As we reach our second anniversary here at iPad Educators (has it really been that long already?) I wanted to do what I did last year and take a look back at some of the highlights from our second year. It's been another amazing period for all of us with so many great achievements by everyone involved with the site.
There really was only one place to start though:
Becoming an Apple Distinguished Educator was a personal goal of mine that I saw fulfilled in 2015 but as you may already know, five people involved with the site applied to become ADEs and all five got accepted into the programme! Massive congratulations to site co-founder Luke Rees, the always outstanding Sabba Quidwai and also to two of our newest contributors Justin Bell and Anjali Rajan.
But there were other awards too - Sabba and I were also selected for the very first class of Nearpod PioNears for our work internationally using this legendary app. Then recently I was named one of the first Seesaw Ambassadors - keep your eyes peeled for a detailed piece on this excellent digital journal app here on the site.
We've continued to present at a range of events including returning to the GESS Conference for the third year running and following our win of Best Use of ICT at the GESS Awards last year. What made this year's event extra special was Sabba flying in from LA and getting to spend time with her. Sabba is a true innovator and has now become part of the hugely respected EdTechTeacher team too.
Luke and I have continued our string of Nearpod-enabled remote presentations, adding USC and the British School of Caracas amongst others to our list of hosts .
Here on the site we've continued to produce a wide range of content and share ideas and concepts across a wide range of topics. Justin has brought his iBooks Author expertise to the table too which is a huge gain for us. We adopted a new blog format for our posts this year too which has allowed us to add content quicker.
As we turn 2, changes are afoot on the site though...
By now you will have noticed our completely new look complete with awesome new logo! We want to send a HUGE thank you to Cody over at Royal Graphics for our awesome new logo. Cody did a tremendous job and produced a vast array of choices for us to navigate on the way to our final decision. Fun fact - our original logo was just something I cobbled together using Explain Everything whilst sitting in my parents kitchen two years ago!
There are changes to the actual site content too. We've decided to retire the Curriculum Apps section as we simply never got round to updating the lists and so many apps are released on a monthly basis. We've also decided to retire the App Reviews. This might seem like an unusual decision since this was a core section to the site that we fed content into quite regularly. However we came to realise that we were only selecting apps to review that we actually liked and as such the section was somewhat unbalanced. Remember - everything you see here is put together in our spare time. We're a small team and we don't use an external website design team. In the place of the App Reviews, we're debuting a new area called Spotlights. These posts will be short and sweet, focusing on apps that we've come across as well as gadgets, peripherals and more.
We have a few other new ideas up our sleeves that we'll unveil in the coming weeks...
So what's next? Well the summer will be punctuated by a trip to the Apple Institute for what will no doubt be some phenomenal professional development. I have a guest post lined up for the new iPad Monthly digital newsletter from ADE Paul Hamilton and between us we have a rack of conferences and workshops lined up. Busy times ahead for sure.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported the site and continues to do so. iPad Educators is a labour of love and we remain commited to sharing our content as widely as possible and remaining completely non-commercial.
Special thanks have to go to wonderful people like Lee Parkinson, Alan Peat, Tony Vincent, Craig Kemp, Craig Badura, Evo Hannan, Ciaran Kelly, Rachael Edgar and Dave Kirtlan for being such vocal supporters of our project.
And that's me done so I guess the only thing left to say is: