To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Apple Outstanding Educator Program, Apple will focus on the work of Dr. Carl Owens, a longtime participant in the program,media reported. Owens, 65, will retire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Apple says he has “taught thousands of undergraduates, master’s students and doctoral students, many of them aspiring teachers, who later taught tens of thousands of their own students” during his long career as a professor at Tennessee Tech University. “
“The greatest pleasure in life is not to shape students the way you look, but to empower them to be greater people than they know.” Owens said. “I’ve planted enough trees on this planet, and I’m referring to the thousands of students I have had the opportunity to work with. You want to empower them to build on this vision of technology and drive it. They are the future. “
Owens points out that he has been using Apple products since the first Macintosh was released. Currently, he uses a full suite of Apple devices and software in class, provides iPads for each student, and runs the Jeffers Learning Resource Center at Tennessee Tech. “Apple cut in from the education sector,” Owens said. “In the beginning, before the iPhone or iPad, Apple was a computer-owned company that made educators greater than they knew.”
Tennessee Tech University is ready when COVID-19 forces distance learning in schools around the world. Owens has been conducting school-wide telecommunications, hosting guest lecturers and internationally co-operated for years.
“Dr. Owens has definitely laid the foundation for us to be flexible in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Dr. Jason Beach, a professor at The University of Technology in Tennessee and a former student of Owens. “The pandemic happened so fast that a lot of things shut down so quickly that it became very difficult to find the necessary equipment, but because of him, we already had a lot of things.”
As Owens prepared for the final year of his teaching career, he fondly recalled his experiences at the university and as an outstanding educator at Apple.
“I celebrate the life I have,” Owens said. “I celebrate as a teacher. I celebrate the teachers who taught me how to be such a teacher. And I celebrate every student who has the opportunity to stand in front of me. If I think about my imagination 40 years ago, I see what we’re doing on the technology right now — well, I hope that in 40 years’ time, for all the students I’ve worked with, all their imaginations and their dreams for the future will come true in my way. “
Apple created Apple’s Outstanding Educators Program in 1995 to honor K-12 and higher education workers who use Apple’s technology to “change teaching.” Currently, there are 2,947 Apple educators in 45 countries.