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Apple Celebrates 25 Years of the Apple Distinguished Educator Program with Dr. Carl Owens

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.

Dr. Carl Owens

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.

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Comments About Apple Celebrates 25 Years of the Apple Distinguished Educator Program with Dr. Carl Owens

Notable Replies

  1. I’m class of 2003. Never wondered how old the program itself was, but now I know I’m connected to it some 2/3rds of its existence :-). Being an ADE is a very useful and learning experience for yourself and your surroundings, that’s for sure.

  2. Hey, very cool, Paul. Can you tell us a bit more about what it’s like to be in the program? Does Apple provide you with sample hardware to build into your curriculum? Do you get a special license plate? :slight_smile:

  3. Hi Adam,

    I got into the program when Apple was primarily focusing on media in lower education. My contribution was focusing on science apps in middle education by giving demo’s in physics, chemistry, biology and math. For some time it seemed as if I was the only one doing this. Today more ADE’s are on that track. Strangely, I rarely visited schools in The Netherlands, although I was on call, but I went mainly to Apple edu fairs around the EU to give presentations and demo’s. I like to think I made a small difference in helping Apple gaining traction in education.

    These days Apple is like a slow but steadily moving steamroller, converting one school after another (as they advance in commerce too). Apple outfits are far more cost-effective than Wintel outfits and that is slowly winning the day.

    Does Apple provide you with sample hardware

    No, they don’t :-( . You have to buy your own stuff like everyone else. As I’m in education I do get some 5% off, like students also get. Of course some will be provided with gear by their school, but I prefer to make my own choices so I can be best prepared for what I want to show off.

    Do you get a special license plate?

    Those don’t exist in NL, nor in EU as far as I know ;-)

  4. Very cool. It sounds like this was more of a case of you helping Apple with demonstrations of its technology in education than Apple doing much for you. That’s not a problem—just interesting to see how these programs end up working.

  5. Hi Adam,

    Apple reasoned that they needed actual educators that were using Apple gear in their daily practice to show off the benefits for education of that Apple gear. So they set up the ADE program.

    In The Netherlands, like everywhere else, most ADE’s are indeed teachers. We have two exceptions here that I know of. One is a surgeon at a university hospital who uses Apple gear for his daily work and his teaching activities. Then there is me, not a teacher but a tech assistant at a training institute for medical imaging and radio therapy.

    The ADE activities are very well coached and coordinated by Apple nowadays, attracting new people to the program every year.

  6. I’d debated applying for this a few times but the two times I enquired they weren’t taking new entrants. I had hoped it would smooth the uphill path I faced with establishing my (now two) Mac labs. Would be curious to hear more I have to say. Apple’s relationship to education was always important, from this to the internal Apple University.

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