On My Way to Austin - The First Steps - ADE North American Institute
In February of 2008 I was welcomed into the Apple Distinguished Educator Family. Off to Quebec I went and had what was certainly the best Professional Development Experience of my life. Sessions with a Pulitzer Prize Winning photographer, a photo hunt in a blizzard, my first bobsled run and a chance to meet and work with some amazing Canadian educators.....yes Shelagh, Kevin, Colin, Dean and Mott, I mean you.
Fast forward to July 2013 and I am headed for Austin, Texas for a North American ADE Institute. ADEs from Canada, the United States and Mexico will be there. Many people ask what it means to be an ADE and the explanation I give is always simplistic and lacking detail since you kind of have to be there. So, I am going to try to document the process and share the excitement. (Mom, this is for you.)
First step was the invitation to apply. Attendance at the Institute is not a given. For me, the application process included updating my monthly journals (where I document my activities as an authour, advocate and ambassador), creating a video of what is happening with my students and filling out an online application. The application was due by January 1st and then I waited until the end of February to find out who the new ADEs Class of 2013 were and whether I was accepted to go - and I was!!!
The next step was filling out the forms for hotel and ground transportation, indicate what potential workshops I was interested in attending or facilitating, complete an ethics compliance form and get approved by my District Superintendent.
Then the planning emails started to arrive. A teaser video from Maxx Judd, Worldwide ADE Program Manager for Apple sets out the shape of the week. There will be a session with another Pulitzer Prize Winning photographer, share-out sessions with noted experts in the field, chances to create content with support from an amazing group of experts in the field and opportunities to network with some amazing people. An online collaborative space was set up to facilitate planning and discussion. The ADEs have been encouraged to post and contribute to various forums and project pages. We have also been invited to sign up to contribute and share our story of transformational learning. And since this is Apple, the organizers have created a iTunes U course to guide us through our week.
My goal for the next few weeks? I have been out of school for only two days and I am behind in my Basecamp postings and contributions - I need to catch up (and I will). ADE enthusiasm is always contagious.