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Local teachers join elite group of education pioneers

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Monday, Mar 04, 2013 11:33 am

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The Apple Distinguished Educator Program (ADE) will be inducting two Rocky View Schools (RVS) teachers into the class of 2013.

Dan New from W.G. Murdoch School in Crossfield and Susan Rudakoff from Rainbow Creek Elementary in Chestermere will be joining the program, which has about 2,000 inductees worldwide.

“To be recognized with some of those amazing educators already involved with the program is a phenomenal opportunity,” New said, adding he is especially excited because he has only been teaching for three years.

“I am excited to meet and collaborate with colleagues that are just as enthusiastic about the integration of technology into the classroom as I am,” Rudakoff said.

ADE, a group of education pioneers who use Apple products to transform teaching and learning, recognizes visionary educators and innovative leaders who are doing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom, according to a RVS newsletter.

“I have always been passionate about Apple educational technology,” New said.

The math and technology teacher said students today “speak in a technology language,” because of their use of cell phones and tablets.

“(I use technology to teach) mostly because that’s where we are reaching our kids now,” he said.

New said he is hoping to lead his students towards a flip classroom that enables students to access information about the curriculum outside the class.

He said this will provide students a better understanding of the topics before he goes over them in class and will allow New more opportunities for alternative teaching methods rather than the traditional stand and deliver. He added he also frequently uses podcasts, MacBooks and iPads in his classroom.

New said technology in the classroom fosters critical thinking and provides students with hands-on skills they will require when they are adults.

Rudakoff, a Grade 1 teacher, used grant money from the school board to purchase 10 new iPads and an Apple TV for the classroom.

“I believe students can use simple and complex technologies to access learning and present their understandings if they are effectively introduced to these technologies,” she said.

Both teachers created and submitted an application video exhibiting their use of technology in the classroom. Teachers from across the country reviewed the applications in order to select the candidates that would be inducted into the program.

ADE inductees share a willingness to explore new ideas, seek new paths and embrace new opportunities, states the website for the program. They are ambassadors of innovation and participate in education events around the world. ADE educators meet for a yearly conference and also connect online and through social media.

“It’s kind of funny to have someone from Korea start a professional relationship with me,” New said.

Rudakoff said she is excited to attend this summer’s conference in Austin, Texas.

New and Rudakoff will join four other RVS employees who have earned ADE status.


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