And I’m not just referring to the company I kept. The DEN was well represented at last week’s Apple Institute on the Monterey Peninsula. STAR’s from Pennsylvania to California and Alabama to Wisconsin joined almost two hundred other Apple Distinguished Educators from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia for a week of learning and sharing. Though dorm living was the norm, the real bonding came as we chose from ten off-campus trips and then broke into almost forty teams to create lessons to share and build on through the coming school year. The groups have the next few weeks to put the finishing touches on their projects before they go public on the Apple Learning Interchange. Since the lessons are relevant to educators regardless of platform, I will highlight many as they become ready for prime time. There were so many teams we only got to see the previews from half of them, but I know that there will be more than a few on photography, using and identifying shapes, poetry and storytelling, and, of course, my group’s take on honoring world languages.
In addition to the eight of us who enjoy membership in both these learning/sharing communities, our friend Frank Guttler from the American Film Institute was among forty hand picked vendor and service booths displaying their wares in a “fair” on the first night. Though it seems like most of the Apple Distinguished Educators come from districts with unitedstreaming subscriptions, Frank had a steady stream of visitors around the AFI table grateful for either a reminder about or an introduction to the ScreenEd program. By the way, the podcast Brad Fountain (welcome back, Brad!) made introducing the AFI videos and the one I did with Frank discussing the visual grammar of film are both still available.