Worldwide Apple Distinguished Educator Institute 2016, Berlin


At the end of July, I was blessed to attend the Worldwide Apple Distinguished Educator Institute which was held in Berlin, Germany. I was one of 380 educators from 38 countries selected to attend this amazing conference for 5 days.


Upon arriving in Berlin, I connected with some other ADEs (some that I have met at previous institutes, some new friends) to do a bit of exploring in downtown Berlin, including a boat ride through the main part of the city. One of the great parts of being in the ADE program is the connections that I have made with educators worldwide. They are my “go to” people when I have questions or are looking for inspiration on the latest creative ways for using technology in learning. Even while touring, we were talking edtech ideas!


Our sessions at the conference were a high energy combination of inspiration and instruction from some of the best experts and educators in the world. Each day we heard from ADEs in 3 minute Showcase presentations where they shared the amazing things that are happening in their classrooms. We also had updates on Apple products and sessions with experts that helped us dive deep into some of the advanced features of Apple applications. Above is a sketchnote that I made of showing some of the things that were covered in our sessions. I am especially excited to use what I learned about the magic motion feature in Keynote, the Live Loops in GarageBand, and programing with Swift Playgrounds. I also had time to talk individually with one of the program leaders in GarageBand to get advice how to reduce sibilants when recording my voice.

Live Loops in GarageBand

Live Loops in GarageBand

On Wednesday we spent part of the day exploring downtown Berlin and had a presentation on iOS photography at the Apple Store in Berlin.

Apple Store Berlin

One of the best part of the conference is working collaboratively with other ADEs to launch a new project with resources that will assist and inspire other educators. Here is a sketchnote which outlines the design process which we were encouraged to follow as we worked together (which also would work great for student projects):

Design Process Sketchnote

I worked with a group of ADEs to develop a multitouch book on sketchnoting. The book will contain “snapshot pages” from a variety of educators who sketchnote personally and with their students. It will serve as a guide and inspiration to others who are looking to use this strategy with their classes. This group contained both beginning sketchnoters as well as some amazing artists and creative minds whose work I have admired. We truly were an international group and we are continuing to work virtually to pull our project together for publication.

Sketchnote Group Sketchnote Group

Finally, I was one of 33 ADEs who had an opportunity to present a Spotlight Session highlighting a topic or lesson that they have developed.  I shared a 50 minute workshop on Quickstart Digital Sketchnotes for Visualizing Learning. It was a great experience to talk about my journey with sketchnotes, share the resources I have been creating, and show off some of the amazing sketchnotes my students have been creating! Here is the link to my resources which includes a link to my presentation and my sketchnote course on iTunesU: Digital Sketchnotes for Visualizing Learning

Sketchnote Session

photo via @cindyherren

The entire conference was an amazing opportunity to learn, connect, collaborate, and share! Thank you again to Apple for their encouragement and support to educators worldwide!

After the conference was finished, I was able to travel with my brother to Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg, which was also incredible! Wow, what a summer!Save