May 132013
 
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The ECU School of Dental Medicine recently celebrated its designation as an Apple Distinguished Program. Pictured with Assistant Dean Dr. Todd Watkins, third from left, and Dean Greg Chadwick, third from the right, are dental students, left to right, Vivek Thanawala, Diana Luckhardt, Isaac Morton, Loren Moles and Barry Price. (Photo by Cliff Hollis).

Apple executives from North Carolina visited the School of Dental Medicine in April to celebrate the school’s designation as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2012-2013 with students, faculty and staff.

The Apple Distinguished Program title is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence and demonstrate Apple’s vision of exemplary learning environments. The school uses innovative technology in all aspects of its teaching, problem-solving and clinical education programs.

The School of Dental Medicine has created an environment with 31 rooms and clinical spaces connected by video teleconferencing, integrated seminar rooms, and simulation labs in Ledyard E. Ross Hall on campus and at community-based centers in rural parts of North Carolina.

Dental faculty and residents currently treat patients at ECU Community Service Learning Centers in Ahoskie and Elizabeth City. Eight more centers will be built in North Carolina in the near future. “Within the next two years, we’ll be placing fourth year students in underserved areas across the state to help improve oral health,” said Dr. Greg Chadwick, dean of the ECU School of Dental Medicine. “This concept is resting upon connectivity through these technologies.”

While at ECU, Dr. Sarah Farrell, development executive Apple Education, recognized Dr. R. Todd Watkins as a member of the 2013 Class of Apple Distinguished Educators. Watkins, assistant dean for dental education and informatics and the first faculty member hired by the school, was given the task of developing and implementing a new vision for health science curriculum, which involves an emphasis on problem-solving and critical thinking.

The Apple Distinguished Educator Program began in 1994. Today it has grown into a worldwide community of visionary educators and innovative leaders who are doing amazing things with technology in and out of the classroom. Apple describes its distinguished educators as “part of a global community of education leaders” who “explore new ideas, seek new paths, and embrace new opportunities.”

As part of the program, Watkins will meet with other educators from around the world to discuss trends and technologies at a conference in Austin, Texas, in July.

 

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