If you are looking for a great place to meet passionate, enthusiastic educators who love to share ideas and get the best out of their students, then look no further than the Apple Distinguished Educator program. You may have read my previous experiences at the 2015 and 2016 conferences about the amazing work that educators are doing across the globe and think, ‘Hey! I’d love to be a part of that!’

Well, now is the time to get started thinking about your application for #ADE2017. This coming year is a brand new intake year, which only occurs every other year. Last intake was in 2015, which I was lucky enough to be involved in among 600 other educators from across the globe. Applications are normally submitted late January to February, check here to find more info. To get you started I have compiled some of my ‘Top Tips’ for your #ADE2017 application.

1 - Tell a story
If there is anything that Apple love the most, other than its products, it is a great ‘story’. The art form of storytelling does come naturally to many people, but for others it is somewhat difficult. As a part of your application you will need to create a short video of you telling your story. Here are some things to keep in mind when telling your story;

  • Follow a student's progress, how have you directly impact that students learning.
  • Discuss the transformation of learning you have impacted on your learning environment.
  • Use real samples or testimonials to support your story and give it life.

2 - Focus on the learning
Yes, the #ADE2017 is all about Apple products , however, one of the first things you need to understand that it is not all about the technology. The focus of your application, yes, will have how you are using Apple products, but should be most importantly focused on the impact on student, teacher and even extended community learning. Both Institutes I have attended have been an incredible experience based on the amazing work educators are doing to transform learning at their respective learning environments.

  • Keep it simple and focused on the learning and the role you play in that.
  • Discuss students change in thinking and development.
  • Think ‘before I used to learn this way, now I learn this way’
  • It does not have to be the direct impact of learning on students, think, teacher and parents too.

3 - Share your passion
A common trait amongst ADE’s is their passion. Passion for learning and passion for sharing. You need to share that passion in your video application and in the written component. If you are already thinking about applying, you are probably already passionate enough about your teaching and learning of students. Between now and the application date, begin sourcing examples of your own passion and creativity with making student learning more engaging and authentic.

4 - Reach out
You can’t always do everything by yourself, so seek some help. Make sure you reach out to your local Apple Education team a). so they know you and, b). So they can offer any advice for applying in your specific area.

There are also a bunch of ADE’s who regularly use Twitter, begin to connect and see their ideas. There are weekly #twitterchats hosted by a bunch of ADE’s, most notably #adechat, which is hosted on a regular basis on different topics for different timezones.

All the best with the application, remember to reach out if you need - @coby_mr