So I am sitting in the airport about to leave #ade2017 – this is Apple Distinguished Educator Academy.. This was my first time attending as an alumni and got to welcome a new class of amazing individuals as well as interact with others from my class and those before me.
It is hard to encapsulate the experience in one post – and I may have other things to say about the community in the future.. but let me blurt out a few first thoughts..
These are the most creative and impassioned individuals I know..
What do we share in common – a few things.
- We are creative and impassioned
- We all have technology knowledge – each of our expertises are different – but we share that as a baseline.. (ie.. you don’t have to explain what you know with these people or why technology matters).
- We come from many different backgrounds but are all committed to education and innovation.
- We are able to develop their additional areas of expertise – so if you passionate about PBL or Challenge based learning – this a space where you can make a name for yourself on things that you care about (i.e.. I feel as though I can be more than an ed tech teacher, they get that those are just tools)
The Apple Distinguished Educator Community is hosted by Apple Inc of course – but have been a fundamentally important community to my professional development, fueling both ideas and renewing my relevancy to my the future teachers that I teach. We talk about all kinds of tools but more important the pedagogy behind them and the fundamental supports they can provide to all learners.
It has provided me with resources when I struggled, but motivationally and technically and a safe space to excel. I know that where I go personally and professionally is influenced by this dynamic network.
Apple Distinguished Educators for me is my Professional Learning Network (ADE=PLN)
This is what a PLN (Professional Learning Network) is supposed to be.. a ZPD – a Zone of Proximal Development where we can be more together than we can by ourselves. Being in a good one, makes me examine all the PLN’s to which I belong and consider the criteria or bar that I can use to judge their effectiveness and value to me.
I found this blog post from 2011 about PLN’s and what they should provide? Is your PLN providing this to you? and if not, what can you do to change that? or is the PLN worth your time?
Michael Mills uploaded a picture of me from ADE2017 – I think this picture is worth a 1000 words.. my last two favorite pictures have both been taken at ADE events. They leave me feeling energized, full of ideas, new connections, and opportunities – how do you feel when you finish interacting with your PLN?
Thank you to the community for your support, your opportunities, and challenging me to be better than I can by myself.