The Apple Distinguished Educator program is now 25 years old, with over 3000 participants, and the company celebrated the occasion by highlighting one of its first participants: Dr. Carl Owens, a College of Education professor at Tennessee Tech University. Owens has used Apple products in the classroom since the 1980s, and today, as he nears retirement, he provisions each of his students with an iPad in the classroom.
Thanks to his encouragement for students to collaborate remotely, Tennessee Tech credits Owens for preparing the university for the COVID-19 pandemic. “Dr. Owens has absolutely laid the foundation for us to be as flexible as we have been with COVID-19. The pandemic happened so fast and so many things shut down quickly that it became really hard to find the necessary equipment, but we had a lot of that stuff already in place because of him,” said Dr. Jason Beach, a fellow professor at Tennessee Tech, who is on the school’s COVID-19 task force with Owens.
As a side note, my wife, Hannah Centers, was a student of Owens. “Dr. Owens’s class was my first introduction to the Mac world. I’ll never forget seeing an Apple TV for the first time in 2008. That was an experience. He really does have a passion for technology,” she said.