AHS teacher selected as Apple Distinguished Educator

AHS teacher selected as Apple Distinguished Educator
Posted on 04/09/2019
For the first time in district history, an ACS teacher has been selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE). Jessica Roberts, the digital journalism teacher at Arlington High School, is one of only 124 people chosen from North America this year.

“It’s so exciting and overwhelming to be named an ADE,” Roberts said. “As soon as you become an ADE, you’re immediately recognized for doing something different in the right way. It’s a great feeling to be celebrated with this elite class of educators.”

The program, created in 1994 by Apple, recognizes K-12 and higher-education teachers who are using Apple devices to transform teaching and learning in powerful ways. Since its inception 25 years ago, 2,800 people worldwide have been named ADE’s, seven of which hail from West Tennessee.

To qualify, Roberts had to show Apple how she’s transforming her classroom using the latest technology. “Going 1:1 with the iPads has been a game changer for my digital journalism class,” Roberts said. First and foremost, she said, the iPads are used for technical purposes. Students use it as a teleprompter and for green screen videos; it helps them write scripts and functions as a project manager for the journalism website.

They also use Mac desktops and laptops to help edit videos for the class. “It’s crucial that my students use all three in order to make my classroom work. I treat my classroom like a real-world work environment. They each have their own responsibilities and are expected to carry out their duties.”

In her submission video, Roberts showed Apple how she’s transformed the classroom to mimic a modern office. She got rid of desks and replaced them with round tables. “These collaborative workspaces have absolutely transformed my classroom. I think that’s what Apple wanted to see…that I’m breaking the norm, that I’m pushing boundaries and that I’m encouraging my students to learn differently.”

As part of the program, Roberts will participate in a workshop convention this summer in Washington, D.C. where she’ll have the opportunity to develop new skills using technology. She’ll also help design courses and digital books to help teachers across the world implement technology in their own classrooms.