OnCUE

Author - Kristina Allison

Wait. Don’t Wait. Write.

Sharpened Pencil on paper

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of sitting in a workshop led by the legendary Ralph Fletcher. When I first started teaching, his book What a Writer Needs transformed the way I taught writing in my classroom. Giving students choice and time to write about topics for which they are passionate is a lesson I have carried with me since my writer’s workshop inception over 20 years ago. This weekend, sitting with members of my local Writing Project (Area 3 in the house!) Fletcher reminded me of the power writing has on the individual. And I’m not just talking about my students. I’m talking about me. I love writing, but I rarely do it because there are always so many other things to do: Laundry, grading, that new series on Netflix…

Since May, I have embarked on a writing journey, unlike any other. When CUE asked for applications to be a regular contributor to the OnCUE blog, I was so excited, I filled out the questionnaire within minutes. Then the doubt set in. How was this going to fit into my already busy schedule? Was my voice one that people even wanted to read?

Soon, though, I was in a groove. I explored areas of teaching pedagogy and educational technology, where I always wanted to learn more, but never chose to spend the time on follow through. I reached out to friends and acquaintances, asking for expertise and publishing their voices. It wasn’t hard to find the time. I gave myself deadlines, made plans and hit every one of my goals.

Looking back, I know it was a lot of work, but that’s not what stands out. What I remember is how easy it was to sit down at my computer and get my thoughts out. I remember how good it felt when others reacted to the content I chose to publish. Honestly, it was an amazing ride.

Kristina wearing Instant Gratification Monkey Shirt

My Instant Gratification Monkey shirt always comes out to play!

Each year I show my students Tim Urban’s Ted Talk: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator. We discuss how procrastination is a very normal thing and how all of us have our “Instant Gratification Monkey.” It’s a great lesson for us all, but what strikes me every year is how Urban ends his talk. He references times in people’s lives where there are no deadlines. That’s when we can miss out on trying something new. Taking risks. Challenging ourselves to become more than we ever thought possible. He says, “We need to think about what we’re really procrastinating on, because everyone is procrastinating on something in life.”

I took a risk and went on a journey with CUE. It may have been a small trek, but it helped me grow in ways I couldn’t have imagine. How are you procrastinating and not living your best life? Take a little advice from Tim Urban and me. Don’t let your Instant Gratification Monkey take the wheel. Make a plan and do it!

Oh, and if you want to apply to be a part of the Social Media Champs for CUE the deadline is October 31st. Go to http://blog.cue.org/smc/ today. Well, maybe not today.

 

Fall CUE Speaker Showcase: Kim Randall & Kelly Kermode

Picture Kim Randall & Kelly Kermode

If you haven’t yet tried the Google Geo tools, Fall CUE is the time for your tour. The Napa Valley is hosting the two best tour guides, who literally wrote the book on using these engaging tools. Don’t miss your chance to see Kim Randall and Kelly Kermode in action!

Kim Randall, a global educational technology consultant, works with professional development organizations such as EdTechTeam, Discovery Education, CUE, and the Krause Center for Innovation, providing relevant and engaging training centered around effective use and pedagogy of educational technologies in the classroom. She is a Google Certified Innovator, Trainer, an Apple Distinguished Educator, and holds an M.A. in Educational Technology Leadership from George Washington University, Washington, DC. She is a member of the Google Earth Education Advisory Board and currently a cohort lead for the western region. Kim is actively involved with the Google Geo Teacher’s Institute and continues to present geo-literacy related sessions at conferences, Google for Education summits, workshops, and bootcamps around the globe. She is the co-author of Bring the World to Your Classroom: Using Google Geo Tools. Kim has been an elementary and middle school teacher as well as a technology integration specialist and holds a California Multiple Subject teaching credential. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but often found in her spare time traveling to new places near and far, scuba diving, and dabbling with topside and underwater photography. Follow her on Twitter @scubagirl812.

Kelly Kermode currently serves as an Innovative Specialist for Forest Hills Public Schools. With over 20 years of teaching and coaching experience, Kelly loves to think big and explore ways to think outside the box. In the past few years, Kelly has been found teaching high school English, Yearbook, a bevy of computer classes including Computer Game Design, as well as training teachers and staff on how to shift pedagogical practices by incorporating different tools. Kelly has presented at conferences and conducted workshops from Michigan to California to South Africa, including MACUL, CUE, ISTE, and EdTech Summit SA. Kelly is a Google Certified Teacher, Google Education Trainer, Adobe Education Leader, Adobe Certified Expert, Adobe Education Trainer, and CUE Lead Learner. Kelly received the Impact Award in July of 2014.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Bring the World to Your Classroom Using Google Tools

What inspired you to put this session together?

We firmly believe embedding the use of Google Geo tools in instruction is so important to help today’s students build empathy, curiosity, and creativity in relation to the world we live in and earth’s systems. We love to share ideas and make connections for using the Google Geo tools in day to day lessons & activities.

Why should someone attend?

Hands-on. Fun. Time to play, practice, and learn with the Google Geo tools. Lots of lesson ideas and examples. And they get to meet/have a workshop with the authors of Bring the World to Your Classroom Using Google Geo Tools!

What’s your CUE Story?

Kim and Kelly have been lead learners and presenters for CUE for many years. They eventually met at their Google Teacher Academy and were paired to lead week long professional development workshops together in Wyoming for CUE. It was during these events they discovered their shared passion and love of Google Geo Tools for education. As they say, the rest is history and their book, Bring the World to Your Classroom Using Google Geo Tools was born!

To read more about this session and the other options for CUE’s incredible two-day conference, check out the schedule. Don’t forget to register for the conference, too! You DO NOT want to miss this year.

Fall CUE Speaker Showcase: Rhonda Finley

Picture Rhonda Finley

Want to learn how to better manage your classroom and utilize those iPads for some real student learning and engagement? Come check out Rhonda Finley at Fall CUE and learn how she puts the power of Apple to empowering use in her district.

Rhonda Finley and her husband are long time residents of Houston, Texas. They have three children who are all in college. One is also a United States Airman. Rhonda loves singing and line dancing with her family. They also love going to see all of the Houston teams play (Astros, Rockets and yes the Texans)! Rhonda is a first generation college graduate. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Houston Baptist University. This year will mark her 14th year in education. Her career in education has included 8 years as a fourth grade teacher, four years as a Digital Learning Specialist and this year will be her second year at Missouri City Middle School where she serves as an Instructional Coach for Technology Integration. They are a Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Campus. Rhonda attended school in North Forest I.S.D. The demographics in her schools mirrored the demographics at Missouri City Middle School. She had educators who believed in her and encouraged her to excel and strive for success. She has had the privilege of being a technology leader in one of the largest and most diverse school districts in the state of Texas. This is a responsibility that she holds in high regard. Rhonda’s goal is to build capacity in teachers and encourage an environment in which teachers share information and model best practices with each other. When teachers are thriving, growing and learning,  students are successful.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Turn Up for Apple Classroom

What inspired you to put this session together?

My campus, MCMS is a proud VILS school.

Why should someone attend?

Educators will learn how to manage their student devices with Apple Classroom, a powerful iPad app that helps educators guide learning, share work, and manage student devices. Apple Classroom supports both shared and one-to-one environments. Teachers will also get hands on opportunities and use the native iOS apps in the multiple core subject areas.

What’s your CUE Story?

My PLE told me about this amazing opportunity and I could not pass it up. I was also excited about being able to present with our other Instructional Coaches.

To read more about this session and the other options for CUE’s incredible two-day conference, check out the schedule. Don’t forget to register for the conference, too! You DO NOT want to miss this year.

Fall CUE Speaker Showcase: Sharon Frazier-Verpooten

Picture Sharon Frazier-Verpooten

The research on music education’s effects on learning is inarguable, but how can you make it work in your classroom? At Fall CUE, Sharon Frazier-Verpooten can show you the digital tools to incorporate music in your curriculum. 

Sharon Frazier-Verpooten has been teaching for 26 years in grades K-12. With a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, she has established herself as a well-respected leader and trainer in schools and districts throughout the United States. She holds teaching credentials in elementary education, music, and school administration, and has been extensively trained in many strategies to maximize student achievement, especially in Gifted and Talented Education. She has conducted many workshops for other teachers and parents in California and in Texas in GATE, AVID, Computer Using Educators, Music, and Mathematics. As a constant learner, she is always open to using any strategy that will help students learn and can individualize any curriculum to meet students’ needs from the struggling learner or gifted students. Her greatest passion in education is to develop curriculum that helps students to experience success and have fun learning.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Implementing a Fully Integrated Digital Music Classroom

What inspired you to put this session together?

Tustin Unified School District brought back their elementary music program five years ago, and was committed to offering a 21st century music program that would incorporate the use of digital tools throughout the curriculum. We have a very professional group of music teachers who have created this curriculum from the ground up, using the music standards, and the knowledge of working in the music field for many years.

Why should someone attend?

If you are looking to incorporate music into your classroom, but don’t know where to begin, you will have the opportunity to hear from a veteran music teacher of 27 years. If you are a music teacher, looking to do something different, you will walk away with the tools to create your own curriculum that fully uses digital resources. We are 100% mobile and our entire program is housed online.

What’s your CUE Story?

I found out about CUE years ago, while I was finishing up my credential taking a computer course. I was impressed at that time by all of the educators taking risks and providing technology for their students. Tustin Unified School District sends many presenters to CUE and I was invited to submit my idea to present. I am so proud of the way our music team makes use of digital resources for our music program that I just had to share with other teachers who might be curious about bringing their program into the future!

To read more about this session and the other options for CUE’s incredible two-day conference, check out the schedule. Don’t forget to register for the conference, too! You DO NOT want to miss this year.

Fall CUE Speaker Showcase: Kim Calderon

picture Kim Calderon

Hands on learning is how our students want to learn. Truth is, adults love learning that way, too! At Fall CUE, Kim Calderon has some seriously fun learning planned for you. Check out her sessions and bring the fun back to your classroom on Monday!

Kim has taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade Science over the last 11 years in Fowler, CA. She currently is teaching Coding and Engineering electives as well as the school’s STEM classes. Kim also coaches the school’s Science Olympiad and Lego Robotics teams as well as working with students participating in Science Fair. She integrates technology in to her lessons when applicable but also values the hands-on/experiential aspects of science that can’t always be replicated on a computer. She has a Bachelors Degree in Biology from Cal Poly, SLO and a Masters Degree in Education Administration from Fresno Pacific. She is a Google Innovator and Trainer and also a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator. Astronomy, Biology…Chemistry, Zoology….Science and Technology: it’s fun! You’ll see.

What sessions are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Let’s Make Data Literacy FUN! 

Getting Your Crazy Ideas Funded

What inspired you to put this session together?

Data Literacy is incredibly important but also can be VERY boring, making it fun for kids (and their teachers) is something that I am passionate about. I truly believe that kids learn more when they are having fun, and teachers are more effective when they are having fun with what they are teaching.

We all go to CUE and other conferences and see these amazing contraptions and robots and drones and ideas. Then we go back to our schools and admin says “NO!” when you ask to purchase items. This session was inspired by that happening to me and me wanting to figure out a way to make the ideas still happen in my classroom.

Why should someone attend?

For both my sessions attendees will get ideas that they can use right away in their classes. In Data Literacy we are going to actually do some of the experiments and collect data ourselves during the workshop. In Funding we are going to start writing a Donors Choose project and hopefully CUE will do some re-tweeting of projects after we are done (HINT HINT).

What’s your CUE Story?

I was pushed into presenting about 4 years ago by Susan Stewart and Will Kimbley. I have been presenting one or two sessions at Fall, Spring and CVCUE events ever since. 2 years ago I was awarded the LeRoy Finkel Fellowship and last year I was part of the first ever CUE BOOMS. CUE has been a huge confidence booster for me as well as introducing me to some of the best EdTech people.

To read more about this session and the other options for CUE’s incredible two-day conference, check out the schedule. Don’t forget to register for the conference, too! You DO NOT want to miss this year.

Fall CUE Speaker Showcase: Elsbeth Seymour

Picture Elsbeth Seymour

All means all. We teach all students in our class and each and every one of those students have different needs. At Fall CUE, Elsbeth Seymour will be showcasing her expertise on how using technology can help reach ALL students. All. Don’t miss this one. 

Elsbeth is a technology activist, advocating for equity in classrooms in order to break down the barriers to the education of neurodivergent students. Currently the ringmistress of 7th grade Special Education English Language Arts classrooms, Elsbeth uses technology to ensure access to grade level material and training of lifelong skills. Elsbeth believes in honoring student’s strengths as well as using culturally responsive methods and utilizing restorative justice techniques. Recently recognized as a StudySync Spotlight Teacher for Fontana Unified District and accepted into the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert Program, Elsbeth is working to change the perception of neurodivergent classrooms and students across her district. Elsbeth has obtained an Education Specialist credential from University of La Verne and is currently pursuing a Masters in Educational Technology with an emphasis on technology integration and assistive technology at Boise State University.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Removing Barriers to Education for Neurodivergent Students using Microsoft Tools

What inspired you to put this session together?

My inspiration comes from my classroom, every day I try to better myself and my craft, all to better serve the needs of my students. Technology has enabled ways for me to do both and has become a central component within my classroom. While technology provides added benefits for many classrooms, within mine, it is the gateway to learning. Assistive technology provides bridges and tunnels, through around and over learning difficulties into an equitable learning space.

Why should someone attend?

The General and Special Education worlds are colliding, and my hope is that I can better prepare educators to interact in this inclusive environment while providing tools that benefit all students. Attendees will find ways to not only reach all students in their classroom but provide access to grade level material and academic rigor they need. Attendees will be exposed to Microsoft’s Learning Tools which are classroom changing! Immersive Reader, Dictation, Reader view, Tell Me, Office Lens and Translator are just some of the items we will discuss and see in action, all of which can be used on most platforms.

What’s your CUE Story?

School was always difficult for me, for many years I refused to even think about becoming a teacher. It wasn’t until after a chance position as Special Education instructional Aide that I had found my true calling. I knew then I wanted to shake up education, using my background in graphic design and computers I dove into the world of educational technology and found a love for assistive technology. I saw that it could give children voices, provide tools to propel students forward and started to spend more time chasing this information down.

This past month I was accepted into the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert program which has solidified my love for Microsoft Learning Tools. One late night on twitter I saw a call for submissions for the CUE conference, I initially put off my application, assuming I would not be accepted, but as it loomed closer to midnight I decided to throw together a submission, pouring out my passion for my students and communicating the need for technology training for teachers within the inclusion classroom. When I received the email from CUE I assumed it would be a rejection letter! As I read the email I became more and more excited about the chance to share the simple but crucial tools teachers can implement to ensure accessibility for all.

To read more about this session and the other options for CUE’s incredible two-day conference, check out the schedule. Don’t forget to register for the conference, too! You DO NOT want to miss this year.

Fall CUE Speaker Showcase: Jessica Pack

Picture Jessica Pack

I am a firm believer that if you can tell a story, you can be and do anything in this world. But how do we teach our students to tell stories with such limited time in the content areas? Jessica Pack has the answer at Fall CUE: digital storytelling. By weaving technology in with our content standards, our students can learn to tell stories well. Maybe even someday these skills will help them rule the world, (or at least get a good paying job).

Jessica teaches 6th grade Language Arts and Social Studies, and middle school ASB. She is a 2014 California Teacher of the Year, 2015 CUE Outstanding Educator, and an adjunct faculty member of DIGICOM Learning. Jessica’s students have won many awards for digital storytelling, and she loves sharing her passion for students making movies!

What sessions are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Tell Me a Story

What inspired you to put this session together?

Digital storytelling is an instructional pillar of my classroom. I put this session together to help other teachers experience the joy of creating a video project. I also want them to see the value in giving students opportunities to tell stories – both about academic content as well as their own lives.

Why should someone attend?

Attendees will learn how to structure digital storytelling opportunities within core content areas. They will engage in creating a video project that relates to their content area and walk away with an anchor video to use in their class. We’ll discuss practical suggestions for scope and sequence, managing the process, and scaffolding writing. Digital Storytelling is the writing process in action, so we’ll connect everything back to Common Core standards, too. Most of all – attendees should get ready to have a compelling learning experience and leave ready to generate that same type of engaging, creative process in their own classroom!

What’s your CUE Story?

I love sharing my learning with others! I’ve been a classroom teacher for 14 years and have piloted nearly every major technology initiative in my district. As an early adopter, I’ve presented at Spring CUE for eleven of the last twelve years. Making connections and helping others is one of my professional passions.

To read more about this session and the other options for CUE’s incredible two-day conference, check out the schedule. Don’t forget to register for the conference, too! You DO NOT want to miss this year.

Fall CUE Speaker Showcase: Michael Bloemsma, Ed.D.

Picture Dr. Michael Bloemsma

So, you’ve taken the plunge. You’ve decided to jump into the water of educational technology. Now what? Well, your first swim should be attending Fall CUE where Dr. Michael Bloemsma has some ideas for you to plan lessons for 21st Century Learners. Paddle on over. The water is nice in the Napa Valley. 

Dr. Michael Bloemsma has over 19 years of experience as a classroom teacher, professor, and technology leader at the school, district, and county levels. Michael works for San Francisco Unified School District in the Department of Technology. In his role as the Program Administrator of Technology and Innovation, he supports the 1:1 Technology initiatives in the district. In this role, Michael supports school site administrators, teachers, and coaches to leverage technology and key pedagogies to transform the learning experience for SFUSD students. Michael is also the current President of the Executive Board of the local CUE San Francisco affiliate.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Climbing the SAMR Ladder: Designing Engaging Lessons for 21st Century Learners

What inspired you to put this session together?

Yes! When doing my dissertation research on a high school that began integrating the use of iPads across all content areas back in 2012, I interviewed students about what the most engaging and exciting lessons they experienced in their classes where they used iPads. Guess what? The ones that were most reported by students as engaging were the ones where teachers were designing lessons that were above the line in the SAMR model at the Modification and Redefinition levels! So, I began presenting on this topic to inspire teachers to challenge themselves to climb up the SAMR model to better engage students in their own learning.

Why should someone attend?

Teachers will not only learn about the SAMR Model, but will also get hands-on experience by examining some learning scenarios and working with others in a group to determine which level of the SAMR Model they feel that lesson is at. Then participants have an opportunity to use the resources I have created to walk a lesson of their own up the SAMR Ladder and take away many resource to spread the gospel and share with a replicate-able PD model with their districts and schools!

What’s your CUE Story?

I became involved with CUE from word of mouth of a fellow educator way back in the year 2000. After gaining some experience providing professional development to educators at schools I worked at I finally got up the courage and submitted a speaker proposal and was accepted to present! Ever since then back in 2001 when I presented at NECC (now ISTE Conference) I have continued to share my 19 years of experience with others every year at CUE and ISTE conferences!

To read more about this session and the other options for CUE’s incredible two-day conference, check out the schedule. Don’t forget to register for the conference, too! You DO NOT want to miss this year.

Fall CUE Speaker Showcase: Tara Martin

Picture Tara Martin

Fall CUE is just around the corner and Tara Martin is gearing up to transform your school and district culture through tools that create growth with teams and individuals. Come see just what she has planned for you!

Tara Martin is an enthusiastic educator, speaker, and author who thrives on change and refuses to settle for the status quo. Martin’s mission is to invigorate administrators, teachers, and staff members to apply instructional and leadership practices that foster creativity and empower today’s learners (adults and students) to lead with passion.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

REAL + Innovators’ Compass

What inspired you to put this session together?

REAL + Innovators’ Compass was inspired by Ela Ben-Ur. The original Innovators’ Compass was created to help students get “unstuck” during design-thinking type learning experiences.

I took the idea of the compass and changed the focus of the questions to create a tool where one might learn REAL information about their peers, colleagues, and students. The knowledge attained through the process helps each innovator not only identify interest, values, and goals but also sets one up to conquer these ambitions! Innovators never reach a plateau, and the compass helps one continue to stretch and grow personally and professionally.

Why should someone attend?

Participants will actually implement REAL + Innovators’ Compass in teams of four. This interactive session is engaging and enlightening. Come and discover how R.E.A.L. + The Innovators’ Compass will help teams of educators attain information and insights that once took weeks of face-to-face meetings to achieve.

What’s your CUE Story?

I spoke at Fall CUE for the first time last year and absolutely LOVED it! This conference is small yet mighty and places a huge emphasis on the people! That is the piece I love so much. I actually wrote about my experience here. I called CUE my Collaborative Unified Experience.

To read more about this session and the other options for CUE’s incredible two-day conference, check out the schedule. Don’t forget to register for the conference, too! You DO NOT want to miss this year.

 

 

Fall CUE Speaker Showcase: Tom Covington

Picture Tom Covington

Podcasting for students? Audio as assessment? Tom Covington will convince you that this is the next great thing you need to add to your classroom repertoire. Come check out his session at Fall CUE and learn from a master podcaster how easy and effective audio and video recording can be for student engagement.  Don’t miss this session!

Tom Covington is a Tech TOSA and Podcaster from Cerritos, CA. He loves tech and learning, and is geeky about getting others to love tech too! His sessions are full of hands-on learning and play, and he is always there for support, encouragement and to answer any questions! Certifications: Microsoft Innovative Innovator, Flipgrid Ambassador, MIE Master Trainer, Plickers Ambassador, Powered By CUE Social Media Champion 2018.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Flipgrid and Anchor, an Awesome Student Combo

What inspired you to put this session together?

My podcast helped inspire what is in the session, working to get audio from students.

Why should someone attend?

Attendees will get hands-on with 2 awesome apps and some free SWAG as well!

What’s your CUE Story?

I was encouraged by some awesome CUE family to share my story and to show others the tools I am using.

To read more about this session and the other options for CUE’s incredible two-day conference, check out the schedule. Don’t forget to register for the conference, too! You DO NOT want to miss this year.