Apple Distinguished Educators lead the way at University of Adelaide

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The University of Adelaide's School of Education hosted the most innovative teachers for a showcase of excellence in the classroom.

Walk past most Australian schools and you are likely to witness some extraordinary transformations underway. Adventurously designed, flexible learning spaces are opening by the dozen. Read their newsletters are you’ll find 1:1 device programs being reinvigorated by recent enhancements to digital handwriting processes on touchscreen tablets. Sit into their staff meetings and you’ll hear discussions around how to use technology to transform pedagogy. Ask a child about their Geography homework and chances are they’ll tell you that they are producing an infographic with interactive multimedia content.

Not all schools are the same of course, but this is the lived, daily reality in many Australian classrooms, and one presumes in a greater number among them every year.

At the University of Adelaide’s School of Education, we’ve been asking ourselves how we can equip teachers to be prepared for the classrooms which no longer belong in the future, but rather the present. Our eLearning Program, which enhances the role that educational technologies play across the Bachelor of Teaching and Masters of Teaching degrees, is part of the answer. Its aim is to help pre-service teachers learn about teaching through contemporary mindsets and tools.

Under the auspices of the eLearning Program, over a dozen Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) were recently hosted for the #ADE@UNI event. ADEs are among the most innovative teachers in the world, hand-picked for their cutting-edge use of technology to enhance their students’ learning experiences. 

To an audience of inspired pre-service teachers, ADEs from Australia, the UK and China showcased how technology can transform learning. Examples include running simultaneous collaboration on common projects across classes from different continents; enabling students to design stunning multimedia digital books good enough to publish on the iBookstore; enhancing understanding of chemical processes through augmented reality and more...

Pre-service teachers were even able to collaborate with ADEs in a challenge to ideate new innovative lesson plans.

Showcasing the best of the present to create the best of the future.

Written by Dr Walter Barbieri, Apple Distinguished Educator and Apple Teacher at The School of Education, University of Adelaide.

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