Inspired by my good friends Gavin Smart, Mat Pullen, Matt Smith, Martin Coutts and Dan Oakes, and the many games of ‘Top five’ during down time at EMEIA Apple Distinguished Educators Institute 2015 in Amsterdam. I though it would be a good idea to create a top five things I took away from the institute, this (like the biscuit top five, custard cream anyone??!!), was a really hard task BUT i’m willing to give it a go and see what happens!
- People – I was so inspired by the people I met and become good friends with! Everyone had a great story but much more than that, everyone I met had the same outlook on so many things as me. This is not a common thing, especially when it comes to education, where I often feel like I am the ‘mad iPad man’ within our school or more commonly the resident geek! I felt none of this at institute, just an array of people that I could relate to and were as passionate about pushing the boundaries of using technology inside classrooms, to deliver amazing outcomes for the students in our schools and classes.
- Bill Frakes – I was so happy to have listened to Bill talk at length about his inspiration for photographs he had taken and the stories he was telling through the images. The film ‘Nebraska Skies’ was amazing and since returning from Amsterdam I have viewed this film several times. I was massively inspired to (attempt) take more higher quality photos and images and think about the story the images are trying to tell.
- Christopher Hills – Now, he wasn’t at institute, he didn’t present, neither was he featured in a Showcase. A video of him using his skills as an Apple Certified Final Cut Pro tutor to create an amazing set of images and film, although he suffers from Cerebral Palsy, using one switch, his head and his iOS device. This was a huge inspiration to me was shown to us in an accessibility session. I always knew the Accessibility features built into ALL Apple products were powerful but this really brought it home to me. I urge everyone to check Christopher’s YouTube channel here, and defy you not to be moved by this young man!
- Design – Alan Rosenfeld took to the stage for a workshop based around the fundamentals of design. This is something that I found so engaging and interesting. I always look at things with a critical eye for design, but struggle to make my own presentations and documents look good. With Alan’s simple advice I feel I have improved massively already. I just hope that the word on the street, of an iBook with the content will be released at some point soon, does come true!
- Passion – I was struck by the passion that everyone had, not just for Apple technologies but for pushing the boundaries of education. To this end I feel like I have not stopped; working, creating and thinking since I returned home, to push the boundaries of my own practice. Literally, everyone I spoke to was so passionate about education, technology and Apple. This is what makes the fantastic community that is Apple Distinguished Educators, long may we all work together and drive each others passion for education; and in turn instil passion into others within our institutions or region as a whole.
As I have said before, and no doubt I will say again, this was one of the best experiences of my life. I have been massively inspired by so many people and thoughts.
I really hope that one day I have the chance to do it all again and be a part of the journey of many other ADEs during their institutions and in turn be inspired by them.
To finalise this post there were four main goals set out at the start of our institute, these were:
Inspiration, Discovery, Professional Growth and Collaboration
During the week I feel that I achieved all of these things in large measure, I left inspired after discovering lots of great individuals that have all aided to my personal growth and led to lots of collaboration.
I also feel I need to make a mention of the use of some amazing hashtags during the week, these will stick with me for a long time. Some favourites were: #devilishlyhandsome, #expolodingballs, #dandandandandandan and #tvvoice; you probably had to be there!!
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