A Professional Highlight from the ADE Institute in Bali

ADE 2013 Asia Pacific group. Photo by Blll Frakes
ADE 2013 Asia Pacific group. Photo by Blll Frakes

The WAB team (comprising newbie Jeri Hurd, alumni Ray Gentleman and me) has just got back from the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Institute in Bali. The Institute welcomed over 230 new ADEs from across the Asia-Pacfic region with representation from afar as New Zealand to Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Greater China (Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing). The application process and the competition was fierce and Team Greater China welcomed our very own WABbie, Jeri Hurd (HS Librarian) into the ADE community. As usual it was an action-packed, high-energy, intense and rewarding experience.

Here’s one of our professional highlights:

In full flow with Jeri (left). Photo by Daniel Woo
In full flow with Jeri (left). Photo by Daniel Woo
There’s a lot of buzz going on about action research in the Apple communities and more so about the iPad. Jeri (Hurd) and I were asked to showcase the action research journey we have embarked on in our high school in order to find out how the iPad transforms learning in the classroom.
WAB Mission Statement
WAB Mission Statement

In a ten-minute ‘TED’ style talk, we used the WAB mission statement ‘Connect, Inspire, Challenge: Make a Difference’ to ground our story which we segmented as follows:

  1. a simplified version of our action research model;
  2. our first action research project which resulted in the fabulous collaborative multi-touch book written by 27 MYP Grade 10 history students entitled ‘World War Two: Illustrated Histories’
  3. where we are now: working with twelve plus HS faculty to scale the action research project across various curriculum areas

I have been to a number of Apple events and I know the high standards expected. We were hand-picked for one of the twelve showcase spots to get up in front of our peers and inspire; the pressure was certainly on and we spent countless hours and sleepless nights putting it together to ensure that we told the story in a simple way while also doing justice to the work that had been put in by our colleagues and students – after all, it was their work that put us up on the stage.

Support when the technology fails! Photo by Daniel Woo
Support when the technology fails! Photo by Daniel Woo

Of course, no talk would be complete without some technical issue and the recovery the ensues. To our peers, this was the unintentional highlight in that we celebrated every teachers’ nightmare. Note to self: never rely on the network in a live demonstration on an iPad when you are sharing the network with over 1000 devices!

The keynote slide deck (ActionResearchSmall.mov) was amazing thanks to Ray Gentleman (MS Design) who was our support and champion throughout. The impact of great graphics in presentations must never be underestimated and there’s a lot of respect and acknowledgement for Ray’s design expertise in both the ADE and Learning 2.0 communities.
Designer Ray - photo by Joseph Frambo
Designer Ray – photo by Joseph Frambo

Now the eyes of the ADE community are on us to see what we find out and how our iPad trials pan out. We are documenting our action research journey in the public WAB iTunes U site. Our iPad course is here. Please visit from time to time to follow our story.



Konsulting with Katz in Korea

@stevekatz – please excuse the terrible alliteration – I just couldn’t resist it!

Late last month, I was invited to work with the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) community in Seoul. I had two extremely productive days; the first was working exclusively with the ADEs and the second was a day of running workshops for the international school community.

Looking for the Challenge!

Friday’s Brief:

Friday’s focus was for the ADE community to come together to choose a collaborative project to address across schools using a CBL model. I was very fortunate to be asked to join as the facilitator for the group for the planning day. It’s a really good idea to have someone ‘neutral’ and not a primary stakeholder.

The goals for the day were to:

  • decide on the topic for the collaborative project
  • determine strategic plan for implementing collaborative project (timeline, structure, participants, promotion plan for projects and so on)
  • determine specific outcomes of the project

Our Passions:

We kicked off with each person responding to three simple questions:

  1. What is your role in your school/what do you teach
  2. What is the curriculum of school
  3. What is your current passion

From this, we broke into groups to compare and constrast responses to determine the common themes and then fed-back to create a complete list.

What’s your Passion?

The Problems:

We then compiled a list of problems that emerged from these themes and discussions which we threw up on a googledoc so that everyone could indicate which problems that they were interested in tackling. Some problems were:

  • How do we provide students the foundational technology skills they need to effectively use technology for learning?
  • Students are not aware of the value/effects of their short/long-term effects of their digital footprint

However, one clear problem emerged….perhaps with lunch drawing close, it was a quick decision!

Schools needs 21st Century administrators for the 21st Century

The Challenge:

Using the Challenge Based Learning (CBL) model, the next step was to turn the problem into a feasible challenge.

Build a common understanding of 21st Century administration among leaders in international schools in Korea.

For the scope of this project, we defined administrators to be principals, vice or assistant principals, the business managers or CFOs and curriculum leaders.

For background on 21 Century learning, our primary sources were:

NETS for Administrators (2009). International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Partnership for 21st Century Skills (August 2, 2007). Framework for 21st Century Learning.

The Solution:

“The ADE Community in Korea will work together to develop a variety of collective and school-based professional development opportunities for administrators in international schools in Korea in order to build a common understanding of 21st Century school administration. Two surveys, at the beginning of the challenge and the end of the challenge will be digitally distributed to pre-identified administrators in the international schools in order to measure changes in perceptions/understandings of 21st Century administration.”

Examples of some of the collective opportunities include:

  • Korea Council of Overseas Schools (KORCOS) workshops for 21st Century Administrator which will be informed by the results of the first survey
  • A specific Event for all headmasters / principals
  • A one stop site for administrators such as an wiki for student showcase, professional readings, links posted to Facebook group

In addition schools will put together individual professional development plans, again informed by the first survey and continually reviewed and updated based on feedback. Ideas included:

  • Encouraging administrators to use collaboration tools in meeting
  • Videos made by students to show how administrators can use the tools in their admin environment
  • Developing an app to take into the classroom to evaluate how technology is used

As the facilitator for that day, my ‘job’ is done – but is it? The proof in is in the eating! For me, it was more than just a one-off task. I’m curious to see how the project is going. I want to look at the results of the survey and see how it was received by the administrators. I want to find how the plans are translating into actions…what’s working, what’s not.  I’m looking forward to my administrators networking with the administrators from Korea and being “wow’ed” by their 21 Century-ness. Bring it on!

Whatever the outcome(s), it was a fantastic opportunity to get to know the Korea ADE community on both a more personal and professional level:

Aysem Bray (KIS) @Aysem_Bray
Darren Price (TCIS)
Jessica Hale (YISS) @mrshaleinseoul
Joe Fambro (GSIS) @krea_frobro747
Kevin Duncan (KIS) @duncanka
Marcel Ideler (Chadwick)
Mark Heil (leave early) (YISS) @mouseflip
Rolly Maiquez (Chadwick) @rollymaiquez
Steve Katz (KIS) @stevekatz
Tim Bray (KIS) @tsbray

and, of course, TG Song (Korea) and Melissa Li (Beijing) from Apple.

Thank you all for inviting me!

…and because of that….reflections from #ade2011

I have just been at the ADE Asia Insitute in HCMC and I feel that I have arrived back at home with the bends; I am giddy with exhaustion and need days in a decompression chamber to unravel and process the incredibly rich and intense experiences of the last seven days. I am going to take Pav’s advice and post this reflection because as the day goes on I see that I need some closure so that I can tackle the mountain of work that awaits me.

WAB’s Mission Statement is Connect, Inspire, Challenge and Make a Difference and for me, that really sums up the ADE Institute.

Western Academy of Beijing - mission statement

Connect – So many rich conversations with a diverse range of 68 awesome educators (60 new ADEs plus the other 8 Advisory Board members).  The connections, in the words of Karen Carpenter have ‘only just begun….’

Inspire – Words cannot describe how many times I was inspired – from each and every double-click video to the amazing thought processes and actions. I think that the Saigon 360 nailed it for me.

Challenge – My personal challenge was to appear ‘worthy’ of my place on the advisory board in addition to the those 3 letters: ADE. It was a humbling experience. My game plan is, as ever, to mask inadequacies with humour – if you don’t have anything profound to share, at least make a stab at humour.

….and because of that…I hope I made a difference


Some initial take-aways
  • Never turn away from criticism – look at it straight in the eye, learn and grow
  • I’m not the only one that processes by talking it through – but I also need quiet time to reflect and a good 30 minutes in the pool each morning helped
  • Listen, listen and listen
  • Diversity is a wonderful thing
And on a more practical level:
  • prepare cover lessons for the first 3 days back in school (so brain-drained that you can act like a cover teacher and read out the instructions)
  • have a trusted advisor to prep you for any meetings 10 minutes before the meeting and also prompt you in meetings by ichatting you your notes, links and other resources
  • remember that not everyone in the building wants to share your experiences – a quick ‘it was awesome’ is better than a blow-by-blow, minute-by-minute account.

 Thinking of becoming an ADE?

Outside the Apple Store NY by Max Timchenko (from flickr)

Being an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) has opened a huge number of doors for me: I am part of a great network of educators; ADE’s are enthusiastic and keen to share – I have learned so much. In addition, being an ADE has given me the opportunity to present at the Apple Leadership Conference in Hong Kong and consult for Apple in other schools in Beijing and beyond.  I have been fortunate to be asked to be the ADE Asia coordinator for Beijing and now serve on the ADE Asia board. Apple also provides training and networking experiences for ADE’s, at the local level,  for example, Apple helped us bring a fabulous photographic storyteller/educator/Aperature expert  Joseph Linsachke, over to Beijing. I’ve also been invited along with a few other ADE’s to participate in the Flat Classroom Conference at BISS in February.

Since becoming an ADE, my personal learning network has expanded to the point where I was invited to be a cohort leader at Shanghai Learning 2.010 and I am now on the organising committee for Learning 2.011, as the co chair. The Beijing Learning Summit (BLS) 2009 was an initiative of 5 ADE’s with more coming on board for BLS 2010.

In a nutshell, being an ADE means that you can tap into a great pool of talent and get great people to present and attend conferences as well as spend online time with like-mined peers who are willing to share, coach, mentor and don’t mind having those ‘geeky’ conversations!

Bali by Omegaforest (from flickr)
Bali by Omegaforest (from flickr)

The Asia ADE Institute 2011 will be held in Bali, Indonesia. It is a 4-and-a-half-day residential Institute and begins the evening of Friday April 8 and ends on the night of Tuesday April 12. Some key dates are:

Application Deadline: 31 Jan 2011
Committee Selection: 1 Feb –19 Feb 2011
Acceptance Announcement: 21 Feb 2011

More details can be found here: http://www.apple.com/education/apple-distinguished-educator/

Why not come and join us?

Four Conferences and a Project

This academic year I have been actively shifting towards online collaborations and communications. Being based here in China adds an interesting perspective due to a number of Web 2.0 services not always being available. However challenging this may be at times, for me, it is extremely important to prepare for  “tomorrow’s ideas” using “today’s tools” and to be part of a global community; how else can I help prepare students for tomorrow’s world? With the Shanghai Learning 2.010 done and  dusted, I now look towards four conferences (two f2f and two online) that I am involved with.

The 2010 K-12 Online Conference is now underway. It is a conference for educators interested in innovative ways that Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. Julie Lindsay and I will be presenting presenting our experiences six weeks into our InsideITGS project: “Cyber-Students Share their Connected Learning”. The presentation video is scheduled for October 21st. Our teaser promotional video is here.

InsideITGS a collaboration that started between our two schools in China, Western Academy of Beijing and Beijing (BISS) International School. The aim of Inside ITGS is to join IB Diploma Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) students together in a flattened virtual learning environment thereby providing enhanced opportunities for cultural awareness and global collaboration as well as explore and evaluate IT tools and systems in an authentic and social context.

After the success of our first Beijing Learning Summit last year, we are busy organising the Beijing Learning Summit 2010, a technology conference hosted at WAB for teachers by teachers on Saturday November 13th. This year’s theme was inspired by one of our presenters ‘Ideas for tomorrow, tools for today’. The idea is to give teachers practical ideas to use in their classrooms straightaway whilst also thinking about the classrooms of the future. To keep up the conversations flowing,  we are having ‘lunch-on-the-run’ where participants will pick up their packed lunch and join ‘unconferenced’ conversations.

The week after, from November 15 -20 is the online Global Education Conference. Held in multiple time zones and multiple languages over the five days, the conference is a collaborative and world-wide community effort to significantly increase opportunities for globally-connecting education activities and initiatives. My role as one of the mentor chairs has been to collaborate with our team of five to develop a mentoring program, the aims of which are to provide conference participants the best possible experience by helping participants choose and get into Elluminate sessions in addition to assisting participants who are interested in taking part in collaborative global education projects or beginning a project. More details about this program is here.

Finally, I will be joining the Flat Classroom Conference in an official capacity as an ADE and co-leader of a cohort. The Flat Classroom Conference will be held at Beijing (BISS) International School from February 25-27, 2011.

Points to ponder:

  • What does it mean to participate effectively in an online conference?
  • What will your classroom look like in 10 years time?
  • In what ways are you preparing your students to be online learners?
  • What does it mean to be part of a global community? What are the challenges?