cultural backgrounds who were like-minded in their passion for engaging their students and getting better results through the use of technology. Even though we were from a diverse range of countries, we all had similar stories to tell of our classroom experiences. On the final night we all went out for dinner together and, by the end of the night, were all on the dance floor getting down. It was a lot of fun!
One Best Thing
So I now have a project to complete titled One Best Thing. I could choose between creating a multi-touch book to document a cool lesson or unit of work; creating an iTunesU course for a lesson or unit; or committing to a community project. I chose the multi-touch book and I will document my Movies under the Microscope unit which I did last term and was pleased with the outcome of.
I would totally recommend this experience! It was a lot of fun and we were well catered for with amazing accommodation and great food. I will remember this trip fondly for many years to come, even if I get Alzheimers.
Here is a video that Linda created on her iPhone: