New connections – #ADE2013

By July 31, 2013 No Comments

Where do I start? I guess I should have started last night by doing a reflection of the first full day here at the ADE Institute, taking place here in Ireland.

Our first day started with arrivals and a variety of induction activities which quite frankly were super slick and showed the enormity of the planning and organisation that has gone in to this event.

The evening continued with an induction session with the various folk from Apple giving us the lowdown on what we were to experience over the coming week.

The first full day was really good. What struck me was the massive number of people here and the diversity of massive connections we were making. We were told that it was a special event and to be sure, it has been just that. The diversity of cultures, languages and people represented here at the Institute is massive. What makes it particularly special however is that common purpose and goal that everyone here has which is to improve learning, to improve teaching and to develop skills and techniques to create transformational learning experiences. Never before has a professional development opportunity been given to me that has had such a feeling of being special. Being connected. Being a part of a something huge.

One thing which I have always admired in Apple products has been the attention to detail. Whether it is:

  • the packaging which has been developed in such a way to use less materials and to make it possible to ship more units to save on fuel and carbon footprint
  • the way that the magnetic power connector fits to the MacBook, or
  • the way in which they create devices which are finished to such a high standard…
  • Here at the Institute, the attention to detail through the courses being delivered, the timings of sessions, the quality and calibre of the presenters or the food or location or, well…. everything – it’s just the same. Super high. Super slick. Super great.

On the first full day, at the end of the day, four ADEs of which I was one, got together to record a podcast using the great App ‘Spreaker‘ to reflect upon our experiences. The ADEs present were @TESSEnglish1 (Nick Davies), @gavinsmart (Gavin Smart), @mat6453 (Mat Pullen) and myself.

Day two continued to be another amazing and inspiring day with lots of highlights. I’ve learned lots of amazing things about iBooks Author and the simply brilliant Mac App ‘Aperture’. Delivered through a session with Pulitzer winning photographer Bill Frakes I learned brilliant techniques to bring my photos alive using Aperture. This for me is a serious contender against Photoshop when it comes to a variety of activities now such as batch processing a number of images with the same editing. The built in filters and tools are awesome too.

Reflecting back after a day of brilliant inspiration and learning, I thought I’d share with you my favourite element of the day. It was a session with the team from Duarte.com and Nancy Duarte who delivered a brilliant presentation (as you might expect) where I learned lots about how to deliver a great story within a presentation. For me another great element to this presentation was the section by Josiah who talked passionately about the use of layout, flow and more in order to facilitate great presentations. Using white space, using clear consistent design principles means that for learners, they don’t need to get confused by busy, poorly designed slides. With great content being shown clearly and consistently, the minds and consequently learning of our students is not cluttered by poor design. Nancy said it best when she said “It’s ok to have clear space – clutter is a failure of design”. The ideas behind the ‘glance’ technique are particularly powerful when planning out your designs.

The final element of the day which was great fun was the “1 in 3” sessions organised and delivered by members of the class of 2013. Very much like a TeachMeet in terms of quick style delivery, this session was particularly fabulous for two reasons. One) they were all our peers and two) they all delivered brilliant inspiring stories with messages from their home countries and schools. Very heartwarming, inspiring and lots of great ideas shared.

Today, our second day of podcasting using Spreaker led to us being joined by two more ADEs, Alan Frame @headdowneyesup and Wolfgang Soeldner @wsoeldner. Check out our overall reflections below.

That’s enough for this post now. I’d urge you to check out the two podcasts (more coming tomorrow) but to finish off, thank you for reading this far and please do check out the podcasts and subscribe to catch our subsequent #ADESpreak sessions. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.



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