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“CUE” it Your Way! Ideas For Maximizing Your Annual CUE Experience!

By CUE Members Tim Bedley and Scott Bedley aka @bedleybros

Teacher Confession…Our first Annual CUE conference was in 2013. Another teacher confession…We absolutely loved it! Final confession… in hindsight…we did miss some amazing aspects of the conference. Here are some things we will continue to do this year and some things we will add to our #CUE14 experience.

Unite with Friends!

One of the first things we will do is set a planning area where we can chat throughout the day with friends. We like to divide and conquer and come back and share out all we’ve learned. There is just no way at a CUE Conference to go to every awesome session. When you divide and conquer, you at least get the highlights. Having a meeting place ensures you will get a taste of those great sessions that you couldn’t be in.

Never Underestimate the Power of Twitter

People will be sharing… be sure you are connected… especially to Twitter. Hashtags are the protocol to connect on Twitter. Search #CUE14 to find some of the key elements of the conference. Connecting through Twitter will give you different perspectives and insights.

Develop and Connect with Your PLN

A friendly face from your site or district is really nice, but remember you have the chance to connect with some other passionate educators to expand your Personal Learning Network or PLN. Branch out and make some new friends. We can’t wait to connect with our PLN as we know how it can be valuable and powerful at conferences. Having a PLN is not only great for learning but also for the important collaboration that can often develop out of those connections. We are looking forward to connecting with people we know like Brent Coley, Jen Wagner, and others but we are also excited for the potential new connections we will have the chance to make at #CUE14! Be sure to come say hi to us!

Enjoy the Social Events

Most likely your local CUE affiliate will hold some sort of mixer.  If not… hit up the CUE Karaoke. If we sing, it will be renamed Scare-e-oke… mainly because we’re horrible singers… but it’s filled with some surprising talents like Bill Selak and Mike Lawrence… Maybe you can even get a Selfie with Bill or Mike!

Recognize When You Are Overloaded Physically and Mentally

It’s easy to get caught up in the inspiration and energy to submerge yourself in all the new learning while at the CUE conference… but remember it is Palm Springs and part of being successful is balance in life. Take some time to enjoy the city and its people. The time you allow for reflection is extremely valuable. Find a quiet corner, walk to get lunch off site, and plan on even bringing a few games. Anyone for a quick game of Wiffle Ball or some Frisbee?

Get Seated Early for the Keynotes!

We made the mistake of showing up on time to the keynotes and found ourselves able to see and hear the amazing speakers, but only wish we did not have to stand to do it. We plan on arriving 30 minutes early this year!

Report on Your Experience

Set time aside to blog, email, connect on social media, or even send a postcard to inspire others who are not attending. One of the powerful moments of your experience is when you return from that “hilltop” experience and inspire someone who couldn’t attend.

Opportunities to Explore

Some of our favorite times at #CUE13 were sharing, learning, teaching out in the hallways and exploring new ideas and experiences. There are many opportunities and the hallways wide! Take advantage of these often organic “sessions.” Look for exciting new opportunities like the #CUE14PhotoWalk with Karl Lindgren-Streicher (aka Lindgren-Omelet) and Reuben Hoffman.

Update Your Devices Before

As you can imagine at a Computer-Using Educators conference, WiFi is at a premium. Be sure take care of all your updates outside the conference. Not only does it take forever if you try to update a device (which leads to frustration), but it jams up the WiFi and many presentations that rely on the system. We plan to take care of any updates nightly back at the hotel or prior to the conference. Even the cellular servers can get jammed up at a conference of 4800+ teachers who value technology as part of the learning experience.

New People are Celebrated!

Don’t be afraid to be the newbie! We were newbies last year and in a sense still feel that way as we approach this year’s conference. Everyone was incredibly welcoming to us being new to the event. It’s easy to get caught up with worry about your level of computer knowledge. Let us be the first to tell you… you don’t need to know the newest, coolest app or be able to code your own educational, web-based, learning game. Remember we are all there to learn and that’s how we all connect. We each have something we can learn from each other!

Drive Home Safely and Take Some Risks When You Get There…

While we plan on driving home safely, we also know that this conference is meant to push us out of our comfort zone. We will take a focused risk to move our classrooms, school sites, and even districts forward in the use of the amazing and powerful learning tools at our disposal in this current age of education.  We hope you will join us in taking a focused risk as well… and don’t forget to share how it goes with @tbed63, @tasfair and with @bedleybros because we love to hear the stories you will have to share!

These are just a few ways we will try to maximize our experience at the Annual CUE Conference 2014 and hope it help you too! Be sure to follow the hashtag on twitter to stay connected: #CUE14

Tim Bedley is a 4th-5th grade teacher, author and speaker. He is 2013 Riverside County Teacher of the Year. Co-Founder of Edcamp Murrieta, Constructivist Conference SCEWL, and top selling education album Rockin The Standards. He co-hosts The Bedley Bros EdChat broadcast on his YouTube Channel with over 2000 subscribers and over 2 million views. @bedleybros @tbed63 www.timbedley.com

Scott Bedley teaches 5th grade, is an author and speaker.  He was selected 2014 Orange County Teacher of the Year, 2014 California State Teacher of the Year Finalist, and 2013 Project Tomorrow’s Innovative STEM Teacher Award winner. He’s the creator of Technology Applied Science Fair and co-hosts The BedleyBros EdChat Show. @bedleybros @TASFair www.scottbedley.com

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