By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – Jeffrey Powell has long led educational technology efforts in Northeast Mississippi.
The webmaster at Northeast Mississippi Community College recently received national recognition for that work from the Apple technology company.
Powell was named an Apple Distinguished Educator, joining a select worldwide community of more than 2,000 educators.
“It is a great honor,” he said. “It validates all of the work I’ve done here at Northeast as far as bringing Apple technologies into the classroom.”
Powell is one of only five active ADEs in Mississippi, including Jackson State University’s Robert Blaine, who also received the honor this year. As a member, he will be able to collaborate with other ADEs through various conferences and online discussion boards, sharing ideas they can take to their institutions.
Apple will also consult with them about educational products.
To join the prestigious group, Powell had to answer several detailed questions about innovative ways he’s used Apple technologies in education and to submit a two-minute video telling his story. The application process is open every other year.
“I think the kids today are different learners,” he said. “When I was a student, every time an instructor would bring out a computer, I’d wake up and be more excited about class. I think that engagement with the student is important.”
For the past five years, Powell has hosted a Mobile Learning Conference that has drawn K-12 educators, higher educational instructors and technology experts to the campus. He also helped Northeast become the first institution in Mississippi to join iTunes U and has helped introduce e-Textbooks.
“Jeffrey knew mobile learning would be important and in his own quiet way, he orchestrated the mobile learning conference and got people together to share what they know,” said Larry Anderson of Tupelo, who has been an Apple Distinguished Educator since 2000. “Jeffrey is not seeking the spotlight. He is just creating the conditions in which people can flourish.”