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5 of My Favorite Things at the CUE Conference

5 of My Favorite Things at the CUE Conference

By Brandee Ramirez

Last week in Palm Springs, California, thousands of educators gathered together with two powerful missions:

  1. Learn new and innovative ways to incorporate technology into their schools and classrooms.
  2. Recognize how education and the whole child is changing faster than you can Google something.

The CUE Conference has been around for 37 years and every year that I’ve attended, I discovered something new and innovative that I can use in my classroom the very next day.

The conference consists of workshops, sessions, keynotes and vendor booths—they even have Karaoke! Here’s what I loved about this conference, and a few of the best workshop presentations.

Kickoff Keynote

Jennie Magiera, with her enthusiastic personality, was the Kickoff Keynote. Magiera, a former teacher, is the Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a network of 32 Chicago Public Schools.

She explores how to leverage 1:1 devices such as Chromebooks and iPads to increase student collaboration, self-efficacy and creativity. She’s also passionate about transforming professional learning, co-founding PLAYDATE and other new conference concepts. She had the crowd literally dancing because her adorable students told us to. She was awesome.

More: Chromebooks for Education: A Guide

The Keynote

The Keynote was Sugata Mitra, a TED Prize winner who is at the forefront of a new approach to education, which challenges how we teach today’s children in a technological age. He’s the Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, UK and was previously a Visiting Professor at MIT in the U.S.

Mitra is currently working on The School in the Cloud, which is the culmination of more than a decade of research and observations from all over the world. The School in the Cloud is learning at the edge of chaos—a community, place and experience to discover and explore children’s learning as a self-organizing system.

The Sessions

The days were filled with amazing sessions. The coding sessions were standing room only as well as, “Who Wants a BLT?” Balanced Literacy and Technology, a session that incorporated reading, writing and word work with ways apps can support and enhance instruction.

Another popular session was MathemTECHS, a session that explored numerous apps and how to use them to support math instruction.

Closing Key Note

Adam Bellow rounded out the conference as the Closing Keynote. He was funny, quick witted and kept us all engaged. He is the founder of eduTecher and eduClipper, a free web tool focused on helping students and teachers find, share, and build valid learning experiences in a safe educational social platform.

He focused on how students don’t need a teacher to give them all the information because they can find it on the Internet. However, they do need a teacher to give them opportunities to communicate and think critically about the information.

All in all, it was an amazing conference and I left inspired, innovated, and ready to share everything I learned with everyone!

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Try out a new tool this year—try our free teacher tool, Whooo’s Reading.

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