Two Walters State employees have been recognized by Apple, Inc. for their innovative use of technology in education.
Dr. Lori Campbell, vice president for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Matthew Smith, assistant professor of chemistry, have been named 2015 Apple Distinguished Educators. The Apple Distinguished Educator program recognizes individuals working in K-12 and higher education who are transforming teaching and learning in creative ways.
“It is gratifying to see these two individuals recognized at this level for their tremendous contributions to improving student engagement and learning through technology,” said Dr. Wade McCamey, president of Walters State.
“They join a select group of visionary educators from around the world who have received this prestigious designation,” he also said.
Campbell has led the college’s mobile-learning initiative to enhance student learning and retention through mobile technology. Each academic division at Walters State has developed a plan to use mobile devices and apps as learning tools in the classroom. As a result, the college has realized a 10 to 25 percent increase in student learning through the use of mobile technologies.
Campbell, working with other academic administrators, has also developed and created outreach programs and organized conferences to share Walters State’s mobile-learning best practices with K-12 and other higher education institutions.
Through her leadership of the college’s mobile-learning initiative, Walters State has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program on two occasions, for 2012 and for 2013 to 2015.
Smith uses mobile technology in his “flipped” classrooms, which reverses the traditional lecture and homework model. Through flipped teaching, students view Smith’s lectures and notes, videos, and exercises online before they come to his class. During class time, Smith uses quizzes and other exercises to engage students in the concepts they have just learned. Through mobile technology, he can also assess the degree to which they have grasped the concepts being taught.
For his innovative use of emerging technologies to engage students, Smith was named one of Walters State’s first Mobile Learning Fellows.
As Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs), Campbell and Smith will share their expertise with other educators, policy makers, and ADEs from around the world. They will also gain access to the latest emerging technologies and ideas in the field of education, which will greatly enhance Walters State’s efforts to improve student engagement and learning through technology.