Stories have been told for over 40,000 years. They form a huge part of cultures, traditions, religions and families, and are something we share daily with each other across the globe. The story of the ADE institute in Cork is, of course, one of innovation, creativity, reflection; all things you would expect from an Apple event such as this. However, the real story lies in the people that attended the event – The Apple Distinguished Educators of Europe, the UAE and India.
The week provided plenty of opportunities to meet and talk with like-minded educators from all over the world. There was a huge range of different institutions that were represented; from Kindergarten to University – all subjects and age ranges were covered, therefore providing unprecedented levels of expertise. Complementing the different backgrounds of the ADE’s at Cork, was one overriding common feature. Every single ADE has used technology to change learning in their schools; therefore every single ADE had a fascinating and informative story to tell.
The story of the (John) Lennon Bus is remarkable, and one that I recommend all educators investigate. Furthermore, attending the event were members of the Californian based Team Duarte, experts in presentation and design. During a highly informative presentation, entitled ‘Resonating Through Contrast’, by founder and CEO, Nancy Duarte, the theme of story-telling was highlighted as essential to any presentation. She analysed how famous speeches by the likes of Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs followed similar patterns, and the story-element contained within them, were vital to their success. However, as fascinating as this was, it was the stories of the ADE’s that I was most interested in and resonated deepest with me.
A major part of the institute was the formation of a PLN with whom work was completed for the rest of the week, I was fortunate enough to begin work with teachers who shared a commonality of thinking differently; formation of our PLN name followed naturally. Team ‘Think Different’ was born. Our PLN contained brilliant teachers from Holland, Sweden and the UK, and all their respective stories were remarkable. I quickly ascertained that I was making game-changing connections with educators who had detailed and highly relevant expertise, skills and ideas that would help me to improve my pedagogy, make me a better teacher and ultimately ensure a positive impact on the students I teach. They were:
Our stories were shared, and this small group of ADE’s provided encouragement, points for development and a brilliant sense of humour. We bounced ideas, critically examined and resonated with each other, making connections that would last and grow. Already, there is talk of a get-together in the near future. A chance for our story to continue, and for the plot to thicken as we take our next steps together to make positive changes to the lives of the children we teach.
There were many other amazing people at the institute; Marc Faulder, Alan Frame, Jared Rodgers, Mark Anderson, Daniel Edwards, Lauren Young, Adam Webster, Rebecca Stockley, Jennifer McCoy, Graeme McCafferty, Ghislain Dominé, Ed Charlwood, Wolfgang Soeldner, Tom Riley, Johan Andersson, Carrie Zimmer, Graham Bell, Mark Shillitoe and many, many others, who all shared parts of their stories with me and I also can’t wait to see their next chapters unfold…