It is that time of year again! Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) applications are open for 2017 around the globe till this Wednesday. Send in your applications and know that if selected, your application is not just about technology, or a attaining title, but more importantly about becoming a member of a global community of learners who push the boundaries of education today.

Apple’s Tim Cook: Classroom tech ‘not a substitute’ for teaching

As Tim Cook recently put it, Classroom Technology is a “compliment to tradition teaching and not a substitute.”

Apple Distinguished Educators are a part of a global community of teachers who share, communicate and collaborate. Whether you are a teacher in Australia (like I was), or you travel around from Asia to Europe (like I now do) – you find fellow ADE’s who are passionate and creative. These teachers know how to inspire creativity in any subject area and they rely on their fellow ADE’s for support and ideas.

As an ADE you get to attend conferences with your fellow educators to be inspired – not for Professional Development. It is much more than that. You learn how to create resources for learners with difficulties, or how a teacher used their one personal iPad to engage an entire school; how an Artist used coding and robots to create digital-light-art, or how a team of educators in South Korea used Apple Technology to change the way ‘school was run’ in the 21st Century!

I was very fortunate to meet Chanpil Jung, fellow ADE of 2015 who had been leading a revolution of positive change in the Korean school system. By flipping the classroom and moving away from the traditional (teacher lectures and students copy down notes) approach amazing things were happening in local Korean schools.

Busan Schools Flip Korea’s Society, Classrooms

“…The KBS documentary director, Chanpil Jung, [has started] the rethinking of schools across Korea…given how Korean schools operate and how many Koreans think teaching and learning should look — stand and deliver a lecture to an entire class that receives passively the information — [this] represents a significant shift in the Korean mindset and a big leap forward.”

I the Music Educator then connected with Chanpil Jung, a colleague of his Anna Kim (who taught Maths), and a complete collaborative project was born between Music and Maths! Why, because we were all passionate about learning and sharing.

By teaming up with Anna Kim we both taught the Pythagoras Theorem, Chanpil Jung and his team filmed each session and two Middle School classes received a series of team taught lessons on how Music and Math connected through numbers. An outline of my lessons is linked below:

Anna Kim spoke both Korean and English but I had to do my best to communicate musical concepts through body percussion, singing and solfeggio. We had a collection of Math problems in yellow paper that had to be proven as authentic Pythagorean Triads before students could apply musical concepts. So when a Pythagorean Triad was taught (for example, 3 4 5) I could sing Mi, Fa So. This then led to the students using my iPads to compose their own pieces with MADPAD HD and GarageBand for IOS.

Then there was the time I visited China and found myself in the middle school Science classroom talking about iBooks! Being an Apple Distinguished Educator can take you places but best of all, it can introduce you to amazing people and creative solutions in learning.

Become an Apple Distinguished Educator. You will move forward, connect with passionate educators and find a community ready to hear your story, connect with your ideas and build something together.


“Apple’s Tim Cook: Classroom tech ‘Not a substitute’ for teaching.” ITV News,

Horn, Michael. “Busan Schools Flip Korea’s Society, Classrooms.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 29 Mar. 2014,