ADE Academy 2017: First Reflections

I’m just back from ADE Academy 2017 in London.

I have so many thoughts and feelings that it’s going to take me time to process and reflect properly, but I’m also aware I want to get some initial thoughts down before they float away and are forgotten.

Over the next few days and weeks expect to see blog posts on these themes.

Start with the why….

My showcase journey.

Change and influence.

Create. Share. Amplify.

For now let me just share with you these thoughts.

Passion is contagious

Community is the key

When we collaborate we make each other better. Together we shine more brilliantly than we ever could alone.

I’m not the only crazy one.



Apple Distinguished Educator

One of the things that I am most interested in as a teacher is using educational technology to make a difference in the classroom.  I use iPads, Apple TV and my interactive whiteboard nearly every day but for a whole range of purposes.

In February I applied to become an Apple Distinguished Educator.  This global programme accepts applications every two years and the main part of the application is a two minute video sharing your story of how you impact change using Apple Technologies in your setting.

Apple Distinguished Educators are Advocates, Ambassadors, Authors and Advisors, sharing what can be possible in the classroom when Apple Technologies are used effectively.  Being part of the Apple Distinguished Educator community is an honour, they are some of the most innovative and encouraging teachers I have ever come into contact with and collaboration, sharing ideas and working together, is such a big part of the community ethos.  Everyone is just SO helpful and lovely.

I had been working towards applying for around 18 months, collecting evidence of the practice that I was doing anyway – trying to showcase the difference having iPads in school makes.

With some advice and encouragement from ADEs I know from online and real life I submitted my application in February.

The wait to hear back seemed never ending, especially with some false starts of other applicants on twitter saying that we would hear on a certain date (dates that passed without announcements). Until Apple Edu tweeted saying the new class would be announced on 3rd April.

I was delighted when at 5pm on the button, while I was sitting in Tesco carpark on my way home from school I got the email.

FullSizeRender 4


A huge thank you has to go to the ADE alumni who have encouraged me and advised me,  especially Dessie Tennyson and Rachel Smith, to the other ADE applicants who were like a little online support group and to my family and friends who pretty much heard about nothing else for the last four months….

Its difficult to put into words how much this means.  Its an honour for what I do in my class and my school to be recognised.  Its exciting to get to part of the programme and I’m looking forward to meeting others from the class and some alumni at Apple Institute in the summer.

And I know that this is just the start of the adventure!




#AppShareLive 2

This morning I got to join in with AppShareLive, a fantastic idea from ICT Evangelist, Mark Anderson.    A group of educators with 5 minutes each to share an app that they use in their classrooms or with teachers they work with.

I have watched Mark’s other projects like this (AppSmashLive) with interest, so when I saw that people could offer to present I jumped at the opportunity.  Its just like an online Teachmeet.

I chose to present on Seesaw.  Probably my most used app on a daily basis. I’ve presented on it before at Teachmeet at #NIEDCAMP but I keep finding new ways to use it and new things you can do with it.

I have two special projects in Seesaw at the moment:

Global link up class: where I have invited teachers from around the world to join me in a virtual classroom.  Over 4 weeks our pupils will share about what their schoollife is like so that they can learn about how children their age live in other countries.

Snow Safari: I made videos in iMovie on polar animals, uploaded them to my own seesaw folder, logged in to seesaw via my browser, got a shareable link for each video, made each link into a QR code and made posters to put up round the school.  Pupils will go on a snow safari finding the posters, scanning the codes, watching the videos and identifying the animals on safari spotter sheets.  The children from my class, both our P1 classes and our Learning Support Unit will be using this too so it is learning across our key stage.

My ancient 2008 Macbook, is now officially vintage in the U.S. and obsolete in Europe.  I prefer calling in vintage though, obsolete makes me sad.  I had a fair few technical difficulties during the Google Hangout, but everyone was very patient and my screenshare worked eventually.  For anyone wanting to have a look at it, you can see it here: SeesawAppShare

The appshare was also recorded so you can watch it on ICT Evangelist’s youtube channel here.