OnCUE

Author - Kristina Allison

Fall CUE Speaker Showcase: Vanessa Heller

Picture Vanessa Heller

Project based learning has been around for a long time and there’s a reason. It’s effective and amazing! Vanessa Heller is passionate about PBL and infusing inquiry into classroom practice. Come check out her session at Fall CUE.

Mrs. Heller is an educator in her 21st year at Medea Creek Middle School. She is Director of the Oak Park Inquiry Institute, Peer Coach, ELA Dept. Chair, and a member of the Oak Park Unified Tech Innovator team helping colleagues incorporate more technology into their pedagogical practices. She regularly presents on best practices in gifted education and inquiry throughout California. In her spare time, Vanessa is a dance and band mom to two teenage daughters and is never far from a good edu-read or a Twitter chat.

What sessions are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Action & Advocacy for Inquiry/PBL and Developing Driving Questions for Inquiry/PBL

What inspired you to put these sessions together?

Inquiry/PBL inspires me as I have found it to be the most authentic way to teach. Inquiry is hands-on, minds-on learning and doing. I am also on a personal campaign to help other educators realize that Inquiry/PBL is for all learners, it is scalable to time and content, and that students don’t have have to make a project…they can make an impact.

Why should someone attend?

You want to attend because you are an educator who expects more from yourself and your students. You want students to ask, to think, and to do. The session on Developing Driving Questions for Inquiry/PBL focuses on how to do just that, create broad yet deep essential questions that encourage kids to go beyond Google or the textbook. My twist is using the GATE Universal Themes and icons of depth and complexity and/or the NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts to develop these driving questions.

You want to attend the session on Action & Advocacy for Inquiry/PBL because you are ready for next level teaching and learning. You want to move content beyond the walls of your classroom to your local community and even go global with inquiry. This session takes curricular inquiry to the action and advocacy phase where students engage in service learning and civic action. The idea here is that students are not creating projects as much as they are creating social change.

What’s your CUE Story?

Becoming a presenter at Fall CUE, SGV CUE, and hopefully at Spring CUE as well, was simply a matter of submitting proposals…giving it a go. I have been presenting on inquiry/PBL and GATE topics at various gifted education conferences such as California Association of the Gifted and Tri County GATE for over five years and at California League of Schools conferences for about two or three years now. I am also a regular and huge fan of EdCamps. I attend whenever I can to teach and be taught and even organized an EdCamp!

To read more about these sessions 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: Bonnie Marks

Picture Bonnie Marks

Do you ever feel like doing more to affect change in California? Bonnie Marks is going to give you the chance. At Fall CUE, she will be sharing how CUE is working for you, and what you can do to be a part of it. You can make a difference by being an advocate for students, too. Just take the first step.

Bonnie enjoyed a long career working with technology in California Schools – including serving as director of the Bay Area Regional California Technology Assistance Project Center, teaching technology for UC Berkeley Extension, and serving on the boards of ISTE and CUE. Recently retired, she is still learning new things, sharing with educators and advocating for ed tech with policy makers.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

CUE Legislative Advocacy: Past, Present and Future

What inspired you to put this session together?

For over 35 years, I’ve been involved in supporting CUE’s Legislative Advocacy efforts – with many successes. As technology becomes an integral part of everyday life, funding and support for technology in our schools is sadly neglected. A great team of CUE members is working to effect policy changes – and I’m proud to co-chair the committee that is helping to make a difference!

Why should someone attend?

Learn about CUE’s work in Legislative Advocacy at the State and Federal level. Hear from the legendary John Cradler, Geoff Belleau of the California CDE, Barbara Nemko, Napa County Superintendent, co-chair Vanitha Chandrasekhar and other members of the committee.

What’s your CUE Story?

I presented at my first CUE conference in 1985 – at Independence High School in San Jose, sharing information about a state-funded project — the Technology in the Curriculum (TIC) Guides that were created to help teachers select software and videos.

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: Amy Linden

Picture Amy Linden

Fake news. Fake news. We hear it, read it, but can we teach our students to spot it? I say, ask a teacher librarian like Amy Linden! Her session at Fall CUE will give you the resources to guide your students to be the right kind of skeptics. 

Amy Linden is the teacher librarian for El Dorado High School in Placerville, CA. Amy has been an educator for 25 years, 20 of those as a teacher librarian, in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada. She is a frequent presenter and past recipient of two CSLA Good Ideas! awards and the Highsmith Innovation Award. Amy currently serves on the CSLA Northern Region Board. In her free time, Amy is a consultant for K-8 school libraries and also performs and directs for a community theater company.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Fake News Alert! Guiding students to Become Curious Skeptics

What inspired you to put this session together?

The May 2018 Media & Information Literacy Summit in Sacramento inspired me to present on this topic. I served as a member of the discussion panel on the topic of “Equipping Curious Skeptics” and was energized by the speakers and activities of the day. All teachers, across the curriculum, have the power to provide a base of knowledge and experience that will empower their students to be curious, but skeptical, users and creators of information.

Why should someone attend?

Attendees will discover resources and learn more strategies and tools they can use to guide students to gain the skills needed to become more skeptical and responsible users and producers of information at any age, across curriculum. With so much misinformation — and the unbelievable QUANTITY of information — influencing our students 24/7, all teachers need to have the tools to provide the guidance their students need.

What’s your CUE Story?

I have attended Fall CUE a few times, and have also attended a summer CUE Rock Star training, so I know what a strength CUE has for allowing teachers to personalize their training experience to their specific needs. I am always surprised at how few teachers in California know what my job as a teacher librarian entails, and how we can impact student achievement at the roughly 12% of California schools fortunate enough to have a TL on their faculty. We have so much to offer — providing technology, research and information literacy skills instruction, plus critical thinking activities, and, of course, literacy. It’s the BEST job on campus. The CUE conference is an opportunity to share a little bit of a TL’s expertise with teachers and administrators who may not have the benefit of a teacher librarian at their site or district.

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: Judy Simon Nguyen

Picture Judy Simon Nguyen

If you’re like me, you are completely fascinated by Virtual Reality. What kind of impact can it have in the classroom? Judy Simon Nguyen has a session for you at Fall CUE. Come learn how she uses this amazing technology to teach social justice issues. Yes. Social justice. She’s not just watching cool videos! She’s giving VR a real purpose.

Judy Nguyen is a Teaching and Learning Consultant for All Covered Education. Judy has been an educator for over 15 years. Prior to joining All Covered Education, she taught in a 1:1 laptop and interactive white board environment at Rosary High School. When Rosary adopted a campus-wide 1:1 laptop program, Judy accepted the position as Director of Educational Technology. In this role, she was part of a 1:1 implementation, supported teachers with blended and flipped instruction, and developed an online summer and elective program. Judy passionately loves working with schools and teachers to accomplish their educational goals.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Using VR to Teach Social Justice Issues

What inspired you to put this session together?

I used to teach two UC-accredited courses at my old school: World Religions and Peace & Justice. I loved challenging the students to think of their relationship to the world and how they can be an agent of change. With new technology like VR, I wanted to see how VR can be an effective tool to bring new experiences to students that would make them think about modern issues in an impactful way.

Why should someone attend?

You get to play with Google Cardboard and get to experience VR first hand. We will also work on creating a VR tour together.

What’s your CUE Story?

I have been a member of CUE for a while and have attended their local events. I always enjoyed the speakers and presenters and had entertained the idea of submitting a proposal to present for a while. I didn’t think I had anything new or different to present. It wasn’t until this summer that I worked up the nerve to submit a proposal. I submitted two topics to improve my chances. I was so ecstatic to learn that my Using VR to Teach Social Justice was selected. This topic is close to my heart something I enjoy sharing.

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: Tammy Brecht Dunbar

Feeling like a fish out of the tech water because you live in the Microsoft world of education? Well, Tammy Dunbar has the session for you at Fall CUE. She has the expertise to get your classroom whirling with innovation and engagement using all the Microsoft tools available to you! 

Tammy Brecht Dunbar, M.Ed., S.T.E.M. teaches 5th grade in Manteca (CA) Unified and is a 2018-2019 Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellow. She was named 2016 California Woman of the Year, Assembly District 12, won the 2018 ISTE Literacy PLN Award for #CultivateWorldLiteracy and is a popular presenter and trainer in the US and around the world. She was recently a featured presenter on Microsoft’s Hack the Classroom event, which was broadcast to a global audience of more than 50,000. She is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Fellow, Skype Master Trainer, NCCE Professional Learning Specialist, CUE Rock Star Faculty member, Teach SDGs Ambassador & TEACH.org Ambassador. She won an eInstruction $75,000 Classroom Makeover Video Contest, wrote a successful Enhancing Education Through Technology federal grant for Manteca Unified, and was named Manteca USD Teacher of the Year.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

CUE Rock Star 365

What inspired you to put this session together?

Being a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert for four years has given me insights, access and expertise in hacking the classroom for maximum effect with Microsoft tools! Plus, I love sharing tips and tricks and hacks with my fellow educators!

Why should someone attend?

Coming to my CUE Rock Star 365 session will give you hands on time with some amazing Microsoft tools, the chance to see how those tools actually work in a REAL classroom AND valuable points (maybe even a badge) on the Microsoft Educator Network! Plus, a support crew (me) as you continue to use these incredible tools in your own classroom!

What’s your CUE Story?

I’d been presenting at CUE for several years when Jon Corippo reached out to me because CUE wanted to branch out into the Microsoft world. He proclaimed me the “Microsoft Queen” in California, so how could I resist?

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: Stacey Cool

Picture Stacey Cool

Technology should make your life easier. That’s exactly what Stacey Cool is going to do to your classroom. She will also give you ideas to not just make your day to day easier, but engage your students into meaningful and fun activities. Don’t miss her session at Fall CUE! Walk away with ideas to implement on Monday.

Stacey describes herself as a traveler, teacher, inquisitor, and instigator. She has is a CUE RockStar Faculty member, Google Suite for Education Trainer, RPCV, and Jedi. Stacey is a lover of science, tech, nature, and new ideas.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Student Choice to Promote Student Voice

What inspired you to put this session together?

I’ve been incorporating technology into my teaching for about 7 years now and to me, the biggest reason to do so was to help shake off the constraints of traditional education. It is now easier for me to offer students variety and targeted work to build their skills. It also allows students to better control and direct their own learning. When I started to ease off the reigns and allow students choice and control they really blossomed from cogs in the educational machine to active learners. I feel the biggest barrier preventing teachers from allowing students more freedom is figuring out how to structure it. So that’s what I am trying to help with here: giving ideas, templates, structures and work flow ideas to teachers so they can offer more choice to their students.

Why should someone attend?

Come because of the music and stay for the idea exchange! I love being the first session of the day because I can get there early and rock out while preparing. Attendees will get all sorts of resources, templates and ideas on how to give students more choice in the classroom. I love having a dialogue with attendees in my session so we can get the best ideas into our classrooms.

What’s your CUE Story?

I first got exposed to CUE in 2012 when Jon Corippo came to our county office of education to do a training. He talked about why Twitter is important to educators and advertised the CUE Rockstar Teacher camp at Minarets. Between those two experiences I was hooked! While at Minarets he talked about trying to secure the USS Hornet as a place for another Rockstar event and I knew I had to be there. I had just began to dip my toe in the water of presenting. I developed my first proposals and ran them past Jon for some guidance. I initially was chosen as an alternate but then was asked to step up and present at this unique locale. I remember my session had some work with spreadsheets. Afterwards, two participants thanked me with tears in their eyes because what I had shown them was going to save them hours of work and, in their words, changed their lives. I knew I had to keep getting out there, sharing knowledge and spreading the ideas I learned from others. The choice was simple, I could stay in my classroom and try and make life better for my 150 students or I could present and hopefully make life better for even more students and teachers.

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 Harrison

Picture Kim Harrison

Have you ever spent 20 minutes looking for a file on your Drive? Have you ever forgotten how you named it, so there is no possible way to retrieve it? Have you ever resorted to searching your email for that file because you know you must have sent it to someone? Okay, maybe that’s just me, or maybe like me, you need some help. Kim Harrison has the intervention you need at Fall CUE. 

Kim is a Chief Technology Officer for the Folsom-Cordova USD with experience in leading professional development focused on using technology tools to engage students in meaningful and purposeful ways. She is also a board member of CUE and a long time supporter of bringing technology to teachers across California.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

My Drive Ate my Files!

What inspired you to put this session together?

I’m a neat freak and while working with teachers and administrators and seeing their messy Drives and inability to find things drove me nuts! In an effort to make the world a better place, I put together this presentation to help others!

Why should someone attend?

You will want to attend because this session will be fun with lots of positive energy and a chance to receive hands-on time wrangling in those files. Walk away with a plan to get organized in order to increase your own productivity and efficiency.

What’s your CUE Story?

I joined CUE and attended my first conference in 1998. I started presenting at local conferences in 2001 and have become more involved with CUE since then – CapCUE Board, Fall CUE Planning Committee, and CUE Board.

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: Jay Sorensen

We know that standing in front of students and delivering content is not the key to engagement. But did you know that giving students essential questions is also working against empowering them to take control of their own learning? Check out Jay Sorensen’s session at Fall CUE and learn simple ways to engage students using tools to fuel their own inquiry. It can change your classroom practice, any level, on Monday.

Jay is the Ed Tech Coordinator for Oxnard Union High School District. He provides trainings and manages the gamified PD Oxnard Union Express. He moderates the #VCHSchat, co-founded #Skoolcade, and is an organizer for both #EdCampRio & #EdCamp612. Jay is also the 2018 Technology Leader of the Year for Gold Coast CUE.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Using the QFT to Ignite Inquiry in the Classroom

What inspired you to put this session together?

Getting students to ask their own questions and then seek answers to those questions that they’re most interested in helps with engagement, student-empowerment, and higher DOK levels.

Why should someone attend?

The QFT is a perfect baby step into inquiry for both teachers and students. It’s a simple yet powerful protocol that can be used with all subject at pretty much all grade levels.

What’s your CUE Story?

CUE is what got me into technology. It’s what opened my eyes to all that is possible with tech. It inspired me to get students to do amazing things. I presented at my local affiliate, then Rock Star, then Black Labels, Fall CUE, and finally National CUE. I grow a little bit each time.

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: Anne Schaefer-Salinas

Picture Anne Schaefer-Salinas

Administrators often miss the camaraderie teachers have in their PLCs and at conferences. Sometimes there is no one on campus with the same role who truly understands. Anne Schaefer-Salinas has some practical solutions to get administrators connected and learning from their peers. Come witness how she does it and make your own quality connections during her session at Fall CUE.

Anne has been in education for over 20 years but this was not her first career. She actually graduated with her BS in Business Administration and worked in the hospitality field for a number of years. It didn’t take too many years for her to realize that this was not how she wanted to spend the rest of her years earning a paycheck. So, Anne began working as a Confirmation Catechist and Youth Minister while in Grad School pursuing her MA in History-and also tutored on the side. While doing that “as a temporary gig”, she discovered that she actually enjoyed working with teenagers (much to my mother’s chagrin and disbelief). Anne took a job as a long-term sub at one of her local high schools, in Spanish of all things, pursued her teaching credential and has been enjoying her work ever since. Anne is now in her 20th year at an all-girls Catholic High School teaching every history course they offer, with one exception: AP Government. A few years ago she transitioned into Administration and is serving as the Associate Head of School for Academics. As a result, she is not in the classroom on a regular basis (though have filled in as a long-term sub for Spanish and Video Production), but her old department knows that she is always ready to come in and facilitate a lesson to keep her hand in the mix. Anne is a wife, mom, and avid SF Giants fan. She loves to experiment in the kitchen, read, and learn and model new ways of using technology in the classroom.

What session are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Leading for Change

What inspired you to put this session together?

Administrators need a chance to connect and be inspired too. Because there are so few of us on any campus it is often hard to find cheerleaders. In addition, I am at an independent school so I can’t even lean on a district. I have had to create my PLN (thank you Twitter and Voxer!!) and have gained amazing ideas from them. For the Administrators new to this side of the aisle, and for those not as SM savvy, I want to provide an opportunity for them to connect at CUE and learn from each other in a safe space.

Why should someone attend?

They should attend because we all need some time to be with our peers. I love going to sessions with classroom teachers and take back SO much for our staff, but I also want to talk to others who “get” my role. This session will provide a safe place for Admins to learn from each other (I have a doozy of a first-year mistake to share!), connect, expand their PLN and hopefully take away an inspiration to build on back at their campus.

What’s your CUE Story?

I attended annual CUE through the gift of a former Board member in March of 2013. I was hooked! I submitted to present at Fall CUE 2013 and have presented at one or both CUE events, along with local events (SV CUE’s T3), Google Summits, and Lead 3.0. I really enjoy the energy of getting to present because I always learn more from those who attend my session than I feel I ever share.

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: Brandon Schut

Often at conferences, I feel torn between more than one session scheduled at the same time. I once got the advice from a colleague, “If you don’t know where to go, choose the presenter you know will make it worth your while.” While there will be many sessions on badging and micro credentialing, maybe even on Adobe Spark, at Fall CUE, Brandon Schut is going to bring his own flare to his sessions. You won’t want to miss this!

On a dusty, summer evening, in the early 1980s, a child was born. The parents of this child would soon recognize that he would go on to change the way society looks at men wearing sequin suits. After starting out at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, Brandon transferred to CSU Stanislaus to earn a degree in History. In the midst of graduating college, Brandon married a wonderful person who, luckily for their marriage, enjoys Survivorman Les Stroud just as much as he does. While in graduate school to earn an MA in English Literature, Brandon and his wife had a child. Two years later, they had another child. The perils, joys, horrors, work, love that goes into raising children helped push Brandon away from graduate school and he has yet to finish his MA in English Literature. He still enjoys debating the origin of language, though. In 2011, Brandon started work at the Stanislaus County Office of Education. At SCOE, he worked for the Northern California Medi-Cal Administrative Services Joint Powers Authority (NMAS-JPA) for two years, moved into the I.T. Department to assist with the financial system QCC for the next two years, and has been a happy member of the E.T.C. department for the last two years. In 2016, due in part to honor his birth-state, California, Brandon Schut attempted to brand the state’s name pronunciation to coincide with one of his favorite brassica oleracea type vegetables, cauliflower. He has yet to be successful. Interested in meeting Brandon? You might find him out kayaking through lakes in Emigrant Wilderness, enjoying a fine videogame online, or out twerking at the club.

What sessions are you presenting at Fall CUE this year?

Badging and Micro-credentialing for Adult Learners;

Sparknado

What inspired you to put these sessions together?

Sharknado was my inspiration for the Adobe Spark session. I mean, Sharknado 6 is a sequel about time travel, sharks, and tornados; what is better than that?

Why should someone attend?

Besides my paltry wit and mediocre presentation skills, people should attend because I kind of, sort of, probably don’t look like a young Ryan Reynolds and attendees will see that. People who do not attend will receive a lifetime supply of regret.

What’s your CUE Story?

I attempted to karaoke Montell Jordan’s hit single from 1995 “This is How We Do It,” at CUE Palm Springs 2016, but changed the hook to “This is How We CUE It!” It failed horribly, but my dance moves were on point!

To read more about these sessions 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.