Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UIS Chemistry Professor Layne Morsch selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator

Layne Morsch, associate professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADEs) for 2015.

Morsch joins an elite group of more than 2,000 ADEs worldwide recognized for doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom.

Morsch teaches Organic Chemistry to second and fourth year college students at UIS. He began using an iPad in 2012 to more effectively engage students during lectures. He also encouraged iPads to become required course material for all students in his courses, which has given him the chance to write new laboratory experiments using the iSpartan app.

More recently Morsch was one of two pilot testers for ChemDraw for iPad, the next step forward to an active classroom. His “flipped” classroom also utilizes technology, by posting lectures on iTunesU, and using classroom time for individual and group problem solving.

“This freed up class time for 100% active learning,” said Morsch. “Students are given problems to work on individually or in small groups and are asked to explain their answers to each other within small groups.”

Morsch worked with another Apple Distinguished Educator to author a multi-touch iBook on organic chemistry, complete with quizzes, video, text and images.

As an Apple Distinguished Educator, Morsch will advise Apple on integrating technology into learning environments and share his expertise with other educators and policy makers. He will author original content about his work and advocate the use of Apple products that help engage students in new ways.

“My students are becoming more comfortable with using technology in their solutions to common problems,” said Morsch. “I believe this to be a vital 21st century skill for professional careers.”

Each year, Apple Distinguished Educators gather at ADE Institutes and education events around the world as well as online in the ADE community to collaborate on solutions to the global education challenges of today and tomorrow.

The Apple Distinguished Educator program began in 1994, when Apple recognized K-12 and higher education pioneers using Apple products to transform teaching and learning.

For more information contact Derek Schnapp, UIS director of public relations, at 217/206-6716 or dschn3@uis.edu.

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