Apple Distinguished Educator Institute 2015 – Day 3 & 4

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Day 3 of the EMEIA ADE institute began with the showcase session, the standard was incredibly high and I thought there were some standout presentations, firstly my good friend Dan Oakes and his story of increasing children’s self esteem through film making, secondly Marta Ruiz Benito reminding us why we became educators through some slick images and beautiful words and lastly Sarah Wright talking about future forward thinking and preparing our young people for a brighter future! Again every single showcase was amazing and really thought provoking.

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The next session was a masterclass with Bill Frakes, an award winning photographer who had the honour of taking my portrait earlier in the week, or should that be the other way round! Bill spoke at length about his love of telling stories using images both still and moving. He showed some quite unbelievable films and imagery, explaining the process he and his team went through to capture the shots and the stories behind them (many of which were very humorous!)

The following film – Nebraska Skies struck a real cord with me, I thought the story of homecoming for Bill and the beautiful imagery of the state of Nebraska were unbelievable, I wish it had been able to go on and on!

The room was ‘buzzing’ after such an amazing man had spent the time to speak to us, a true honour to have been photographed by such a creative genius! He even made me look pretty good, if I do say so myself!

The remainder of the morning was spent plotting with the rest of my Creativity in the Primary Classroom team working on our individual projects and assisting each other with theirs.

After yet another hearty lunch, we began our individual workshop tracks. I attended a workshop on accessibility, that was very interesting, especially as I got to see the features built into Watch. Then I moved  onto looking at ‘Creating Great Content using iOS Apps’, we looked at the series of iBooks Apps in the classroom (have a look here) worked through an example lesson in the Hopscotch book, and analysed the learning that took place and what we learnt. We all decided that these were a great resource, especially to assist less confident teachers to new apps and ideas (and for me to support teachers that attend my RTC sessions). We then spent time developing ideas that could be made into an iBook for ‘DoInk Green Screen’, these books are such a valuable resource for teachers of all levels, I strongly recommend checking them out!

Then onto the final workshop of the afternoon ‘Formative Assessment using iPad’, this for me was quite exciting as the previous week I had been invited to present a ‘Deep Dive’ session into student learning journals within this workshop, I had created my content and was ready to present to my peers once more, a true honour! I was going to talk about SeeSaw, one of my favourite apps. I have to say that the feedback from the group was great and yet again I learnt a lot from the rest of the session, once more I left the room fulfilled!

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Some of the work submitted by the workshop team to a SeeSaw test class.

After these sessions we had some free time, so a group of us went to the pool and sat around in the jacuzzi chewing the fat of our experiences so far, until it was time to eat yet more fine food! Followed by some beers, laughs and building some fine friendships!

So, like a whirlwind, the final day of the EMEIA ADE institute was upon us and although excited to see my family back at home, I was also sad that this weeks experience was drawing to a close. More fine presentations followed, the two stand out presentations for me were from Danny Ross, who spoke about using Augmentative reality to inspire his reluctant learners in his SEN school and also the ladies (Iva and Lenka) from iSEN in Czech republic showing some of the amazing work they are doing with SEN children using iPad as the catalyst for some great learning. All in all, the ADE showcases were amazing and a true highlight of the week as a whole-well done to everyone who took to the stage to present!

After a brief break we were then treated to a special guest speaker, the rumour mill had started; Will.I.Am? Dr DRE? Ant and Dec?!? Who knew? Who would it be?

Turns out it was none of these greats of entertainment, it was actually one of the most important classical composers and conductors of our generation, Eska-Pekka Salonen. He spoke to us at about how he used digital technology to inspire and engage more people with classical music, some of the work he showed us was truly amazing, he then introduced us to an App, that Salonen and his team had been working on ‘The Orchestra’, that allows the user to follow exactly what is happening across an orchestras performance of several pieces, a really powerful app for music departments across the world.

We then split into our groups for a final time where we finalised our plans for our projects in our Creativity in the Primary Classroom team. I cracked on with creating my Lessons for the Classroom iTunes U course, that will hopefully be featured along with the others here!

After our final luncheon, we got together in our UK team and discussed the possibilities of meeting up in various regions and things we could do to support each other. We also spent ten minutes saying hello to any of team UK that we might not have spoken to during institute so far! There were quite a few that had slipped through my net, apologies for that! I feel that the UK team of 2015 is very strong and it complements and adds to the previous classes, filling holes (if there were any!). As such a big group we had to find a space large enough for us to have our photograph taken as a group, but we found a location!

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The final session of the day involved being in the main ballroom for one last time and saying our thank you’s and goodbye’s to each country, as well as having more group photos by the one and only, Bill Frakes (who doesn’t seem to take health & safety that importantly-those that were there will know!!) We were also given a special gift from Apple to commemorate our induction into the Distinguished Educator class of 2015.

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We then had some more down time, which means another trip to the pool! Then we ate, drank and danced (and sang!) the night away in true style, a great end to a great week! One that will live with me for the rest of my life, having made some amazing friends that have made me realise that I am not mad, I am just am member of a unique group of educators that really want to push the boundaries! Thank you to all that spoke to me, tweeted me, laughed with me/at me, supported me and attended the institute, making it such a fantastic experience!

In the true style of EMEIA ADE Institute 2015, I shall be posting my top 5 things from the institute, at a later date!

Please also check out my memory from EMEIA ADE Institute Days 1 & 2 here.

 

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