Topics: College of Communication Information and Media, Emerging Media

April 28, 2011

After learning he'd been named one of Apple Inc.'s leading-edge educators, Ball State University's Jonathan Huer received a letter from the technology giant that read: "Welcome to the top .0000001 percent of innovative educators." 

"It felt pretty good to get that letter," said Huer, Ball State's director of emerging technology and media development. Of his recent designation as one of only 1,700 global Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE), Huer said it is a powerful affirmation of his work at Ball State. In addition to teaching software such as Apple's Final Cut Pro, Huer leads the university's Digital Corps, a group of professionally certified student media software experts who work on a variety of project on campus, including iPhone applications, websites and digital billboards.

"I think it's easy for those of us who work here at Ball State to say we're doing great things with technology and emerging media," Huer said. "But this is Apple saying 'We think what you're doing is important, and we are going to provide opportunities for you to share it with other educators around the country.'" Huer was one of just 76 new members named to the company's ADE program for 2011.

The Apple Distinguished Educators program was created to recognize primary, secondary and postsecondary educators that Apple has credited as pioneers in the classroom, using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning. With the ADE honor, Huer now will collaborate with a network of other ADEs worldwide, sharing ideas and best practices in an effort to integrate more technology into Ball State classrooms. He'll also participate in educational events such as the ADE Summer Institute this July in Phoenix.

Huer said he believes his ADE distinction can give the Digital Corps more attention and credibility as a national educational model. In his application to Apple, he wrote about Ball State's openness to experimenting with different types of student learning with the support of a forward-thinking administration.

"As far as I know, every Digital Corps alum is working in a field of his or her choice or enrolled in a prestigious program at the graduate school level," Huer said. "In this economic environment, that's a pretty powerful statement."