St Hilda's Collegiate School teacher Donna Smith shares her information technology skills with her tech-savvy pupils (from left) Lillie Young, Emma Jack and Anna Dixon (all 13). Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A Dunedin secondary school teacher is crediting her pupils
for an international award she won this week.
St Hilda's Collegiate School English and social sciences
teacher Donna Smith was one of three educators in New Zealand
who received Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) Awards for
exploring new ideas, seeking new paths and embracing new
Mrs Smith was honoured to receive the award, and said it was
a credit to her pupils and ''their level of engagement''.
''They continually push me to find new and interesting ways
to keep them challenged.''
She also credited the school for allowing her the freedom to
try new ideas.
As part of the award, Mrs Smith said she would be able to
share her expertise with other educators and policy makers
around the world, by becoming an ambassador of innovation.
She will share information about her work in school, advocate
the use of Apple products that help to engage pupils in new
ways, and make presentations at education events.
She is now part of a network of about 2000 educators working
together to bring the freshest, most innovative ideas to
pupils around the globe, she said.
''It connects me with a worldwide network of like-minded
''If I have a project that I want to establish at the school,
I can contact Apple Education and they can say `yes, we have
an application for that', or `no we don't, but we will make
one for you'.
''I'm very excited because of the opportunities it presents
me and the school.''
Cyclone Computer Company Ltd Apple division general manager
Graham Prentice said fewer than 20 ADEs had been awarded in
New Zealand during the past 10 years, and only one other in
Dunedin - to University of Otago science communications
chairman Prof Lloyd Davis.
''It is rare that we find a teacher who not only understands
the ways that students learn and communicate digitally but
can also motivate other teachers to embrace these tools and
change their pedagogy to better fit their learners. Donna has