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The Worldwide Apple Distinguished Educators Institute 2016 in Berlin: Part III

In my first post on the WW ADE Institute I mentioned we learned from the Apple experts. These people are the ones that create the Apple apps we use in our classrooms every day. Who can there be better to show us the power of these apps than these guys? The apps include GarageBand, iMovie, Keynote, Final Cut Pro and all the new features for MDM in education that came with iOS 9.3.

Even though ADE’s are already considered experts on the use of Apple products, we were blown away by some of the things most of us didn’t know we could do with them.

I personally rediscovered GarageBand on iOS. I had played with the new Live Loops features, but I did not realize they were so powerful and diverse. I got completely mad in the Advanced Keynote session. “Mr. Keynote” himself showed us some amazing design features and massive time saving tricks. An example: if you need a table on a Keynote slide and there is also a picture on the slide, you can match the color scheme of the table to the picture very easy by dragging and dropping the picture in the table styles inspector panel.

Watch this short videos to see the magic happen:



Beside giving tips, the experts also listened to us. How are educators using their products and how would we like to see them improved? Among a lot of things, it is these conversations that make being an ADE really worth while.

We also got the opportunity to play with the new Swift Playgrounds app that will be included in iOS 10. Apple developed a complete curriculum to teach children how to code with Swift in the Playgrounds app and in Xcode on Mac. Very good resources are available at

Two other very good workshops by Apple I attended were Extreme Preso Makeover on how to create better and more engaging presentations and presenter skills and a workshop on Change Leadership by the Apple Professional Learning team. The first will be very useful in my own PD sessions were giving presentations is a big part. The latter is going to help me enormously in my own school to create a better learning environment for students and staff.[:]

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The Worldwide Apple Distinguished Educators Institute 2016 in Berlijn: Showcases Part II


Yesterday I told you about two great ADE Showcases we saw at the WW ADE Institute in Berlin last week. Today I want to tell you more about two other ADE’s who inspired me with their short presentation.

Take your iPads where you teach – Stephanie Thompson

Stephanie is a New Zealand teacher working in Singapore.She wants her kids to take the iPad outside so28020005904_9e2a9d329a_z they can learn through documenting the world they live in.

In one example they did research on the Singapore River area by collecting historical pictures and then make an overlay with the present views. In a next step, they would put themselves in the historic pictures through green screen technique to immerse even more in the subject.

Read more about Stephanie’s work on her blog:

Virtual Reality for Immersive Education – Sarah Jones

L1001317Sarah Jones works in Higher Education at Coventry University in the UK where she is the Deputy Head of School of Media and Performing Arts. She is a huge advocate for using Virtual Reality and 360 video in education. In her showcase she pointed to an Albert Einstein quote: “Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.” Virtual Reality immerses you in the content so it becomes an experience. And you don’t need very expensive equipment: VR headsets can be made from cardboard.

But VR is not only about being somewhere you are not, you can really tap into the places you visit by putting layers with information on the 360° images with apps like Thinglink. And think about simulations like a doctor-patient interview.

But even more: being someone else creates deeper learning. Sarah told us about a project she did where VR made you experience the world in the way someone with dementia does. This helps medical and care students prepare in their work with people with dementia.[:]

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The Worldwide Apple Distinguished Educators Institute in Berlijn: How can teachers make a dent in the universe?

ADE2016 - 1

Last week I attended the Worldwide ADE Institute in Berlin together with 380 other educators from around the globe. This conference is a biannual event Apple hosts for teachers and school leaders they recognize as the best of the best in transforming education with the use of technology in their classes, schools and universities.
The five day program focused on professional development and global collaboration. Professional development happened through workshops and labs hosted by Apple experts on the use of their products and in sessions from our peers. The ADE community also has a strong culture of sharing experiences.
We also had a focus on producing new content for teachers and students. Bringing together 380 educators from around the world creates opportunities to start collaborative projects that we will see emerge in the next months on iTunes U, the iBookstore and the internet.

In the next few blogposts I would like to share with you some of the highlights I took home. Today I start by telling about some ofADE2016 - 1 (1) the amazing showcases we saw. ADE showcases are short presentations in which an educator gets 180 seconds to tell a story from his work. All together we saw 30 ADE’s showcase what makes them proud of what they do. All 30 were amazing stories but I choose 6 to tell you about.

The first two today:

Students as Internationally Recognised Authors Using iPad – Cormac Cahill

L1001345Cormac is an Irish ADE from the best class ever (2011!!) He works with children diagnosed with Autism. The children all had difficulties expressing themselves. The kids now use Book Creator and iMovie to produce books and movies to tell their stories. The books have been downloaded across the globe and the movies have been seen and recognized worldwide.
Through the use of mobile filmmaking and authoring, these children found extraordinary ways of creativity and expression. The works have won international prizes.
Explore some of the books and movies the children made:

Bauman Geniuses – A Key to Success in IT and Coding – Konstantin Biryukov

L1001726The second showcase I’d like to put in the spotlight today is that by my good friend Konstantin from Russia. He is the head of IT and a teacher at Bauman Lyceum in Yoshkar-Ola, a small town 750km east of Moscow. To make computer science, programming and coding more relevant for his students, he created the Geniuses Program. Students perform real life IT tasks and recognize and solve true IT problems. Giving them responsibilities empowers and motivates them the excel. Last year I had the opportunity to witness them at work in their school and these kids are amazing. This year they applied for a WWDC (Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference) scholarship to show the work they do on developing a school app that displays the school in 3D to help new students find their way around the campus. And they got accepted!



Tomorrow two more showcases …


Photo credits: Rick Connors, Greg Hughes

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