The first ever ADE America’s Institute was held in Miami, Florida this past week. If you are familiar with Apple Distinguished Educators you might be thinking that is not true, there have been previous Institutes for America in the past. This year was special because attendees from Canada, United States, Mexico, and SOUTH AMERICA were in attendance, so YES, the Americas were united. There were several translators present so that all of us could collaborate and share amazing ideas and applications.
During the week I listened to some fantastic stories of my fellow ADE’s changing education, reinventing how students learn. During the ADE Showcase projects shared were… It was exhilarating to hear the passion and pride as they shared their story. I also got to experience the STEM workshop. I am interested in programming for elementary students so immediately I thought the next three hours should be fun. First I turned common ordinary bananas into a drum set with MakeMakey. That was easy, cheap, and mostly fun. That same simple gadget can be used with the Dash and Dot Robots. My second session was drones. This was a lot of fun but everyone needed a helmet (not supplied). Drag and drop programming is very simple to do but requires some high level thinking. Kids are going to love to do fly the drones, but clear ground rules need to be set if there are more than 2 drones in use. Finally I created a moving robot with the help of Lego’s Mindstorm. I most certainly need to invest in some of these great tools for problem solving and critical thinking.
But alas all good things needed to come to an end. I will be watching carefully the other institutes. I will be completing an iTunes U course that will feature Dash and Dot programmable robots. More to come about that soon.

ADE 2015