Author - Cate Tolnai

Becoming an EDUpreneur


Dear #WeAreCUE,

As a 17 year educator, I have had the advantage of working in vulnerable and privileged environments, urban and rural communities, and district and county levels. How lucky I have been to bring that awareness and perspective to CUE just two years ago along with the amazing CUE team members. 

With open arms, the CUE community welcomed my passion, my zest for celebration and sparkle, and my core values of excellent professional learning for all educators. I have grown both as an educator and a person during these last two years, and they have prepared me for an exciting new professional chapter. 

As of August 1, 2019, I will be spreading my wings and starting a new journey as an EDUpreneur (AKA I’m creating a new professional pathway). My passion for online & blended learning, digital badges & competency-based learning, game-based learning & gamification, and strategic thinking will come together in some beautiful way that will redefine my role in the greater conversation of California education. I am honored to have served the CUE community as the Director of Member Engagement for these two years, and I fully intend to stay connected to the amazing people I have met as a CUE volunteer and staff member for the past five years. 

As I transition into a new professional chapter, I hope to share my perspectives and gifts with the right teams as a contractor, and I look forward to working with many of you in a variety of capacities. 

With all my heart, 

Become & Thrive as a Teacher

become a

When I think back to the days I was working to earn my California teaching credential through the University of San Francisco, I am reminded of all the wonderings and worries I had. Am I in the right program? What happens if I change my mind and want to teach something else? Should I get a multiple-subject or single subject credential… or both!?

become a teacherI’m so excited to share the resources for new and aspiring educators provided through TeachingDegree.org. You can simply explore their recently published series of guides detailing the process of obtaining a teaching degree and certificate in each state, including California.

You may find our guides to financial aid and elementary education programs interesting. Teachers with these degrees are in high demand.

While California excels in other areas with programs such as California Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Program, it suffers from a shortage of teachers in the special education and science disciplines. The U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listings Report shows grade levels in California from pre-k to 12th are in need of well-trained teachers.

Satisfy your curiosities and get informed while also noting the opportunities in front of you. Being an educator has never been more exciting, inspiring, and truly impactful. Make a difference and help a teacher today!

Legislators and Advocates Call on Governor to Sign Senator Wiener’s SB 822, Which Will Enact the Strongest Net Neutrality Protections in the Nation

cue press release

Senate Bill 822 restores Obama-era net neutrality protections in California

September 6, 2018

Los Angeles,CA– Today, legislators and advocates gathered at the Ronald Raegan State Building to urge Governor Brown to sign Senate Bill 822, which would enact the strongest net neutrality protections in the country.

At the press conference, author Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and co-author Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) were joined by Sandra Fluke, California State & Western Region Director for Voices for Progress, Trent Lange, President & Executive Director for California Clean Money Campaign, Mary Lizardi, Senior Campaign Manager for the Courage Campaign, and other advocates.

SB 822 passed the Legislature last week, and is heading to the Governor for his approval. The Governor has until September 30th to sign or veto the bill.

“We must protect the right of every Californian to a free and open internet,” said Senator Wiener. “Our broad, grassroots coalition of labor, small business, start-up, consumer, and progressive activists powered SB 822 through the Legislature. The internet is at the heart of 21st century life – our economy, our public safety and health systems, and our democracy. When Donald Trump’s FCC took a wrecking ball to net neutrality protections, we knew California had to step in to protect California consumers and businesses. We worked hard to pass a strong bill that does the job. We urge the Governor to sign it.”

“SB 822 is a crucial step toward ensuring that we have a free and open internet that doesn’t discriminate or price users or content differently,” said Assemblymember Santiago. “I urge Governor Brown to once again have California lead the nation by signing the strongest net neutrality bill in the country. California must lead by example and show the Trump Administration that their backward agenda will not be accepted.”

SB 822 prohibits blocking websites, speeding up or slowing down websites or whole classes of applications such as video. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are prohibited from circumventing these protections at the point where data enters their networks and from charging access fees to reach ISP customers. SB 822 also bans ISPs from violating net neutrality by not counting the content and websites they own against subscribers’ data caps. This kind of abusive and anti-competitive “zero rating,” which leads to lower data caps for everyone, would be prohibited, while “zero-rating” plans that don’t harm consumers are allowed.

“Voices for Progress members are business owners, entrepreneurs, and others who believe the best ideas come forward when competition is not stifled online and everyone has a chance to compete on a fair playing field,” said Sandra Fluke, California State & Western Region Director for Voices for Progress. “That’s what allowed many of them to create thriving businesses at the top levels in their fields, and they want that opportunity for others. The net neutrality protections contained in senate bill 822 will allow small businesses and start-up companies to compete online against deep-pocketed, well-established companies who would otherwise have a tremendously unfair advantage. Voices for Progress members strongly urge Governor Brown to sign senate bill 822 so that every entrepreneur has an equal opportunity to create their own success.”

“We applaud the leadership of Sen. Scott Wiener, Sen. Kevin de Leon, Asm. Rob Bonta, and Asm. Miguel Santiago and the rest of the California legislature for their courageous stand against some of the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful companies in the country — AT&T, Comcast and Verizon — and voting to pass the most powerful Net Neutrality legislation in the country,” said Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the California-based Courage campaign. “With the strongest net neutrality legislation in the country, California now leads the way in guaranteeing access to the internet for all. Protecting access to the internet and the free flow of information online is critical to our democracy and this bill is an important first step to reinstating net neutrality across America.”

“The Federal Communications Commission is abdicating its responsibility to enforce net neutrality, so California has no choice but to act to ensure that the internet remains a free and open space for speech, commerce, and association,” said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign, and a PhD in Computer Science.  “That’s why a coalition of hundreds of state and national public interest, consumer, labor, and progressive organizations have teamed up with small businesses and internet startups to ask Governor Brown to sign SB 822 to protect California and to lead the nation.”

SB 822 is supported by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Ro Khanna, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, former Obama FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and a broad coalition of state leaders, public interest groups, labor organizations, social justice advocates, small businesses, start-ups, internet service providers, California mayors and local governments, and tens of thousands of California residents.

Senator Wiener and Senator de León are joint authors of SB 822, and Assemblymembers Santiago and Bonta are co-authors. SB 822 is also co-authored by Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), and Assemblymembers Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside), David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), Adrin Nazarian (D- North Hollywood), Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and Jim Wood (D- Santa Rosa).

SB 822 Bill text: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB822

Editor’s Note: Originally posted at https://goo.gl/ptTk4D 

Thurmond’s Resolution to Expand Technology for Students and Teachers Passes Committee

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SACRAMENTO – ACR 268, authored by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), calls for a renewed statewide focus on resources and support for technology in K-12 education. The resolution passed out of the Assembly Education Committee with unanimous and bipartisan support.

“In this ever-changing world, it is vitally important that all California students have equitable access to technology in their instruction,” Thurmond said. “With changes in state and federal funding, many districts can no longer make robust investments in education technology resources and support. As a result, students, especially those most vulnerable, risk falling significantly behind their peers and entering college or the workforce underprepared.”

State and federal funding for education technology was consolidated after 25 years, resulting in the elimination of most support for educational technology. Without a state policy and funding focus, many districts do not have equal access to the resources needed to effectively implement technology in classrooms. This resolution supports educators in integrating technology into state adopted curriculum on media literacy, digital literacy, and career technical preparation.

The resolution proposes a state level summit conference to bring together teachers, school administrators, county offices of education, professional education associations, and others to discuss legislative and funding priorities.

ACR 268 also urges the Legislature and Governor to prioritize education technology and support all California students with state of the art resources, connectivity, and support in order to optimize instruction for all students. ACR 268 is supported by Computer Using Educators (CUE), California Emerging Technology Fund, Napa County Office of Education, and Media Alliance.

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond represents the 15th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Tara Hills, and a portion of Oakland.

Editor’s Note: Posted on behalf of Release Contact: Ayodeji Taylor (916) 319-2015 — August 15, 2018

2018-2019 Conference Speaker Submission Timeline — What are we up to?

As a long time CUE fangirl, I have spent many hours organizing and crafting my speaker submissions so that I can ensure the best chances of getting accepted and sharing my ideas with the larger CUE audience. Some years I’m way ahead of the game, others I am frantically putting details together in the eleventh hour. I’ve been right where you are, and it can be stressful.

As a 15 year educator in K-12 education, I’ve also lived the reality of the last few weeks of school more times than I’d like to remember. Grades are due, classrooms need to be packed for the summer, and parents and students are pulling on me to give them answers to questions that could have been answered weeks before. Couple all that with graduations, end-of-year parties, and pure exhaustion, and there is your typical May and June in the life of an educator.

We get it. After all, the CUE staff is comprised of 63% classroom teachers. So why the rush on the Fall and Spring Speaker Submission deadline this year?

What’s up with that?!

Let us explain…

The timeline is funky this year. It won’t be the same moving forward. This is the first time we are combining submission windows for Fall and Spring CUE Conferences, so while the Fall submission due date is no different than the past, the Spring submission due date is definitely earlier. We couldn’t get around this if we wanted to have one submission window. (PS. Starting next year, the window will run longer with our new system and cycle! Woop!)

Ok… so why is there one submission window that’s coming earlier in the year if it’s putting a crunch on the presenters?

  1. One submission window means we can ask our CUE volunteer readers to spend time on one set of submissions instead of two. This not only saves precious volunteer time, but it also ensures that sessions submitted for both conferences get the same “read.” While this doesn’t guarantee automatic acceptance into both conferences, it does mean that your session will receive the same evaluation.
  2. This earlier deadline means we can give our CUE speakers access to hotel rooms earlier. If you have ever felt the HIGH of being accepted as a speaker and then a LOW after realizing there aren’t any close hotel rooms open, then you understand how much of an advantage this truly is.
  3. This earlier deadline also means we can give our CUE conference attendees a Schedule to view much earlier. This helps attendees secure district POs sooner and allows for bulk registration to happen faster, as well. Plus, if you aren’t sure if you’ll make it to the event, having access to the speaker list and sessions is wildly helpful in making that decision. We want to make sure all eyes are wide open!

As a CUE Staff, Conference Planning Committee, and Board, we have spent a lot of time transitioning out of antiquated submission systems as well as revising and releasing submission rubrics, live data, and helpful resources. We know this isn’t perfect, but we are working to make this off-year as smooth as possible.

That said, we are grateful for both the positive and constructive feedback, and we are listening. In the end, #WeAreCUE and we absorb the community highs and lows as you feel them. Thank you for being open to our process and trusting us. We really do have the best intentions at the core of our actions.

So, are you ready to submit! CLICK HERE!

CUE Gives Back: Rock Star Benefit Results

Back in February 2018, CUE held a #CUErockstar Benefit Camp for the Sonoma, CA fire victims in Napa County. Thanks to the generosity of the CUE community, each educator who lost his/her home received a monetary gift and the understanding that #CUEcares.

In a recent email from Dr. Barbara Nemko, Superintendent of Napa County Office of Education, she writes:

Hi Jon,

As we talked about yesterday, we are dividing the $7,000 (that includes the gift cards) that RockStarCUE collected equally among every teacher in Napa and Sonoma who lost their home.  We have 7 in Napa and they have 150 in Sonoma, which comes out to $44.58 each, so we will round that up to $45.  We will wait until we get your CUE note to distribute the cards, but Jennifer from the NVUSD Ed Foundation will send a check to the Sonoma County Office of Education this week, with instructions to wait for the CUE note.

I can’t thank you enough for everything you did to make this event happen.  (Not to mention my tee-shirt!)

You’re the best!!


While we know that the material items pale in comparison to the emotional loss of the Napa Fires, we hope that Napa and Sonoma Counties know that CUE is more than conferences, events, and newsletters. We are humans… we are a network of innovators ready to take in anyone and everyone who has a hunger to learn, be connected, and grow.


Getting excited for CUE BOLD: Featuring TOSAs Talking Tech

Tom Covington and Mike Jephcott are getting excited about CUE BOLD this weekend, and they brought me in to shed some light on all the things. Click below and listen!

Get to know Tom and Mike… we’re sure you’ll be happy you did so!

Two teachers from Bassett Unified School District in La Puente, California, talking about Technology Integration, giving ideas, troubleshooting, talking about SAMR and why we need tech in classrooms. This was a great way to get PD out to our teachers and we thought we should share it with everyone. Here it is. Visit our district page here: www.bassettusd.org and our resources at www.tomtalksabout.com 

Geographic Equity Issues are Real… and Improving

In a recent post shared by John Cradler, Rural Schools Receive High-Speed Internet with the Broadband Infrastructure and Improvement Grant, huge strides in closing the equity gap of some of our most rural areas of the state have occurred.

The San Benito County Office of Education is currently in the process of incorporating the Broadband Infrastructure and Improvement Grant to all rural schools in San Benito County.

The goal of this grant is to improve internet service in rural areas which will, in turn, impact online testing experiences, regular classroom collaboration, and instructional strategies.

Read more about the initiative and local impact for educators and students!

Google in the Classroom — As Seen at Spring CUE 2018

We were thrilled to welcome Stephen Noonoo, K-12 Editor at EdSurge, to our Spring CUE 2018 Conference last week in Palm Springs, CA. Steven visited several sessions featuring not-to-miss tips, extensions, and classroom applications of amazing Chrome Extensions, Chromebook Apps, and more.

Read all about his journey to getting Google-y at #CUE18 by visiting his EdSurge blog post!

Stephen — you are welcome back anytime! Thanks for shining amazing light on CUE members and helping spread the message of classroom implementation over tool overload.

Arthur Luehrmann — A True CUE Pioneer

Just this week, our CUE team heard from Arthur Luehrmann. If you don’t know who he is, give this a read!

In his email, he writes:

Kiewit Computation Center
Arthur W. Luehrmann, Jr.

“Back in 1979, I was in charge of the new computer education program at the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley when I first learned about CUE. It was my view then and still that teachers and schools should take the lead in making computing part of the curriculum. It has now happened.

I started going to CUE conferences and was an invited speaker a few times in the Bay Area and Southern California. Thrilling times, when we were all pioneering! Later I began writing books for students and teachers to use in their new computer classes. A group of us formed a publishing company, Computer Literacy Press, to get the books in schools, and we were often vendors at CUE in the eighties. It was all very exhilarating.”

So, won’t you please join us in welcoming back Arthur and so many of the CUE Pioneers as we celebrate CUE’s 40th Anniversary? If you are attending Spring CUE 2018, keep your eyes peeled for anyone donning the 40th Anniversary “Pioneer Button.” Take a moment to shake hands, introduce yourself, take a selfie, and celebrate the vision and innovation of so many amazing educators!

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