There’s still another week to go until application period closes on the Apple Distinguished Educator programme for 2015.
You can find the application for the programme here. Go have a read, I’ll still be ranting when you get back.
I’ve had a couple of people ask me for tips in the process. Being a thoughtful blogger, I’ll share with whoever is interested.
Disclaimer: I don’t work for Apple and have no special insight into who gets selected. These tips are based purely on my interactions ADEs I’ve met and marking applications for other programmes.
Tip 1: Read the application carefully
Before you you even start writing and filming, make sure you are aware of what’s required. This is important both in terms of the materials you need to create but also if you are able to participate in the institute. Make sure you talk with your professional leader before you actually start your application as they’ll need to sign off on your application at some point.
Tip 2: Answer the questions
This may sound obvious but there is a temptation to write what you think the markers want to read and avoid answering the questions in the application.
Tip 3: Avoid jargon
21st century skills, creative, innovative, amazing, transformational. Avoid cluttering your application with jargon. Take time to choose your words carefully.
Tip 4: Focus on learning
You know what your marker hasn’t read about? What awesome things your kids are doing in the classroom. Treat your application as an opportunity to showcase what makes your classroom awesome.
Tip 5: Draw on the wisdom of others
Watch other people’s application videos. Get someone, ideally a current ADE, to watch your video. You should also get someone to proofread your written answers.
Tip 6: Be the purple cow
Take time to reflect on what makes you unique as an educator and roll with that. If you’ve got any special interests or talents, put that in the application. Let your personality shine through.
Tip 7: You don’t need to be in a 1:1 Apple environment
When I was selected, my class had an iPad and 3 iPod touches. We didn’t have a lot of devices but we made waves with what we had.
Tip 8: The Video
2 minutes. It doesn’t seem like that much until you have to condense everything you do down into a 2 minute story. Rather than focus on everything maybe focus on one cool thing you’ve done in class and show it off. There are some amazingly talented teachers in terms of video production but content still matters.
Tip 9: Product Placement
A touchy subject but Apple doesn’t run the ADE programme out of the goodness of their heart. At some point you are going to have to give the company some snaps. I’d also strongly advise you to use Apple products to edit your video.
Tip 10: Demonstrate how you can add to the programme
Getting admitted into the programme isn’t an award. It is an opportunity to participate in a community and advocate for change within education.
Good luck! Applications close off March 1.