Apple Distinguished Educator


Today started as any other day, the alarm went off waking me from my slumber, I thought about hitting snooze BUT then it struck me…the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) alumni had been contact the previous night, my iPad and iPhone may be harbouring a cheeky email that could put a grin onto my weary morning face!

I had applied to be an ADE in early March, after preparing for many months before. I had created a variety of resources for the school, including iTunes U courses and multi-touch iBooks. As part of the application process I needed to make a two minute video sharing my vision and achievements, this included recording my class hard at work on iPads, me delivering training and (the worst bit) delivering a piece straight to camera! I actually enjoyed making this ‘movie’ it really focussed on how amazing the work my students were achieving and how far the school and myself had come on our 1:1 iPad journey. I do wish I could share it, but due to e-safety concerns, I sadly can’t!

The second part of the application was a written part outlining you, your vision and how Apple technologies (not just iPads!) had transformed the learning environment. Anyone that knows me will know writing does not come easy to me, but this writing was some of the easiest I have had to do. Possibly because of the opened ended nature, a limited character count or the fact that I am just so passionate about using these technologies in my classroom.

As an ADE the role is to be an author, advisor, ambassador and advocate for the use of Apple technology in education toe hence teaching and learning. I have been inspired by many ADEs on my journey so far, to name but a few Neil Emery, Greg Hughes, Gavin Smart, Mat Pullen, Tom Riley, Marc Faulder, Daniel Edwards and Mark Anderson. They are a great community and can be relied upon for great ideas, inspiration and answers to queries!

I am delighted to say that I have been selected to be an Apple Distinguished Educator in the class of 2015. It is a great thrill and honour to be in this select group of educators across the world. I can’t wait to join the ADE institute in Amsterdam in July, where I am looking forward to learning loads and upon my return helping others to enhance the curriculum using Apple technologies in the classroom!!

Mentions and thanks to my headteacher, Vic at Academia and also the Apple Midlands Education Development Manager (whom shall remain nameless!!) for all the support through the whole journey!

Autism specific wheel of iPad Apps

I first heard of Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson at an Apple Accessibility Summit I attended last year, she spoke of how using the iPad with people on the Autistic Spectrum could be really valuable and also introduced me to the excellent app (that she had a hand in designing!) FindMe. Sue does some amazing research into ‘exploring the uses of technology, and especially iPad apps, to support, educate and engage children with autism.

I added her to my Twitter Personal Learning Network and keenly follow the things she talks about and try to introduce the ideas mentioned to my colleagues at work. Yesterday, Sue unleashed a new updated wheel of apps aimed directly for those on the Autistic spectrum.

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The wheel separate’s apps into four main categories: Communication, Education, Life Skills and Fun. These are then sub divided into those apps for children and those for teenagers and adults.

Most of the apps are things that are already used commonly inside my classroom with the Autistic children that I teach, but I am pleased to say that there are some that are new to me!

You can download the high resolution PDF image, with clickable links here.

Thanks so much to Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson for kindly allowing me to reproduce the app wheel.

Follow Sue here.

Visit her web site:

Apple Education Resources

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Apple have announced the launch of their ‘For Educators‘ page on the App Store. This page curates content from a variety of sources including Apps, iBooks and iTunes U courses. Having all this content in one easy to reach place is excellent for all educators beginning their iPad journey or those that are already along the road. There is some excellent content including the brilliant ‘One Best Thing’ series of iBooks created by Apple Distinguished Educators, click here and have a look!

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Also, a dedicated collection of Multi-touch books written and published by educators for FREE has been released. This hand picked selection of iBooks includes titles on Mathematics, History, Science and a lot more besides. The Free Books by Educators collection is available here.

Both are well worth looking at for ideas, inspiration and to see the possibilities that Apple technologies allow inside the classroom, in an SEN context or more mainstream!