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.

GTA is Go

A few weeks ago I posted my application video for the Sydney Google Teacher Academy. According to their schedule, I wasn’t expecting to hear anything back about it until late next week, so I was very excited yesterday when I checked my email and found this waiting for me…

You have been selected to participate in the Google Teacher Academy – Sydney. After reviewing your application, we believe that you have the experience and passion necessary to positively impact education in your region, and we are excited to have you join us on Wednesday 20 April 2011 at the Google office in Sydney.

Woohoo! I’m aware that it’s a pretty hotly contested thing to get into, so I’m feeling very fortunate to have been accepted. Of course, as well as spending time at Google ‘s fantastic new Sydney offices and getting hands-on and in-depth with all the cool tools that Google offers for education, the other best part is in the networking and the conversations that I know will take place over the very full day and a half. Just from seeing mentions on Twitter, it appears that a number of other people I know will be there, like @jessmcculloch, @adrian_camm, @davein2it and @TarNZC, so it’ll be awesome!

I know there’s others who got in, although I don’t know who they are. If you’re also going to GTA Sydney, drop a note in the comments below. It’d be fun to know who’s going.

Explore. Get Motivated. Learn.

This is my application video for the Sydney Google Teacher Academy.  Google have run a number of these events for teachers in the USA, but this is the first one to be held in Australia (and I thought I read somewhere it was also the first to be run outside the US, but I could be wrong about that). Regardless, I have wanted to attend a GTA for a long time now, and even contemplated going to the States to attend one.  As you can imagine, I was pretty excited to hear that it was coming to Sydney.

Part of the requirement for the application is to make an original one minute video based on either of the following topics: “Motivation and Learning” OR “Classroom Innovation“.  They said to try and be creative. The video is designed to demonstrate your technical ability, your resourcefulness, your commitment, and your unique personality and interests.  My first thought was “What? All in the same minute?”  Seriously, minute-long videos are hard to make!

No doubt there will be many people applying and I know it will be really competitive to get into it, but you’ve got to be in it to win it.  The due date is not until January 27 so if you’ve been thinking about applying as well, you can find all the details at

Good luck and I hope to see some of you there!