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#CUErockstar Chat Opening Night

CUE Rockstar

“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend. Come inside, come inside.”

-Emerson, Lake, & Palmer

CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp is taking the show on the road by instituting a brand new #CUERockstar monthly chat. That’s right, rock stars. Every month, last Sunday of the month, right after #caedchat (that’s curtain up at 9:15pst to you) we will be inviting past, present, and future rock stars to gather together and plan, collaborate, learn, and shred.

The reason is simple: CUE Rock Star is too good to keep to ourselves and too powerful to contain in a three day camp over the summer. Real rock stars need to tour, need to play, and need to jam together. That’s how we all get stronger. #CUErockstar chat will bring together voices that otherwise would spend the school year apart, thinking about their time at camp but not growing like we could be.

Stage-managed by Jon Corripo, Doug Robertson, Jo-Ann Fox, and John Stevens, #CUErockstar will bring in guest moderators from Rock Star Camp faculty and attendees (the true rock stars) and keep reflections going, share on-going improvements, and plan forward.

Rockstar Camp“Doug, do I need to have gone to a Rock Star Camp to participate?” No, you don’t, though you might do more lurking than you normally would in a chat. Which is actually not a bad thing, we can learn a lot by listening. I think I heard someone say that once. Camp faculty and attendees will get the most out of at least this first chat, but if you’ve never been and want to go, #CUErockstar will whet your appetite*.

In our inaugural chat (Sunday, 9:15pst), we’re going to reflect on the summer’s camps, generate ideas for this chat and for Rock Star in general going forward, and blame the scapegoat for any miscues, mistakes, and misfires. Watch out for the pyro.

As Sir Ken Robinson shared in his 2014 CUE conference keynote

There was a quote from Benjamin Franklin: ‘There are three sorts of people: those who are immovable, people who are movable and people who move.’ That’s right: there are people in the system who don’t get it. They don’t want to get it. Don’t worry about them. There are people who do; work with them. And then there are people who move, and I think that’s what CUE is trying to mobilize. And you know, if enough people move, that’s a movement. And if the movement is strong enough, that’s a revolution. And that’s what we need.

Come with us to move the revolution, grow the movement, and build an army. You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest chat in the world- #CUErockstar.

If you’re interested in volunteering to moderate or want to nominate someone to moderate please fill out this form. We’ll use this to voluntell moderators for the upcoming months.

*for destruction

catDoug Robertson is the CUE blog editor and a tenth-year teacher currently talking at fifth graders in Northern Oregon. He’s taught in California, Hawaii, and Oregon in 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades. He’s the author of two books about education, He’s the Weird Teacher and THE Teaching Text (You’re Welcome) and an active blogger. Doug speaks at teaching conferences including CUE Rock Star Teacher Camps, presenting on everything from technology to teaching philosophy (or teaching The Weird Way, to use his words).  Doug is also the creator and moderator of #WeirdEd on Twitter, which happens every Wednesday at 7pm PST.

Simple Steps For Starting School With Tech

Eager new faces file into the classroom with the start of the new school year, many because of their desire to use technology in their classes. As a I have moved from having a few devices in my room to being 1:1, I make sure to start the year by teaching some simple management systems and thinking about how students will learn to use the different devices and web tools throughout the year.

Simple Classroom Management

How will students get devices and put them away? It should be efficient, requiring as little class tSanchez 1ime as possible, and trouble free. I have a Chrome cart in my room and have created a clutter free path so that students “flow” in one direction to and from the cart. This means students are not bumping into one another, potentially causing devices to fall on the floor. I call small groups at a time to get and return their devices to the cart. This lowers the potential for crowding. Since I teach multiple class periods, first period gets the Chromebooks out and leaves them on the desks for the next class periods. Then my seventh period class returns them to the cart at the end of the day.

It’s important for students to know when it’s appropriate to listen to the teacher and when they can multi-task using the device. I have a “First 5” section on my board telling my students what to have out and/or do in the first five minutes of class. When we use our devices, here are some of the instructions I write on the board:

  • Have Chromebook, no login
  • Have Chromebook, login to __________ (an assignment, website, etc.)
  • Have Chromebook, login, work on ___________ (an assignment, survey, etc.)
  • Have Chromebook, login, 45°

I regularly use the 45° instruction. Students know to close their Chromebooks to a 45° angle when given this instruction. This also comes in handy in the middle of work time. If I have to give instructions and want full attention from my students, I will call out, “45”, and they know to stop, close devices to 45°, and listen.

Knowing that there are many levels of understanding in my students’ use of technology, often I will use the following commands when in the process of work:

  • “If you need instructions repeated, 45 and eyes on me.”
  • “Keep an ear open as I clarify and give suggestions.”

During work time, remember that noise is okay! (No really, you’ll get used to it.) As students work, allow them to talk to each other and ask each other for help. THIS IS FANTASTIC! You cannot get around to all thirty-five students when they need tech help, or any other kind of help for that matter.

When we work and I don’t have an answer to a tech question, I encourage my students to call out, “Does anyone know how to ______? Would you please help me?” There is nothing better than seeing the learning community in action. This empowers my students to take control of their learning and collaborate, exactly what I want them to do.

Learn With Your Students

There is no neeSanchez 2d to know how to use devices completely. With the quick, changing pace of technology, there is no way we could possibly know it all. As long as you have played with the technology a bit and have a basic understanding, learn with your students. They are faster at learning the new technology and less fearful of pushing all the buttons. You’ll model ongoing learning for your students and show that you trust them to teach.

Your students can become mentors for their peers. I regularly tell my students that I don’t know everything, and if they find anything cool to let me know. Inevitably they figure out many aspects of a device or website before I ever could.

Allow time for students to play. Give five to ten minutes to explore before diving into instruction with a new app, program, or website. Often they must complete a simple task in order to understand the basics of the tool. You should hear the buzz in the room during this time. Students are excited to help each other and usually complete the task before the allotted time is finished. Normally it would have taken me forty-five minutes to teach them step by step. If you know ahead of time that students will be using a new digital tool, have a few play with it before the whole class does, then make a tutorial or have those students lead the whole class in the learning.

With a few simple systems and the understanding that learning is messy, technology has the power to take learning to a new level.

Sanchez 3Trisha Sanchez

After infusing technology into many K-8 subjects in the past 16 years, Trisha Sanchez is a new 7th and 8th grade Technology Teacher with a computer lab as a classroom. She is always learning with her students and peers and believes in the power of sharing. Follow her on twitter @techishtrish or learnreflectlead.blogspot.com.


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