Earlier this year I had the opportunity to put forward an application to be part of the Apple Distinguished Educator Global 20th Anniversary Institute to be held in San Diego, California from 12 July to 19 July 2014. The application involved sharing the types of environment and pedagogy where technology was being used to personalise the learning journey for students. At Holy Cross College, this is embedded in everything we do as we have the privilege and opportunity of being a one-to-one iPad college.
Arriving in San Diego on 12 July, I was first invited to register, meet and network with some of the other institute attendees from thirty-seven countries around the world. In total there were approximately 367 attendees including only three teaching representatives from WA. Attendees ranged from Early Childhood educators through to University lecturers and District Directors.
The formal Institute began on the Monday and did not fail to disappoint with its keynote speaker, E.O. Wilson; a biologist, theorist and author of the Life on Earth series on the iBooks store. His keynote was inspirational and his work continues by inspiring young scientists through the sharing of his interactive texts. E.O.Wilson worked alongside Drew Berry, a highly acclaimed biomedical animator whose work is highlighted in the Life on Earth series. Drew presented the second inspiring keynote presentation and shared his work with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. He specifically shared the work he had created for an art exhibition in Melbourne entitled White Night Melbourne. The work of these high profile scientists was to show the theme for the week for the Apple Distinguished Educators, which was the theme of CITIZEN SCIENTISTS.
The next few days consisted of a number of field trips around the San Diego area including Cuyamaca Park, San Dieguito Lagoon, Torrey Lines and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Throughout the Keynotes, workshops and on site locations we were introduced to a variety of learning experiences enhanced by the use of mobile technologies.
There were a number of opportunities to network with other educators throughout the world both informally and formally. Without a doubt, this was the highlight of the trip; hearing stories and seeing work undertaken in classrooms of some of the most remarkable and outstanding educators from every corner of the globe. The inspiration and gathering of minds focused on determining the future of the journey for education and the authentic sharing of ideas for experimental and challenge based learning opportunities were mind-blowing.
In sharing what we do here at Holy Cross College with these educators, there was a realisation of how far ahead we are in our journey in developing a school of the future. Our job now is to continue to share what we do here in order to inspire others and to celebrate the innovative and committed staff we have in pushing the boundaries of what education looks like for a digital generation and ways we can continue to improve for the benefit of the students in our care.
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