A Walters State employee is one of 30 individuals in the United States to be named a 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator in higher education. Kevin Fowler, an educational technologist at Walters State, was selected for the prestigious honor out of thousands of applicants. The Apple Distinguished Educator Program recognizes K-12 and higher education pioneers who are transforming teaching and learning in innovative ways. "Kevin's selection to this elite group of educators recognizes his significant contributions to the college's goal of enhancing student engagement through technology," said Joe Sargent, executive director of Information and Educational Technologies at Walters State. Fowler's recognition comes on the heels of Walters State being named a 2012-13 Apple Distinguished Program for its mobile-learning initiative. This designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, exemplary learning environments and education excellence. Walters State faculty members are using over 60 different apps in nearly every subject area to engage students. The college has realized a 10 to 25 percent increase in student learning through the use of mobile technologies in the classroom. "Kevin's hire at Walters State as an educational technologist is an integral part of our faculty members being able to advance their use of classroom technology and enhance student engagement and learning," said Dr. Lori Campbell, vice president for Academic Affairs at Walters State. "His experience in the classroom along with his strong knowledge of teaching technologies has made him a natural fit with the faculty members at Walters State," she also said. In his role as an educational technologist at Walters State, Fowler works with faculty to maximize the use of mobile devices and apps as teaching tools. He provides training on the nearly 200 new iPad features Apple releases annually, helps solve technical problems, and works individually with faculty to determine how they can use mobile devices to the fullest extent in their classroom. "I am honored to receive this recognition," said Fowler. "While the faculty I work with may learn from me about new ways to include mobile technologies in their classrooms, I am fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most innovative educators in higher education," said Fowler. As an Apple Distinguished Educator, Fowler will collaborate with other innovative educators from around the world regarding instructional technology best practices. "I will have access to emerging technologies and new ideas from some of the most creative individuals in the field of education, which will greatly enhance my ability to help faculty further improve their teaching via mobile devices," said Fowler. Prior to joining Walters State about a year and half ago, Fowler taught middle-school U.S. history, government and civics. Purchasing an iPad out of his own pocket in 2010 for use in the classroom, Fowler was one of the first educators to use a mobile device as a teaching tool.