ADE is No Go

Sad MacOk, I’m a bit greedy I know… I applied for both the Sydney Google Teacher Academy and the Australian Apple Distinguished Educator Program. It would have been nice to be part of both. I was thrilled to bits to find out that I got into the GTA program last week, and then was full of anticipation to hear back about the ADE program this week.

Unfortunately, I missed out on getting into the 2011 ADE Program. I mean, I know it’s really competitive and all, and I’m not for one moment trying to take anything away from those that got into it – my hearty congratulations go out to all of you who made it, including friends like Helen Otway and Allanah King. They are absolutely deserving of their place in the program. Well done to you both, and to everyone else who was accepted.

But I’ll be honest with you… I was quite frankly a little surprised when I read the email. As brash as it might sound to say so, I thought I had a pretty reasonable chance of being accepted into the ADE program. Perhaps my optimism was buoyed a little too much after having being asked to keynote at all 5 of the Apple ITSC events last year, or having the Australian ADE Program manager suggest to me that I “should definitely apply”. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations. Maybe I was being just a wee bit too cocky about the whole thing. I’m not sure.

Just like the App Store approval process, there is no transparency to the ADE selections. There is a list of criteria, and a rubric to assess your own application – both of which I thought I would do ok on – but you never find out the reasons why you did or didn’t get in.

At first I thought perhaps that it was because my school is primarily a PC school (although we just handed out 70+ MacBook Airs to our Year 6 kids for their 1:1 program… the thin edge of the wedge?)  But then I heard of several other new ADEs who work in non-Mac schools, so maybe that’s not it at all.

Someone suggested that being accepted into the Google Teacher Academy the week before might have played a part. The rivalry between Apple and Google has been getting more and more intense over the last year or so, so maybe Apple would prefer to keep their distance from anyone associated with Google. But then, I’m sure I know other Google Certified Teachers who are also ADEs so maybe that’s not it at all either.  (However, note to self – and others – if you ever apply for both programs again, perhaps don’t blog about it until you hear back about your applications. In hindsight I wish I didn’t post my application videos until after I’d heard back from both Apple and Google. Just in case.)

The email from Apple said “we hope you will apply again for the ADE intake in 2012”.  I might. I might not. I’m not sure. I’m not sure exactly what would be different with next year’s application. I can’t imagine being any more pro-Apple, any more passionate about education and technology, any more active in the online space. I just honestly don’t know what else I’d add to this year’s application, which was apparently not enough.

Anyway, I’m not upset, I’m not bitter and I’m not annoyed. Just a little perplexed, and I’ll admit, a little disappointed. Although I thought briefly about installing Linux on my MacBook Pro, I probably won’t. Probably. 🙂

However, now I’m really looking forward to the GTA.

CC BY-SA 4.0 ADE is No Go by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

9 Replies to “ADE is No Go”

  1. Hi Chris
    It always fascinates me how people deal with disappointments as much as successes. I have been turned down more than a few times and I am sure it is only natural to ask why. I DON’T agree however with not receiving feedback as to the reasons why you weren’t included this year. Crickey it might have just been a numbers game and they had to draw a line in the sand SOMEWHERE in a long list of outstanding applications. Actually I will stop there because the reasons are almost limitless… My only advice from my years of having to adapt and bounce back from disappointments is that these things happen for a reason, reasons that are probably not clear to you right at this moment.
    It sounds like you are already creating a positive future vision for yourself and I look forward to following your progress. Thanks for keeping it real (teachers are students too).

    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Thanks for the comment. At the end of the day it’s really not a big deal and I’m sure I’ll be fine. 🙂

      I have enough perspective to realise that not being accepted into ADE is a pretty minor thing and it really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things. As is often the case, there is more to the story than I want to make public on my blog, private conversations that were exchanged, etc, such that the non-acceptance probably came as a bigger surprise than it should have been. You’re absolutely right of course, it was probably an outrageously competitive process with many, many deserving people applying and I certainly don’t mean to take anything away from them. I’m sure they are all amazingly passionate and creative educators and I’m sure they’ll bring incredible richness of experience to their roles as ADEs.

      When I count my blessings, not being an ADE is so completely inconsequential that to spend more time pondering it is wasted time. 🙂 Next!

      Cheers and thanks.

  2. I do hope that I can live up to their expectations. For me it is a really big thing as I don’t get out as nearly as much as you.

    I thought your video submission showed your skill and passion for your work. I am sure Google will be a heap of fun. I applied for that too and missed out. It is character building to be disappointed from time to time 😉

  3. Thanks my friend,

    Enjoy the ADE experience! I met up with Toni Twiss after last years ADE camp in Sydney and she said it was terrific, so enjoy. Love to catch up when you’re in Sydney if you have time.

  4. I got the official email from Google today with all the details of the Sydney Google Teacher Academy, including a list with the names of the 50 people accepted into it. There were at least 4 ADEs on the list, so there goes my theory about an Apple/Google rift. Mind you, that really only proves that Google can tolerate having ADEs involved in GTA, not the other way around.


  5. As someone who recently had to deal with the disappointment of not getting into the GTA, I understand totally where you are coming form Chris. I am sure writing this will have helped you feel better. it certainly helped me when I recently wrote this. Good Luck at GTA. I look forward to meeting you again sometime soon and picking your brains! If it is any consolation I think they were mad not to pick you.

  6. Hey Chris, maybe its because your video was 5 seconds over the 2min limit? Perhaps its seems like a small thing but they drew a line on great applications and then made a call on the ones who didnt stick to the letter of the application guidelines?

    I’m thinking about applying and came across your blog post about it and I too would be disappointed if no feedback was given!

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