Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE)

I've been running in education, media, and design circles for a few years now and have been fortunate enough to connect with a handful mentors along the way. These inspiring minds have challenged me to explore new possibilities in my pedagogy and practice.

It’s no surprise that many of my mentors are also Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE).

The ADE Program began in 1994, when Apple started to recognize K-12 and higher education pioneers that were using Apple technology to transform teaching and learning.

For years my mentors have encouraged me to apply for the program, but I always felt an internal resistance I didn’t fully understand until recently.

Part of the ADE application process is sharing your educational story and, for the first few years of my career, I didn’t really feel like I had one. Sure, I had students and a classroom, but so much of my approach was emulation and imitation.

Whether I had the words to articulate it or not, deep down I believed being “distinguished” meant trying something new - foraging uncharted paths, asking hard questions, and opening yourself to up to failure. 
— Emily Wray

Over the past 2 years I’ve been working with my media communications students at Full Sail University in a new capacity to develop their professional projects and portfolios. Instead of positioning myself as a subject matter expert with knowledge to share as I would in a core content course, the conversation shifted to what they were interested and how I could help. This move inherently changed my relationship with my students. I transformed my classroom with a connected approach that integrated personal relevance, professional objectives, and networked relationships into project based learning.

Because of that, I finally felt like I had a story to tell, and so I applied.

My ADE application video was produced and edited by my talented student Chris Jeric.

With this post I’m humbled to share that I was accepted into the ADE Class of 2017! 

Visit the Apple web site to learn more about the ADE Program.