ADE Institute 2019 • Bethesda

Posted August 4, 2019

ADE Institute 2019 in Bethesda, Maryland was my first institute as an Apple Distinguished Educator alumni. Going in to the institute, I knew that it would be a blast, as it always is when ADE family get together, and I was excited about the opportunity to connect with a whole new class of ADEs, including some new art teachers! As always, the experience surpassed my expectations and left me refueled and ready for a new school year! 

Throughout the institute we got up close looks at Apple’s iOS apps, and this year's institute took on a musical theme for me. GarageBand has always been the one app of the formerly "iLife" suite that I have struggled with. Growing up I had no true music education, as I attended a super small private school where we essentially just sang church hymns. I committed when I arrived at ADE that I would go to a GarageBand session to try to further my skills in that area. When I arrived at the session, I was nervous and unsure but decided to dive in. During the session I remembered a song on piano that I had learned long ago when we played recorders, and I had taught myself on keyboard. As I remembered it and played along in the session I had a blast and it really made me think of my musical students who would love to have this opportunity more at school. At the end, I was explaining to Val that I don't know how to read music, and she taught me how to do some basic chords based on guitar tabs. I was amazed at how fast I could pick up a few things and I am excited to go back and try this more this year. 

I also really enjoyed the session that Mary Kemper presented about different ways to tie math and GarageBand together. I was mind-blown at the connections to exponential growth and decay, as well as fractions (which my elementary teachers are going to LOVE!). Later on, our session with John Danty was amazing and really showed me what is capable using this powerful tool. His ability to take simple toys and noisemakers and turn them into songs was unbelievable. 

All of the breakout sessions I attended were phenomenal as well. I loved learning Keynote and Numbers from the master, Jay Welshofer, and, although I use these apps all the time, I learned some amazing new tricks (and even a fun Easter Egg! Lititz!) and was shocked by some of the simple little tricks that I never knew existed! 

Another part of institute that I really enjoyed this year was our small groups. It was nice to partner alumni ADEs and new ADEs together and help welcome them to the family. I also loved getting to know other ADEs that I hadn't yet crossed paths with through this group. It was a great forum for conversations and was a wonderful way to build connections. 

As always, everything from breakfast to evening sessions, to late nights working on projects, was meaningful. The opportunities to connect with ADEs I've met over the past few years was incredible, and I found myself bouncing from group to group as I reconnected with friends and made new ones.  We joked about hand states (Yes....Wisconsin is shaped like a hand, not Michigan---although my Michigan friends will argue this point lol) and had late nights filled with laughs. The experience made me so excited to continue working with other ADEs and helping other teachers to truly unleash the power of technology in their classrooms. I'm excited to go back and share all the amazing things I learned with teachers, students and anyone who will listen! :) I am so grateful to again have had such an incredible opportunity to learn and grow together with other ADE family.