Author - Cate Tolnai

Erin Klein — The True Disruptor!!

erin klein

If you haven’t gotten to know the work of Erin Klein on social media or on her blog, Kleinspiration, consider this your personal invitation. Erin is a generous and creative educator who shares her ideas and innovation across the globe. In a recent post on DisruptorDaily.com, Erin receives a shout-out for her student-centered focus and spirit in educational technology. Her community recognizes her accomplishments with awards and accolades, and we are thrilled to bring her to the Spring CUE Conference this year as a Keynote Speaker!

KleinspirationCheck out how she (and other mega-influencers) disrupt and inspire on Twitter and beyond by reading this post. And reserve your seat for Spring CUE today!

Get to Know Don Wettrick – A Member Spotlight

don wettrick

There’s Something About Don…

Don Wettrick is the founder of StartEdUp, author of “Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level,” and Innovation Specialist at Noblesville High School, central IN. Don is known for his award-winning work as a middle school and high school teacher; educational and innovation consultant; and educational speaker. Check out his CUE-D Up Interview with Sarah Thomas! 

What’s exciting?

Student entrepreneurship

What is Don “CUE-d Up” to do this year?

Get more educators into the entrepreneurial mindset

What’s one tip Don has for viewers?

Allow your classroom to be filled and incentivized on risk.

Resources Mentioned

Twitch, a livestreaming platform

Your Thoughts?

Add your thoughts on our Flipgrid! (Note: They might be shared out via social media.)


KQED Has Some Serious Love for CUE Members who Blog!



If you haven’t already seen this KQED post featuring the 20 best teachers who blog in 2017, then allow us to show you the way! We are so proud of many California educators and CUE influencers who made the list. It’s not easy to find the time and the right topic to blog about, and these educators have gifted our CUE community with their thoughts, reflections, and expertise.

Congrats to Alice Chen, Catlin Tucker, Jen Roberts, Vicki Davis, Cori Orlando, and many others who got called out in the best of ways!

Here’s to lots more sharing and blogging in 2018!

Creativity, Adobe EDU, and You!

cue spark

learn something new in 2018

Online learning has never been as accessible as it is in 2018. We are excited to share information with our CUE community about 20+ professional classes available for FREE. If you are looking to be more creative with your curriculum and leverage the power of high-quality and simple tools, then check out the Adobe Education Exchange!

With multiple opportunities to learn, play, and share, these courses are designed by educators for educators. Get started on your creative journey on your time and at your pace!

Visit bit.ly/freeforeducators today!

CUE’d Up with Sarah Thomas – Episode 2 Featuring Rafranz Davis

This week on

CUE-d Up

Rafranz Davis

There’s Something About Rafranz…

Rafranz Davis has dedicated her career to empowering students and teachers to share their voices throughout their communities and the world. She uses her platform across the edtech ecosystem to advocate for STEM and creative learning through making while simultaneously challenging communities through the lens of digital equity and diversity. Rafranz is a public school administrator for Lufkin ISD, a rural east Texas community, where she serves as its Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning.

She is the 2017 winner of ISTE’s Outstanding Leadership Award and holds countless industry distinctions including: Google Innovator, Adobe Education Leader, TED innovative educator, Apple Distinguished Educator, Microsoft Innovative Education Expert and her proudest, Global Minecraft Mentor.

What’s exciting?

Schools providing opportunities for creativity to students

What is Rafranz “CUE-d Up” to do this year?

Work surrounding Invention Literacy

What’s one tip Rafranz has for viewers?

Do what scares you, and bring those experiences to your students.

Resources Mentioned

TED Talk by Jay Silver, Founder of Makey makey

Invention Literacy (for Students) by Colleen Graves

Invention Literacy Workshop Wrap-Up

Unity Gaming

Your Thoughts?

Add your thoughts on our Flipgrid! (Note: They might be shared out via social media.)

Leroy the Launchpad — Featuring the Voice of Adam Juarez

leroy's big idea

The Leroy Finkel Fellowship is what I like to call a launchpad. For me, it was an opportunity to have a platform to share my ideas. Being selected as a finalist for the 2017 Leroy Finkel Fellowship was a huge confidence-builder. It made me believe my ideas were big, innovative, and worth sharing with educators. It definitely set my “tech coaching” journey on a whole new trajectory.

My Leroy Finkel journey began during a nondescript conversation with former Leroy Finkel finalist Katherine Goyette. She suggested that the work with my students was definitely a big idea worthy of Leroy Finkel notoriety. I submitted my application and, lo and behold, I was selected as a finalist.

Leroy Finkel Fellowships 2017

Leroy Finkel Fellowships Finals 2017

At the time, I was very new to the whole “EdTech scene.” I had presented a handful of times but was unsure of how special or innovative my ideas were. Seeing the other finalists, their ideas, and the illustrious list of past winners really boosted my confidence. Preparing for the final presentation was a great learning experience.

My idea, the Cardinal Innovation Center, is a very big idea. Presenting it in five minutes to a large crowd and panel of judges was a challenge. I have been known to be a little long-winded. It forced me to adapt my presentation skills to be more concise and articulate.

Although my good friend and colleague Kim Calderon took home the grand prize, I felt empowered to take my ideas and teaching to a whole new level. The $500 finalist prize gave some life to the Cardinal Innovation Center. The money allowed me to purchase some needed materials to make it a reality. In addition, the status of being a finalist, along with the money, gave me some much needed clout with my administration. Their support has been instrumental in making the Cardinal Innovation Center a reality.

championship belt

The Leroy Finkel Fellowship is much like the WWE Intercontinental Championship. For those unfamiliar, the Intercontinental Championship is usually held by “superstars” who are considered to be up-and-comers who have potential to be future WWE Champions. It is a platform for those stars to show they have what it takes to be a champion.Though not as prestigious as the WWE Championship, it exposes them to the pressure and rigor of being a champion.  All-time greats such as Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock were all Intercontinental Champions before ascending to breathtaking heights as WWE Champion.

When all the Leroy Finkel Fellowship smoke had cleared, I was primed to push myself to become better. A month later, I became a Google Certified Trainer. During the summer, I presented in the EdTech Coaches Playground at ISTE. After ISTE, my Cardinal Innovation Center idea helped me earn acceptance as a Google Certified Innovator at the Sydney 2017 cohort.

Google Innovation Academy

Google Innovation Academy, Sydney

Long story short, the Leroy Finkel Fellowship was my Intercontinental Championship experience. It launched my practice to a whole new level. For anyone needing an “EDU-Shot-in-the-Arm”, I highly recommend taking the plunge and submitting an idea for the Leroy Finkel Fellowship. You will not regret it.

Sweet Farewell to a Weird Guy…

thank you Doug

Doug RobertsonHe’s weird. He’s unruly. He’s Doug.

For the past 2 years, Doug Robertson, AKA the Weird Teacher, has shared his voice, passions, and quirks with our community on a weekly basis as CUE’s Blog Editor. His blue hair and bright tone filled our minds with new ideas, inspired projects, and well wishes to members near and far. It is with great thanks that we announce the end of Doug’s tenure as he transitions to spend more time with his students, his family, and his own writing which he has simultaneously been crafting. Doug Robertson in action

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Doug on several projects, and I am always impressed with the way he prioritizes the edge in people’s voices. He is not shy about asking questions that push our thinking and place emphasis on “what is best for students.”

Jon Corippo, Interim Executive Director of CUE and overall Helpful Guy, has this to say about Doug:

I recall writing a letter of recommendation for Doug to apply for this position – and he’s not disappointed. I have appreciated his passion and wit in all the blog posts he’s written and shared over the last few years. He’s an EDUchampion and an amazing classroom leader.

We hope to bring Doug’s voice back from time to time to keep each of us connected to his journey. Thanks for sharing, caring, and amplifying! Journey on, friend!

If you haven’t checked out Doug’s writing, you can find (and purchase) his four published titles here.

Doug's books

And while we’re at it, click below on a few of our favorite posts from Doug:

trapping our learning... humanelyCue Short Listget in the classroom Amplify Awesome












Please Welcome CUE’s New Social Media Champs!

they've arrived

In the spirit of multimedia creativity, we are working to spice up the look, feel, and content of our CUE Blog and OnCUE Journal. We want to take this opportunity to officially announce some new contributors to the CUE voice across our CUE website and social media.

Drumroll please…

First up, we want you to meet Cori Orlando, CUE’s official Blogger!

Coi Orlando

Cori works as a TOSA in Simi Valley Unified School District in Southern California. She describes herself simply as “Mother, teacher, TOSA, encourager of others.” Who doesn’t need more of that in their lives? Cori is stepping up to help develop more blog posts and short articles highlighting hot topics, great member accomplishments, and opportunities to connect with other educators as well as amplify the voices of others. She is an enthusiastic CUE Rock Star attendee and presenter, and she already has a killer blog that you can check out at here! Cori can often be spotted taking half-face selfies around different CUE events and is often found chatting away about all-things education on Twitter. We are so lucky to have Cori’s voice in our midst!

Next, we want to officially introduce Brian Briggs and Ryan O’Donnell as the first ever CUE Podcast Team!

Ryan and BrianBrian works as the Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology in Plumas Lake, CA, but he started his EDU career as a kindergarten teacher. If you have spent any time with Brian, you quickly pick up on his kind nature, friendly laugh, and encouraging vibe. Brian is a generous CapCUE Board member who also digs robotics and STEAM enough to spend way too much money on gadgets and gizmos. But lucky for us, he shares all his learning!! Which brings us to his “brother-from-another-mother,” Ryan O’Donnell. Ryan works as a Technology TOSA and Media Teacher in Rocklin, CA. Also on the CapCUE Board, Ryan brings his burly sense of humor to every endeavor he takes on. When Ryan walks in the door (or on the air), you know it. These two EDUknuckleheads have been entertaining us with this Check This Out podcast for over a year, and now we are happy to say that they are #poweredbyCUE. Welcome to the inner-workings, boys!

Sarah ThomasFinally, a CUE member that needs no introduction… Sarah Thomas!! Sarah will serve as CUE’s first Multimedia Mastermind!

Sarah works as Regional Technology Coordinator in Prince Georges County, MD. She is also the founder and Chief Excitement Office (I just made that up!) of EduMatch, a “worldwide community of educators who learn and grow together.” Sarah comes with extensive experience in video production and is a fabulous fit to bring her passion and connections to the CUE Community. Whether she is hosting a podcast, writing a book, or walking down the halls of an amazing professional learning conference, Sarah is quick with a warm smile and infectious laugh. I still can’t believe we get to work closely with Sarah on a regular basis!

To say we are excited about the addition of these incredible educators to our CUE family is not nearly enough! Keep your eyes peeled for lots of featured blog posts, original podcasts, member interviews, and lots of celebrating in the best CUE way. We are THRILLED and look forward to the diverse dialogue, belly laughs, and many ah-hahs!

Try These Favorite Teacher-Designed Ideas in Your Classroom

cue spark

A recent collaboration between the Learning Accelerator and the Teacher’s Guild produced a fabulous collection of teacher-designed ideas in response to the simple question:

How might we empower all students to drive their learning and authentically demonstrate mastery?

The team at Learning Accelerator prioritized “student-centered instructional approaches and ability to be implemented in a variety of contexts” when choosing projects to highlight. Check out the post and these inspiring projects and start impacting student learning in your classroom today!

Ed Note: Special thanks to Jennifer Wolfe for sharing this resource and bringing it to the attention of our larger CUE community!