July 10, 2015 | Tim Nethers |
Matthew Eggert, Director of Technology and Innovation at The First Academy, was handpicked to join the community of Apple Distinguished Educators, an award that honors truly innovative educators. Matt is one of six educators chosen from the state of Florida, and is the only ADE representing Central Florida at the 2015 ADE Institute in Miami this July. Matt has worked in education for over fifteen years and is passionate about creating new and engaging educational experiences for students.
Matt believes that K-12 education should equip students, as digital natives, through the use of technology in the classroom. As a former classroom teacher, he also strives to create an ecosystem for teachers that is intuitive, boundless, and always available in order to shift the focus from technology to student centered learning. Matt fully embraced Apple products and has created that ecosystem and special learning environment at TFA.
Matt has uniquely cultivated an enhanced technology-based learning experience for students at TFA, an experience unlike any other in Central Florida. Serving the school, he has earned the Apple Distinguished Program title for the Upper School division and successfully created a 1 to 1 iPad initiative, putting devices in the hands of 850 students. He built a comprehensive training program for a chosen group of students and equipped them to serve as support services for the school. These students make up the Genius Bar at TFA; they embrace the learning ecosystem, can earn certification in Apple Hardware Support, and are learning real-world applicable job skills. Matt has developed a Christian worldview virtual school that will incorporate blended learning with STEAM focus to provide students with an individualized learning approach. He has a strategic vision to grow the 1 to 1 iPad initiative, providing unique learning opportunities for students beginning in the third grade.
Matt has worked closely with the teachers and staff at TFA to empower and provide them with the very best tools available in education. He has designed an online learning environment, available to teachers and staff 24/7, for the development of skills on Apple products and software. Matt is also responsible for freeing 125 teachers from the burden of technology access being only available from behind their desk by providing a mobile Apple ecosystem in all classrooms. As both a member of leadership and as a parent at TFA, Matt is excited about the future and the direction that it is moving as a pioneering school.
The Apple Distinguished Educator Program began in 1994, when Apple recognized K-12 and higher education pioneers who are using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning in powerful ways. Today it has grown into a worldwide community of over 2,000 visionary educators and innovative leaders who are doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom. With Matt’s new membership in the ADE community, he will be able to continue to be an ambassador and advocate of new technologies for education. Additionally, he will have access and opportunities to collaborate with colleagues worldwide to turn fresh, new ideas into educational realities at TFA. To learn more about this group of innovative educators, visit: http://www.apple.com/education/apple-distinguished-educator.