Apple Distinguished Educator (To dream the impossible dream…)

Apple Distinguished Educator
(To dream the impossible dream…)

I recently applied for acceptance into the Apple Distinguished Educator Program which was advertised on the Apple website. I find it’s not easy to promote myself so unabashedly – particularly when most of the educators I know are distinguished, each in their own way. I probably have very little chance as I work for a school system that supports Macs only for Art and Music. Otherwise, it’s PC all the way. The ADE award looks like it is aimed at Joe Macintosh, supervising vast AppleTalk networks or Susie Geefour making iMovies with a room full of iMac SE’s.
That’s precisely why I applied. At some point, Apple has to encourage the Mick O’Neils out there, who tirelessly advocate the use of the Mac in a relatively hostile environment. I’ve argued, cajoled, asked, advised, and almost begged my school system to switch to the Macintosh – not because of any wild-eyed loyalty to Apple, but because the Macintosh is the only system that makes sense for education. I’ve also published columns, research papers, reviews, and the like in an attempt to get all educators to think different about technology in education.
Below, I enclose the full text of the application in the hope that it will inspire other educators in similar situations to apply next year. Meanwhile, please send a message of support to

Awards and Achievements
Exception Performance Awards
Created ‘Technology Coach’ Distance Learning Course for Teachers
Published research paper entitled ‘Time to Let the Big One Go’ that caused our school system to rethink decision to exclude support for Macintosh

Professional Organizations
Education Technologist, Department of Defense Education Activity, Rota Complex
Software/Hardware Reviews Editor, The Journal of Computing in Higher Education
Columnist and author of ‘The Mac Factor,’ MyMac Magazine,
Vice President, Overseas Federation of Teachers, Rota Chapter
Phi Delta Kappa

Please describe in detail your areas of expertise and how you use Apple technologies.
I have served as a school computer coordinator for some 16 years and so have a rich technical background supporting a variety of systems and loads of experience training teachers. During that period, I’ve employed several different Apple technologies including Apple Logo running on an Apple II+ (Mathematics and List Processing); HyperCard on a Mac Plus (Hypertext); Painter, SuperCard, and SuperPaint on a PowerPC 8100 (Graphics and hypertext workshops); ClarisWorks on a variety of Macs (teacher training); Canvas 7 on a PowerPC G4 (Integrated graphics), and, of course, Microsoft Office on most of our school systems. Beyond technical know-how and experience, the most important skills I’ve developed concern communications – written, verbal, and electronic – and I’ve used all three to share my enthusiasm for the Macintosh interface with colleagues, teachers, and readers all over the world.
I advocate the use of Apple technologies because they provide unparalleled accessible power for students and teachers. Accessible power means the technologies are compelling both stylistically and functionally; the software is easy to install, upgrade, and maintain; and the operating system seamlessly delivers software features to the users, intervening only when required. If you accept Marshall McLuhan’s tenet that ‘the medium is the massage,’ then there’s no question that Macintosh users view the world of information differently than their harried Windows and Linux colleagues. This difference plays a crucial role in the impact of Macintosh technology in education.

Magazines, journals, newspapers, or other periodicals where your articles have been published in the past 5 years.
MyMac Magazine, ‘The Mac Factor,’ monthly column since 1997 and
The Journal of Computing in Higher Education, Software & Hardware Reviews Editor, 1998 to present, several articles describing the advantages of the Mac interface for education. See below:
Oct 99 ‘The iBook: An Apple for the Whole School’
May 99 ‘The Write Stuff: Word Processing Tools for the New Millennium’
Dec 98 ‘Time to Let the Big One Go’
Mar 98 ‘The Apple Macintosh: Still the Only Education Game in Town’
Nov 97 ‘Paradigm Paralysis and the Plight of the PC in Education’

Major conferences, years, and presentation titles for the past 5 years
The International Conference on Technology in Education (ICTE), ‘Time to Let the Big One Go,’ accepted for presentation at ICTE conference, Tampa, FL 1999;
Technology Team Leadership Conference, AFCENT, Netherlands, Spring 2000;

Give an example of how your students have used or could use desktop movies in the classroom.
As a former Cinematics teacher, I recognize that desktop movies have immediate application in the cinema arts curriculum. More importantly, however, digital movie technology can become an integral information-processing tool applicable throughout the school curriculum. Schools spend a significant amount of time and resources enabling students to access and download information. Equally as important is the ability of students to massage, process, and publish information once it has been collected. Software tools like word processing, desktop presentations, graphics processing, and database publishing play important roles in this process. The accessible iMovie interface has transformed desktop movie technology into a compelling multimedia tool that kids of all ages and grade levels can use to move this publishing power to another plane.
For example, a 3rd grade class studying social studies could download information from the Net about Mount Vernon, create a scene incorporating period dress and manners of speech, and make a short movie about George Washington. That movie could, in turn, become part of the curriculum for other classes.

What are your professional goals and how do you keep current with technology?
My professional goal is to act as a catalyst to encourage the interaction between information technology and the curriculum to change the way students retrieve, process, and publish information. Towards that end, it’s important that school systems procure technology suited for this purpose and, therefore, a secondary goal is to convince school decision makers that their choice of technologies is too important to be left to narrowly focused management information specialists who are often predisposed towards the ‘industry standard’ Windows operating systems. Through my column for MyMac Magazine and in my capacity as the Hardware/Software Reviews Editor of The Journal of Computing in Higher Education, I plan to represent all those educators who ‘think different’ and seek to change procurement policies based on ignorance and bias. If I’m selected as an ADE, I will do everything I can to provide them the information they require to help make the transformation to more open policies.
I keep current with technologies by surfing the technology sites on the net, reading computer print magazines, reviewing and writing about hardware and software, and purchasing and using technology myself. I also communicate regularly with other education technologists and writers all over the world.

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