Apple Distinguished Educator Application

December 2009

About Me

Direct Link:
Summary of About Me:
Contact Information:
Skype and Twitter: julielindsay
Blog: E-Learning Journey's

If you become an Apple Distinguished Educator, what would be your top three goals? Why?

Goal 1: Leadership and Advocacy
As an ADE I would be a resourceful and competent advocate for Apple globally. I continue to build on my personal learning network and leadership skills through my everyday interactions and opportunities with other educational areas of my professional life, and as an ADE I can share Apple objectives and advantages with this global network and within my immediate school. By doing this I will confidently lead and develop new ideas as well as consolidate existing implementations.
Goal 2: Learning with and from the Apple educator’s network
As an ADE I am very keen to be part of the global group of ADE’s who connect, share and collaborate regularly. I am a connected educator already and understand the power of online networks. I am also a reliable contributor and collaborator. I am also an advocate for sharing best-practice use of, in this case Apple technologies and associated pedagogies, 21st Century learning that improves learning outcomes. Through the ADE network I will learn and share as I firmly believe learning cannot take place in isolation and the sociability of learning through networks is a requirement of all educators.
Goal 3: Integration of Apple ‘challenged based learning’ ideals into everyday teaching and learning at BISS and beyond.
The theme of ‘challenge based learning’ using Apple technologies is exciting and one I wish to explore fully and become a master in. With these skills my goal is to develop strategies in conjunction with other educators at my school for professional development and curriculum integration that enhances, supports and extends our 1:1 learning environment at BISS. The use of multimedia in conjunction with virtual and online learning is an essential part of what we do at BISS and beyond and Apple provides the tools and freedom to do this at a stress-free level.

For the focus area that you have picked above, can you describe the work you have done within your educational environment and professional career that are “best practice” models that other educators could learn from:

I have chosen "Technology Leader with Focus On Creating Learning Environments for Teaching and Learning" However, I am also a strong candidate for "Project-Based Learning / 1 to 1 Learning Environments"

As a technology leader in international schools in the past few years I have implemented strategic plans that have initiated and supported 1:1 laptop and handheld learning environments. This is supported by my recent Masters degree from the George Washington University in Educational Technology Leadership.

In Bangladesh, at International School Dhaka as Head of E-Learning I developed the T.I.F.E. (Technology Initiative for Education) that included a whole school approach to 1:1 laptops Grades 9-12 and Palm handheld devices Grades 6-8. The Palm handheld implementation (2004-2007), was innovative and forward thinking for its time (and place) and involved the school community coming on board and embracing new modes of learning.

In Qatar at Qatar Academy, as Head of IT and E-Learning, I initiated a whole school strategic plan ‘E-Learning for Life’ that included vision, leadership, infrastructure, curriculum, professional development and community sections for development. The strategic plan was launched at an administrator’s retreat where best practice mobile and online learning were reviewed. I also initiated the 21st Century Learners group, an informal gathering of educators across all levels in Qatar, with the purpose of meeting to discuss pedagogy, technology tools and current research for teaching and learning. The culminating meeting for this group in 2009 was an official TEDx event, see In addition I chaired the 21st Century Learning team and implemented a model based on essential objectives ‘Creation, connection and collaboration’, see I spent 2 years developing the 1:1 plan for Middle School. This link shows the culmination of that planning and assembles documents and actions together:

In Beijing at Beijing (BISS) International School, in the new position of E-Learning Coordinator I am also implementing an existing strategic plan to support our 1:1 MacBook implementation as well as technology integration across the whole school. This includes the use of StudyWiz as an online learning content tool in conjunction with Web 2.0 tools to scaffold the collaborative and creative learning environment. We are also implementing digital portfolios that allow students personal freedom to share their learning and showcase artifacts and reflections leading to annual student-led conferences.
Here is the current Technology Plan for 1:1 MacBook implementation that I am responsible for implementing and extending over the next few years

As a teacher in the classroom (IB MYP Technology and DP ITGS – Information Technology in a Global Society) I have led the way in online learning using Web 2.0 structures and mobile computing. My work showing how to run a wiki-centric classroom and how to integrate multimedia and online tools into the curriculum is featured in the ISTE book, 'Reinventing Project Based Learning.

For the past few years I have been a member of the ISTE International Committee and Membership Committee and presented at the educational technology conference, NECC, each year sharing best practice from my classroom and an international perspective. Recently I was appointed an ISTE Ambassador with the objective to share ISTE resaurces and be a global advocate for ISTE. Also recently I have worked as a consultant with the International Baccalaureate Organisation and co-developed online courses, specifically for Web 2.0 and ITGS.

Over the past three years, since our first project in 2006, my colleague Vicki Davis and I have developed the award winning Flat Classroom Projects (e.g. ISTE Online Learning Award 2007, Taking IT Global Award 2007, short listed for WISE laureate award in the pluralism section 2009). This series of global collaborative projects using Web 2.0 tools is recognized globally as innovative, inclusive and best-practice use of technology to support 21st century learning across the curriculum. We are featured in Thomas Friedman’s book, ‘The World is Flat’ (2007 revised edition) as educators who are out there doing it and not just talking about it. The projects are also featured in the recent publication ‘The World is Open’ by Curtis Bonk and the ISTE publication ‘Global Education’ by Laurence Peters.

I am co-founder of the Flat Classroom Conference, The inaugural conference was held in Qatar January 2009, where we brought together 150 geographically dispersed students and educators to flatten their approach to education through the use of technology and best-practice use of mobile computing and online learning. The Student Summit part of the conference involved 40 students from places such as Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Australia etc working in teams to envisage a solution to a perceived global problem. The winning team (through an international vote) had their project implemented globally just recently when we launched ‘Eracism’ as a global collaborative debate, once again using Web 2.0 tools and communication and collaboration strategies for connecting and sharing.

Describe how technology integration has affected your students achievement?

Technology promotes engagement in learning and therefore enhances potential achievement. Through the use of multimedia and read/write web spaces (Web 2.0) students take ownership of their learning and, in conjunction with mobile computing, specifically a 1:1 (MacBook) environment, and clear approaches to learning guidelines, students are able to immerse themselves in real-world problems and use technology to find and share solutions.
I also use technology to differentiate classroom experiences and provide further opportunities for success. It is important to provide choices to students to show their learning. Multimedia (audio and video) as well as various Web 2.0 tools provide different mediums for students to learn and share their ideas. All of my students have a personal blog that is used for reflection and sharing work (embedding multimedia etc), as well as a digital portfolio.
It is through the integration of technology and use of online tools and spaces, supported by ubiquitous 1:1 computing (so essential!) that I am able to more clearly track student involvement, participation and eventual success in the learning process. This has been revolutionary as a pedagogical approach in education.

Describe how you are involved with Professional Staff and Faculty Development in your institution.

At BISS as E-Learning Coordinator I design and implement learning opportunities for skill and pedagogical development with online learning and 1:1 implementation. This includes planning, designing and implementing whole day or special PD events as well as ongoing PD and immersion within the classroom. My timetable allows me to be in the classroom working with teachers and supporting them with skill development and pedagogy, e.g. setting up wiki digital portfolios and sharing best-practice use; setting up VoiceThread; using Apple software and integrating into curriculum objectives across the school.
In January 2010 I have designed and will be co-running a professional development weekend for BISS and other educators in China called ‘Create the Future’ where plenary sessions, break-out sessions and hands-on team work will culminate in final presentations from educators who have been given the inspiration and opportunity to create something new during their time together. See

Following this event BISS will be engaged in a ‘Technology Week’ where our essential focus is on developing better skills with multimedia and curriculum integration in conjunction with learning more about using MacBook and Apple technology in the classroom and as a professional tool.

Describe your philosophy of the use of technology for teaching / learning / research?

In brief..........
I believe the goal of education is to not only teach the subject but also the whole person. To me this means helping learners gain confidence in their ability to move along the path of self-discovery and realize their full potential. My aim is to promote the value that one-size does not fit all, that a unique and valuable contribution can be made by each student and each teacher.

As a learning technology educator my focus is on the integration of e-learning and digital literacy ideals with a content-rich curriculum. My view of the learning process is that students learn best by doing, through discovery and enjoyment of a task. I consider my approach to be that of a techno-constructivist, and realize the full potential of technology to help students build their own experience, construct their own meanings, create products, collaborate and interact as well as solve problems. I am on a journey to assimilate new technologies for learning and am always open to new possibilities that will focus on student competencies and intelligences and provide relevance and immediacy in the classroom. Engaged learning is the key to success.

I believe the 21st century classroom can maximize learning opportunities by embracing mobile and ubiquitous computing (laptops, handhelds), moving curriculum into appropriate online spaces and flattening the classroom walls by incorporating global projects and interactions with other classrooms in diverse geographical locations. This includes powerful learning practice professional development models, encouraging teachers to share, collaborate, and reflect on their classroom practice.

As an educational technology leader I believe Web 2.0 has changed how we think about school and learning. It has provided opportunities to connect to the world; there is a changed view of 'literacy', digital citizenship and global curriculum. Learning does not and should not occur in isolation. Systemic change starts at the grass roots level. We need to celebrate 'baby steps', scaffolding learning for teachers and students, providing support and encouraging risk-taking. The move is towards embracing a 'transformative' curriculum, emphasizing collaboration and creativity with a converging 1:1 ubiquitous approach to technology use. I consider myself to be both participant and leader in this movement.

View my complete Philosophy for Education

How would you describe the technology environment in which you have been working?

BISS is a 1:1 MacBook school for Grades 6-10. Grade 5 are fast-tracking into 1:1 now. We have a robust WLAN and Internet connection, with further upgrades taking place again next Summer. We have StudyWiz as a portal for learning content and a developing set of Web 2.0 tools for connection, collaboration and creation. All teachers have laptops. We have a dedicated IT department to support e-learning and a multimedia expert to support further use of tools across the school.
More importantly we have a Board of Governors who are firmly committed to BISS becoming a successful 1:1 school using Apple Mac technology as well as an administration team who are advocating best-practice mobile computing, online learning and ‘virtual’ interactions as an essential part of what we do as teachers and learners. Despite some older equipment remaining in the school there is a strong desire within the school to move forward and to embrace new technologies, including mobile in various forms, to support learning and achievement. What we do not have at BISS yet is our own internal Apple Mac ‘recognised’ expertise at ADE level. Gaining this for some of our teachers will continue to develop confidence and better in-house support for our 1:1 implementation.

Please describe your expertise in the chosen fields:

  • 1:1 Laptop initiatives: In my current school as well the 2 schools before this (Qatar and Bangladesh) I have been part of the planning and/or implementation of 1:1 initiatives. I attended the ASB Unplugged Conference in Mumbai in 2008 where as a team from Qatar Academy we were immersed in all aspects of 1:1 learning and used this for further discussion and planning for what the 1:1 environment would look like at our school. Implementing a 1:1 environment is hard work, despite my own conviction that mobile and ubiquitous computing should be the norm rather than the exception, supporting teachers, students and the wider community (parents etc) in this continues to be a challenge.
  • Digital Media: I have integrated podcasting and video work into my teaching for a number of years now. I have expertise in both Windows and Mac environments for creating and sharing digital media
  • Mobile Computing: Handheld implementation at ISD using Palms: pedagogy, curriculum, approaches to learning, infrastructure, community awareness etc. This 3-year implementation was innovative and on the edge but paved the way for future developments. I have plans to pilot an iPod Touch implementation at BISS next year.
  • Instructional Design: More recently the design of global, collaborative projects that include classrooms and teachers around the world.
  • Technology Planning: As shown above, the development of school-wide strategic plans for the use of technology and development of 21st century learning

Please provide web-links (wiki, webpage, blog) to examples of lesson plans you have created that integrate Apple technology for your teaching or a part of a technology plan for your institution. (These should be available as your sample exhibits that you are able to share with the community)

E-Learning 4 Life Administration Retreat: Moving a school into 1:1 learning (Qatar Academy)
These examples are not specifically showing Apple technology but do show my leadership skills and style and the work completed while at Qatar Academy.
Blog post: Apple Education Leadership Summit: What did I learn?
K12 Online Conference 2009 Presentations

Please provide the web link (youtube, vimeo, etc) to the movie about yourself (of not more than 2 minutes).

Recent Presentations for the K12 Online Conference 2009:
Presentation for the 'Kicking it Up a Notch' strand

Telling the World: Flat Classroom Student Summit in Practice

Direct Link

Presentation for the 'Leading the Change' strand

Learning Confluence: Where Philosophy Meets Practice in the 21st Century

Direct Link