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.

To be an ADE

I’ve always aspired to be an Apple Distinguished Educator, but I’ve never actually done anything about applying for it. As far as my own personal computer use goes, anyone who knows me knows that I am most definitely a Mac guy, but I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to apply to be an ADE because most of the schools I’ve worked in have been primarily Windows schools.  As they say, one should never assume.

While it’s true that many – probably most – ADEs work exclusively in Apple schools, apparently it’s not always the case.  While chatting with someone from Apple a while ago I mentioned this, and they replied that the ADE program is aimed at recognising teachers, and does not necessarily focus on the type of computers used in the school that teacher works at.

To become an ADE you obviously need to be active in certain ways that help spread the message about technology and it’s value for education.  You need to be passionate about the ways that digital technology (and pretty obviously, Apple digital technology in particular) can make students more engaged and creative.  You need to demonstrate some degree of innovative practice and a reasonable level of experience in the classroom. I hope I can do all these things. And you need to fill in the appropriate forms.  I’m pretty sure I can do that part.

Oh, and you also need to make a short 2 minute video that gives a bit of an insight into who you are and what you do and what you might bring to the party.  Apparently the video is pretty important.  I gave it my best shot.

Anyway, I finally got my ADE application in for this next intake of teachers (a few days before the deadline too! Woohoo!) so my fingers are crossed.  If you’re interested, here’s the video.