OnCUE

Author - Mike Lawrence

#BecauseofCUE

CUE 2017 National Conference

Letting my ‘geek flag fly’

Twenty years ago, I attended my first CUE conference – I had only attended two local affiliate events prior to that conference, so the scale and grandeur of the Palm Springs Conference was mind-blowing. CUE’s growth since then has been astonishing, and I’ve been honored to be a part of the learning of thousands of fellow educators through our collaborative work.

As difficult as it is to do, I’m stepping down as CUE’s CEO on August 31. It’s been a tremendous thirteen-year journey, during which we have built the organization from one serving 2,500 educators to one that serves nearly 30,000. We have grown from one event per year to more than 200 in 2016-2017. We have learned together, laughed together, cried together, and succeeded together. We’ve improved student lives by making their education more relevant to the lives they will lead beyond school, university, and work. I have learned alongside you, grown alongside you, and am immensely proud of what we’ve built together.

I’m now at a point where new adventures await. New challenges are set before me, and I look forward to taking them on. Organizations grow and change, and CUE will benefit from the new insights and expertise of its next chief executive.

#BecauseofCUE, I learned how to implement the first Digital High School grant in my district. I was a classroom teacher whose world expanded through the network that is CUE. I made connections that are still influencing my learning and my career to this day. My career trajectory was forever altered when the CUE Board of Directors selected me to become Executive Director in 2004 and CUE’s first CEO ten years later. #BecauseofCUE, I was invited to represent the United States at a UNESCO meeting in Beijing; I took meetings at the White House and perhaps best of all,  on a day-to-day basis got to work with, engage and collaborate with the most amazing educators,

Photo by Danny Silva – www.iteachag.org

storytellers, dreamers, and even a few childhood heroes. #BecauseofCUE and its extraordinary staff, my entire family (including my bewildered parents!) were in the room when I received my CUE Gold Disk in 2010!

I have been truly blessed by all that CUE and its community of innovators have given me during the 20 years I’ve been involved. It has been an absolute gift to me. As I take a step away, I do so knowing that it will continue to grow and thrive in the years and decades to come.

Speaking of decades, as CUE celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2018, join in the celebration by sharing how your professional life has been positively impacted #BecauseofCUE. We are seeking stories to share at our National Conference in Palm Springs, March 14-17, 2018. Please take a moment and join me in reflecting on what CUE has meant to your professional life and share these stories out on social and traditional media using the hashtag #BecauseofCUE.

M.Lawrence2014


Mike Lawrence is CUE’s Chief Executive Officer. An educator for over 25 years, he worked as a teacher, administrator, and professional developer prior to starting at CUE in 2005. He received the CUE Gold Disk in 2010 and recently served two terms on the ISTE Board of Directors. He is the Director of the California Student Media Festival, was named one of NSBA’s “20 to Watch in Educational Technology” in 2012, and received ISTE’s Making IT Happen Award in 2013. | techmaverick@gmail.com  @techmaverick 

How CUE Will Help Guide ESSA in California

Earlier this week, the letter below was sent by CUE’s CEO on behalf of four organizations to state leaders at the California Department of Education (CDE). It was crafted jointly by leaders of ACSA, CUE, CETPA and TICAL in response to the CDE’s request for guidance on implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in California. We’ve already received a response and are enthusiastically moving forward on behalf of our collective members. For more information about CUE’s Legislative Platform and efforts, visit CUE’s Legislative Advocacy page. For more information on CDE’s efforts in implementing ESSA, visit their information page.


Greetings President Kirst, Superintendent Torlakson and Ms. Murchison,

CUE & TICAL TeamAs leaders of the four most influential CA nonprofit organizations on the use of technology by school leaders, ACSA, CUE, CETPA. and TICAL wish to applaud you for your leadership in moving swiftly to seek interpretation and begin planning the implementation of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed by congress and signed into law on Dec. 10, 2015.

ESSA has the opportunity to raise our professional development in California for leadership and teachers to levels that would not be possible through LCFF alone. With the implementation of mobile technology and cloud-based resources, the need for a systemic approach to training our leaders and teachers is most important to student success. One of the basic premises of ESSA is “Equity for all students.” In our current situation, only larger districts have the staff and/or resources to offer systemic professional development (PD) on ways that applied technology can raise student achievement. In California, 75% of our districts are under 5,000 students, and 22% of our districts are one-school districts. Most of these district cannot provide the PD needed for staff and leadership. We often have “Random Acts of Technology” in many of these schools, without a systematic approach geared toward student achievement. We would hope that ESSA will help resolve this issue.
photo credit: NPR.org

photo: NPR.org

While ESSA is established to maximize local control and flexibility, the State has established priorities that should be considered when school districts develop their local ESSA plans. These priorities were prepared with input from education stakeholders representing teachers, administrators, and students in all areas of the State and relate to the optimal use of technology to support implementation of the Common Core State Standards. For this reason, the State ESSA plan should incorporate suggested uses of technology within each component of the ESSA plan.

It is also suggested that the State ESSA plan should provide guidance on how ESSA will be linked to the LCFF and related LCAP or to combine the LCAP and ESSA into a single district consolidated plan. In addition, the State should provide guidance on effective ways to integrate technology into ESSA district-level planning as well as a process for documenting the impact and benefits made possible by the use of ESSA funding.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for support and guidance in California’s implementation of ESSA. We have been sending representatives to the Stakeholder meetings and encouraging our members to complete the Stakeholder Survey your office has made available, but as we are sure you know from past experience – nothing can replace the expert guidance from educational association leaders when seeking success in institutional change.
Best –
Chris Adams, ACSA Rowland Baker, TICAL Andrea Bennett, CETPA Mike Lawrence, CUE
ACSA TICAL_v2 CETPA CUE

CUE Presents LeRoy’s Big Idea 2016 Finalists

LeRoy's Big IdeaOn what would have been Mark Twain’s 180th birthday, CUE launched a search for similarly brilliant representatives of educational innovation to embody the creative spirit of CUE’s original irascible author and columnist, LeRoy Finkel. The Fellowship was set up in his name over 20 years ago to “promote leadership in the field of educational technology.”

After a fierce and exciting selection process, the CUE Awards Committee and Board of Directors are proud to announce the six LeRoy Finkel Finalists, one of whom will be named “2016 Fellow” on stage at the CUE 2016 National Conference. We would like to thank all those passionate educators who applied and uploaded one minute videos and encourage them to submit again next year!

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Ronalea Freeth 1st grade teacher, Bonita Unified School District – San Gabriel Valley CUE

BIG IDEA:

3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. The next industrial revolution in manufacturing will happen in America – President Barack Obama

FreethThis year my first graders have had truly enjoyed learning how to code, and learning about computer science. We have had a computer programer come to our class and explain the “language” of computers. As the world changes I want to make sure my students have every opportunity to learn new technologies. My BIG IDEA is to use the $500 budget to purchase a XYZ Printing Da Vinci Jr. 3D printer, and PLA Filament. By purchasing a 3D printer they will be able to use art, and coding to create anything! One of my first lessons will be using the 3D printer to create a character from their favorite book. The possibilities are endless and I would love the opportunity to work with a mentor and learn all I can to take back to my first graders.

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Katherine Goyette-CamposK-5 Curriculum Support Provider, Sanger Unified School District – Central Valley CUE

BIG IDEA:

14_GOYETTE_MS. copyLow-income, rural students have limited access to technology. CCSS ELA standards call for student-led digital media presentations and research-based writing in electronic format. Despite limited resources, we must guarantee digital literacy development. A group of students named #TigerTechTeam will become technology leaders of learning. Students will conduct purposeful internet research, produce and publish writing as a forum for virtual collaboration, and use digital media for presentations. Students will create a website as information hub. Hyperlinks will provide access to blogs, curated youtube tutorials, google forms, and a calendar to schedule tutorials. The $500 budget will be used for 2 bluetooth portable speaker systems with microphones, 5 surge protectors with 4 port USB charging stations, 20 styluses, and 20 sets of earbuds.

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Lisa Lista – 5th grade teacher, Chino Valley Unified – Inland Area CUE

BIG IDEA:

ListaMy Big Idea is to purchase Little Bits kits to enhance student learning by incorporating engineering with science and math. These innovative kits highly impact student learning by encouraging them to use collaboration to problem solve, creativity to design their project, and learn circuits/electrical pathways/coding. I would purchase 3 Base Kits at $99 each and 2 Arduino Coding Kits at $89. Standards alignment includes NGSS 3-5-ETSI-2 Engineering Design: Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based situation, SEP 2: Develop and Use Models, and 5.MD.C.3a Geometry: Recognize volume as an attribute of solid figures and understand concepts of volume measurements. My students will construct 3D figures using nets to create buildings and determine the volume of their figures. As engineers, the students will use Little Bits to design electrical features for their building.

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Jonathan Natividad3rd grade teacher, Alum Rock Unified School District – Silicon Valley CUE

BIG IDEA:

NatividadI want my students to write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. Specifically,

a. Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
b. Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.

My students come from homes where they don’t have the space or freedom to run around. Their creativity is stifled. My students will enjoy writing narratives after they create videos about the adventures they film. They’ll unleash their creativity and have their video as a guide as they embark on creative narrative writing! Imagine the conversations students would have as they evaluate the work of others! The cost of this project is 1 GoPro Hero with LCD ($300, 1 micro 64GB micro SDXC ($80), 1 Junior Chest Harness ($30), and 1 Head Strap ($20). 

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HeadshotCrystal Rivas5th grade teacher, Bonita Unified School District – San Gabriel Valley CUE

BIG IDEA:


My idea is a technology driven thematic unit. Our unit can be changed to many topics, but we’ll revolve ours orcas. Our students will design devices to keep our oceans clean, ETS1-1.. They’ll create models on the life cycle and food chains of orcas, PS3-1. & LS2-1. Students will analyze calorie consumption as they learn the biological needs of the animal, OAA.1&NBTB.5-7. They’ll write, revise, and share opinion papers to discuss the issues that face the endangered species, W5.1. They’ll participate in debates, SL5.4 and a virtual Q&A with an orca specialist, SL5.2. They’ll research the issues and create public service announcements, W5.7. In addition to mastery of the standards, the unit will be driven by technology. Green screens will inspire narrative writing pieces (W5.3). Chromebooks will serve as our canvas to create and share presentations, drawings. Our thematic unit is in need of an iOgrapher videography set and tripod that is 459 dollars.

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Tracy Walker6th grade teacher, Novato Unified School District – North Bay CUE

walkerBIG IDEA:

Two of my current students are the inspiration behind my big idea. They’ve come to the conclusion that they are “dumb,” and have given up on school. Why even try when you are going to fail anyway? It is possible that these students haven’t seen the work that goes on behind the scenes of an essay, project, or a speech. They assume that school is easy for everyone except them.

To combat this fixed mindset way of thinking, I propose publishing the process that occurred backstage rather than just showcasing students’ final products. Using a shared Google Slides presentation, students document their progress with photos or document drafts. Parents and staff would be encouraged to share their stories of when they exhibited a growth mindset. The presentation would play on a TV.

I teach a semi self-contained 6th grade class (English, history, PE) at a middle school. My proposal addresses the Common Core Anchor Standards of Reading, Language, Writing, and Speaking and Listening and is replicable by any grade level. The budget covers a flat screen TV with HDMI port, TV mount, and Chromebit.

How it will work:
After Friday morning’s keynote each of the six finalists will take to the stage to present an even Bigger version of their Big Idea. Their audience: a panel of edu-rock stars and everyone in attendance. These five-minute presentations will net one of these educators the $2,500 fellowship.

By a combined vote of the panel and the audience, one educator will be named the next “LeRoy Finkel Fellow.”  The Fellow will be given a mentor, provided travel and registration to the ISTE Conference that same year and invited to write about their idea in an upcoming issue of the OnCUE Journal. The five finalists will each receive $500 to implement their idea and will be invited to write a blog and be featured in the same OnCUE Journal issue as the fellow.

Panelists will include:

Jerome Burg – a past LeRoy Finkel fellow, he used his seed funding to launch Google Lit Trips, now GLT Global ED501(c)(3) educational non-profit  that “3-dimensionalizes” the reading experience as students virtually travel alongside the characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Jerome taught High School English for 35 years at Granada High School in Livermore, CA, is a member of CUE’s Awards committee as well as a past CUE Board Member.

Jo-Ann Fox – an instructional coach in the Escondido Union School District, 2012 semi-finalist for California Teacher of the Year, co-founder of #CAEdChat, CUE Lead Learner, co-founder of Quantum Academy at the Nicolaysian Center and a co-planner of EdCamp San Diego. Follow her at @appeducationfox.

Roger Wagner – creator of HyperStudio and HyperDuino, current CUE board member and private pilot, Roger was named alongside Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Seymour Papert and Steve Wozniak as the 5 most important educational technological gurus of the last two decades by Technology & Learning magazine. More about Roger at: rogerwagner.com.

Debra White a former six-year CUE Board Member, affiliate leader and long-time chair of the CUE Awards Committee, Debra has taught theater arts for over 34 years,. She has directed over 200 productions, including a production of The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, and worked extensively to integrate technology and the arts. Debra has worked as a trainer for The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The California Arts Project, and Orange County Department of Education. She is currently the Education Committee Chair for Prescott Center for the Arts in Prescott, Arizona.

…plus one “Mystery Panelist” to be announced at the conference.

The LeRoy’s Big Idea: Lesson Master Class session will be held from 10:15 – 11:15 am on Friday, March 18 at the CUE 2016 National Conference. Pre-registration ends February 25 (postmark deadline is February 18). in Primrose B. The The Lesson Master Class will be emceed by former CUE Board member Hall Davidson with “lesson wrangler” Jon Corippo on hand and be recorded for viewing on CUEtube.

M.Lawrence2014


Mike Lawrence is CUE’s Chief Executive Officer. An educator for over 25 years, he worked as a teacher, administrator, and professional developer prior to starting at CUE in 2005. He received the CUE Gold Disk in 2010 and recently served two terms on the ISTE Board of Directors. He is the Director of the California Student Media Festival, was named one of NSBA’s “20 to Watch in Educational Technology” in 2012, and received ISTE’s Making IT Happen Award in 2013. | mlawrence@cue.org  @techmaverick 

CUE’s CEO Remarks to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

Mike Lawrence, CEO of CUE
NOTE: this is not what it looked like when I was speaking to the Commission, but it is me, and I did have a tie on.

Below are the remarks I delivered October 8, 2015 to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The CCTC was convened to make recommendations to changing the credentialing process in California, which has remained largely unchanged since 2042 credentials were implemented in 2003. An august body, chaired by Prof. Linda Darling-Hammond, and made up of teachers, community representatives, all smart, caring people. Proposed changes to the Teacher Performance Expectations (TPEs) and the Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA) were before the commission for consideration. The question was not whether to approve or deny the changes, but rather whether to have staff continue to develop these through a validity study or not.

I was invited to speak by a fellow member of the Teacher Advisory Panel, on which I served three years ago.  CTCLogo-webWe were quite vocal in our remarks, and as you might expect with me involved, many of our recommendations suggested radical changes in the way we prepare teachers to use digital tools, and prepare them for blended and online learning environments. Below are the comments as I had prepared them. For the actual, live (sometimes off-script) version, you can visit the archive from the live-streamed meetings here.

If you’d like to add your voice to mine, I would encourage you to attend the public comment scheduled for Oct. 28. More info below.


Good afternoon. My name is Mike Lawrence, CEO of CUE, a nonprofit educator association focused on inspiring innovative educators representing thousands of teachers, administrators across California.

Apologies in advance, but as a former high school English teacher, I’m honor-bound to begin and end my remarks with authors’ quotes. John Dewey famously said, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” I invoke Dewey today in reference to proposal 2E & 2E Agenda Insert, the update on the development of the Commission’s TPEs and Teaching Performance Assessment.

There can be no doubt that digital tools, resources, online and blended learning are transforming all industries. Education, due to the entrenched structures around certification, tenure, and largely antiquated preparation programs has largely resisted this trend, until recently. 

As a member of the 2011-2013 Teacher Advisory Panel (TAP), I seek to remind the commission of the six recommendations we made calling for a revolutionary change in teacher standards, TPEs, and the TPA to better prepare the teachers and administrators of the future.

The updates proposed here include only passing references to 21st century learning, but fail to go far enough to address the necessary changes in teacher preparation. There is a common assumption that the new teachers from the millennial generation and younger enter teaching credential programs with a deep understanding of the instructional use of technology just because they are proficient in capturing the perfect selfie and keeping up with all things “Kardashian.” This is not the case. Educational technology is a skill that must be taught in the teacher preparation programs and it must go beyond learning PowerPoint.

According to the most recent CA eLearning Census, over 200,000 California students are currently in Online and Blended learning programs and this number is growing. Teaching in online and blended learning environments requires a wholly different set of skills to be effective than were required in traditional 19th century brick-and-mortar schools.

It is therefore puzzling that the proposed TPA Design and Implementation Standards lacks any sort of expectations that institutions must provide training on the effective use of technology, online platforms, and blended learning solutions for pedagogical purposes.

All that said, there are examples of preparation programs that are effectively adopting these expectations regardless of any requirement to do so. As science fiction author William Gibson has said, “The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

Thank you for the opportunity to speak.


 NOTE: the CTC is holding an additional input meeting to collect feedback from educators and general public. Here are all the details:

A public input session will be held on Wednesday, October 28 to discuss the draft TPEs so that they can be ready for a validity study. The meeting will take place at the Commission offices in Sacramento and there will be an opportunity for individuals to join through a web-based technology if the individual cannot get to Sacramento. A comprehensive TPE/CSTP document will be posted on the PSD web page by Friday, October 23. Please review the document and bring a copy to the Input Session. To register to attend the input session—please complete the following electronic registration:https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Oct28TPEs

M.Lawrence2014Mike Lawrence is CUE’s Chief Executive Officer. An educator for the last 20 years, he worked as a teacher, administrator, and professional developer prior to starting at CUE in 2005. He received the CUE Gold Disk in 2010 and recently served two terms on the ISTE Board of Directors. He is the Director of the California Student Media Festival, was named one of NSBA’s “20 to Watch in Educational Technology” in 2012, and received ISTE’s Making IT Happen Award in 2013. | mlawrence@cue.org  @techmaverick 

CUE Provides Input on the Future of Future Ready

by Mike Lawrence, CUE CEO

Jon Corippo, Mike Lawrence at White House Future Ready eventThe Future Ready effort, representing more than 2,000 Superintendents and almost 14 million students nationwide, recently welcomed CUE’s CEO Mike Lawrence, Director of Academic Innovation Jon Corippo, CUE Board Secretary-elect Jason Borgen, and Lead 3 Convener Rowland Baker to Washington DC for a one day meeting at the White House. Also present was longtime CUE member and first lead learner, Mark Wagner. CUE was unique among the partners in its level of participation in the event.

On Friday, June 26, an already historic day to be in D.C., CUE representatives joined fellow Future Ready Schools Coalition Partners at the White House to brainstorm ‘phase 2’ of the wildly successful effort to move education forward. unnamedThe meeting was kicked off by Roberto Rodriguez, President Obama’s White House Deputy Assistant for Education and was facilitated by the Department of Education’s Technology trifecta of Richard Culatta, Katrina Stevens and Joseph South.

Future Ready Coalition PartnerThe department’s team shared that a total of 2,011 district leaders attended the 12 summits, reaching over 4 million students. In early August, another ~250 district leadership teams are expected at the final SoCal Summit on August 5-6 at the Orange County Department of Education. Invitees celebrated the two year anniversary of the President’s ConnectEd initiative and were given data on the unprecedented impact of the initiative’s efforts to connect students. Part of the agenda for the day’s meeting included planning the next phase of Future Ready events and activities. Additional summits were announced along with a new ‘inspiring stories’ section of the tech.ed.gov/stories site and a soon-to-be-launched set of 50 ‘virtual site visits’ to be part of a personalized video playlist for schools.

TICAL shared the recent successful online leadership summit they produced with over 600 registered attendees and powerful sessions, panels and keynotes. CUE was also able to share its free Super Symposium for Future Ready Superintendents to be held at Hearst Castle on July 30-31 and upcoming Rock Star Admin Camps to be held at Skywalker Ranch at Big Rock and Soka University.

CUE is a proud Future Ready Schools Coalition Partner. See more details and use the FREE Future Ready School Planning Dashboard at: FutureReadySchools.org.


M.Lawrence2014Mike Lawrence is CUE’s Chief Executive Officer. An educator for the last 20 years, he worked as a teacher, administrator, and professional developer prior to starting at CUE in 2005. He received the CUE Gold Disk in 2010 and recently served two terms on the ISTE Board of Directors. He is the Director of the California Student Media Festival, was named one of NSBA’s “20 to Watch in Educational Technology” in 2012, and received ISTE’s Making IT Happen Award in 2013. | mlawrence@cue.org  @techmaverick 

Introducing Doug Robertson, guest blog editor

CUE Guest Blog Editorsmt2

We have reached out to several leaders from within our community and asked them to bring their perspective to the CUE Blog. Over several months, they’ll be inviting contributors and adding their own special spin to our beloved blog.

CUE gets “Weird”

For the next month, Doug Robertson, better known as “The Weird Teacher” will be helming the Good Ship CUE Blog to engage and inspire, inform and amuse and perhaps even make you smile as well.

Who is the Weird Teacher?

Doug Robertson is a ninth-year teacher currently talking at fourth graders in Southern Oregon. He’s taught in California, Hawaii, and Oregon in 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades. He’s the author of two books about education, He’s the Weird Teacher and a surprise to be released shortly. Doug is becoming a fixture at teaching conferences including CUE Rock Star Teacher Camps, presenting on everything from technology to teaching philosophy (or teaching The Weird Way, to use his words). He believes in bringing joy and verve to classrooms, looking at students as real people who need real connecting to, and taking on education from a sideways perspective. He is also the creator and moderator of #WeirdEd on Twitter, which happens every Wednesday at 7pm PST. East coast teachers can participate in #WeirdEdE Wednesday at 7pm EST.

Doug is excited to be a part of the CUE family for the next month and has many interesting topics planned as well as a few guest posts from some of the most talented teachers on Twitter.

 

CUE’s Code of Conduct Favors Simplicity, Positivity

CUE_CodeSince launching its new five-year Strategic Plan last July, CUE has been reviewing all policies and procedures to make sure that they reflect our new mission and vision and hold true to the principles on which our nonprofit was founded, comply with current nonprofit law and, of course, continue to align with our members’ and the broader educational community’s values.

One of these issues that hits close to home for all is the CUE Code of Conduct. Over our 37 years, CUE has expected attendees and members to act in their best professional manner when at in-person or online events. But if they stray from professional behavior, it forces us to reexamine our efforts in how best to protect all involved with CUE activities while they are in our care. 

Towards this end, CUE is inviting members, volunteers and those supportive of our efforts to collaborate in the development of an updated Code of Conduct for all CUE activities, online and in person. CUE Education Partners such as ISTE have offered us the language they use as a guide, for which we are thankful and have played an important part of the thinking behind our approach to this important discussion.

In our conversations, I kept thinking of “rules of conduct” for my classroom, and one particular phrase stood out from these conversations. It was a simple rule that was phrased in the positive, directed students to engage in appropriate behaviors and empowered them to own their own learning. I loved the simplicity back then and it seemed like it could be adapted to support the professional learning CUE cherished. In our conversations with CUE volunteer leaders, they emphasized all of these points, plus the goal of keeping it short and memorable.

So without further ado, here’s our policy:

CUE Code of Conduct
2015

Do only that which helps you or your colleagues learn.

It is expected that all involved in CUE are professionals and will behave in a manner appropriate and should use their best judgment and common sense in refraining from disseminating information that is inappropriate or harmful. The above code shall be followed by all attendees, volunteers, members, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and CUE staff at CUE events, whether occurring face to face or online. Further, CUE reserves the right to revoke current and future membership, attendance, volunteer duties, exhibition or speaker opportunities for those violating the above policy.

Please share any questions, concerns or issues with conduct@cue.org

It is my belief that the simplicity and positivity of this short code will remind those joining CUE and attending our events of the professionals that they are and direct our actions towards the powerful learning we seek.


M.Lawrence2014

Mike Lawrence is CUE’s Chief Executive Officer. An educator for the last 20 years, he worked as a teacher, administrator, and professional developer prior to starting at CUE in 2005. He received the CUE Gold Disk in 2010 and recently served two terms on the ISTE Board of Directors. He is the Director of the California Student Media Festival, was named one of NSBA’s “20 to Watch in Educational Technology” in 2012, and received ISTE’s Making IT Happen Award in 2013. | mlawrence@cue.org  @techmaverick 

Welcome Stephen Davis, Guest Blog Editor

CUE Guest Blog Editors
We have reached out to several leaders from within our community and asked them to bring their perspective to the CUE Blog. Over the next several months, they’ll be inviting contributors and adding their own special spin to our beloved blog.

Who’s On First?
You may know him as @rushtheiceberg on twitter, but Stephen Davis has been a middle school teacher for the last fifteen years, was a guest blogger on Edutopia, loves ice cream, Pepsi Max and (of course) the band Rush. You can learn more about him on his about.me page. And if you just can’t wait to get to know him, read his Rush the Iceberg blog. Watch for his curated posts over the next four weeks!

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Bigger Conferences, Bigger Challenges

Written by Mike Lawrence, CEO & Marisol Valles COO/CFO, CUE

CUE_AnnConf_2015_yellow_wht_blueAs educational technology advances and more schools and universities adopt innovative learning solutions, CUE’s events grow and expand. Last year, our Annual Conference was our single largest event since 2001, and we felt it. Parking and room space were tight, registration and food lines were longer and we suffered a significant failure in network connectivity at two of the three conference venues.

As CUE’s staff leaders, we had prepared for the increase in attendance, ramping up in all areas to best provide for the anticipated increase, increasing orders, volunteers, expanding hotel block and shuttle service, even setting up the largest general session and overflow rooms in CUE’s history. Many of our preparations were successful, but attendees still reported frustration with the challenges a nearly 6,000 attendee event carries. More details on these issues were detailed in this document shared with CUE’s Board and Conference leaders back in April, 2014.

This year, CUE is taking measures to improve the experience for all attendees, and we wanted to let you know about these before packing your bags for the CUE 2015 Annual Conference in Palm Springs.

Expanded Space

CUE has reimagined some rooms to provide larger space for popular sessions, and opened up our General Session stage in Oasis 4 for large capacity sessions. Our intent with these changes is to provide more seating opportunities for the most popular of sessions.

Additional Featured Speakers

Speaking of popularity, CUE has invited back past keynote speakers Hall Davidson, Leslie Fisher, and ‘Lead Rocker’ Carol Anne McGuire to lead sessions on the main stage of the conference. We anticipate these sessions could draw as many as 2,000 conference attendees from other rooms, to ease the issues faced in smaller rooms. This is of course in addition to previously announced featured speakers: Kathy Schrock, Jon Corippo, Joy Zabala, Jennie Magiera, Adam Bellow and Sugata Mitra!

New Badge Distribution Solution

Piloted at our Fall CUE conference last year, a new badge distribution solution will be implemented at CUE 2015. The system allows attendees a much faster experience picking up their badge, bag and ribbons by utilizing a barcode solution that registered attendees bring themselves (on paper or digitally). Those without barcodes can still swiftly register by typing in their name and/or email address used to pre-register, it just takes a few seconds longer.

Completely Revamped Network Configuration & Bandwidth

CUE has invested heavily in supporting the Palm Springs Convention Center in network infrastructure and bandwidth upgrades. We selected PSAV as our new network provider and have been meeting with them regularly since last March. CUE subsidized an equipment upgrade at these facilities, also requiring that they upgrade their bandwidth to 1Gb, burstable up to 10Gb and install fiber throughout the facility. In addition, we have brought in Resilient Communications to oversee PSAV as they install, configure and deploy our network for the event. We are utilizing CUE’s reserve to fund these efforts, as we expect the upgrades to support our efforts through the CUE 2018 Annual Conference. The estimated cost of these updates to improve network connectivity is estimated to exceed a half million dollars in 2015-2016.

New Audio-Visual and Media Providers

In addition to new Network providers, CUE selected new AV and Media providers for this year’s Annual Conference – for the first time in 22 years. These two teams will ensure that we have an unparalleled AV experience for our session rooms, main stage and spotlight rooms, as well as top-quality recordings and in some cases, live stream them to the world.

Attendance Cap

In an effort to provide a high-quality experience for all attendees, we will be capping attendance at Annual for the first time in 30 years, mirroring our practice at Fall CUE for the last two years. By keeping our numbers the same or lower than last year’s event, we can better assure availability of resources, space and quality of experience for attendees.

Given our current registration numbers, we expect we’ll hit this cap by February 27, the pre- registration deadline. With the cap in place, we will not offer on-site registration, so it’s imperative to those wishing to attend that they get their paid registrations in as soon as possible. Those whose schools or districts tend to be slow processing requests are recommended to register using a personal credit card and then seek reimbursement from the district directly to protect their spot. Those encountering difficulties with this approach should contact the CUE office directly to assist. If we do not hit the cap by the pre-registration deadline, we will continue online ‘late’ registration until we do, or March 6 at the latest.

Code of Conduct

Since launching its new five-year Strategic Plan last July, CUE has been reviewing all policies and procedures to make sure that they reflect our new mission and vision and hold true to the principles on which our nonprofit was founded, comply with current nonprofit law and, of course, continue to align with our members’ and the broader educational community’s values.

One of these issues that hits close to home for all is the CUE Code of Conduct. CUE has for years expected attendees and members to act in their best professional manner when at in-person or online events. But when they stray from professional behavior, it forces us to reexamine our efforts in how best to protect all involved with CUE activities while they are in our care.

Towards this end, CUE is currently working with members, volunteers and those supportive of our efforts to collaborate in the development of an updated Code of Conduct for all CUE activities, online and in person.

Beyond 2015

While these changes will certainly improve the experience in 2015, CUE leaders are exploring many other solutions for 2016 and beyond, even the possibility of moving to a new venue entirely. Other potential solutions include: remote conference opportunities, use of the CUE Guide to pre-emptively determine interest in sessions and place in rooms accordingly, utilizing nearby hotel venues such as Hard Rock Hotel, Hyatt and Riviera, and taking advantage of available outdoor space. We invite other ideas and suggestions through our online evaluations and social media.

As always, CUE remains focused on inspiring innovative learners for the future through world-class professional learning events for educators. We look forward to a future in which as many educators who wish to attend our events are free to do so and experience firsthand CUE’s powerful learning.


M.Lawrence2014

Mike Lawrence is CUE’s Chief Executive Officer. An educator for the last 20 years, he worked as a teacher, administrator and professional developer prior to starting at CUE in 2005. He received the CUE Gold Disk in 2010, and recently served two terms on the ISTE Board of Directors. He is the Director of the California Student Media Festival, was named one of NSBA’s “20 to Watch in Educational Technology” in 2012, and received ISTE’s Making IT Happen Award in 2013. | mlawrence@cue.org  @techmaverick 

Marisol Valles is the Chief Operations Officer and CFO for CUE. She began working for CUE in 2003 and is energized by the educators with whom she gets to work. Her superpower is hospitality and managing details. She’s the one that keeps all the plates spinning for the nonprofit, and does it all with a smile. At CUE’s 2013 Annual Conference, she was a recipient of ISTE’s Making IT Happen award, and she’s also a proud mother of two! | mvalles@cue.org

Sal Khan on the Learning Myth and Why I Celebrate Failure

Written by CUE CEO Mike Lawrence @techmaverick

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Photo Credit Howard Bingham

I’ve never liked the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but I always thought it was because it compared someone to a dog or worse, called them ‘old!’ As it turns out, what has really bothered me about the phrase is that I disagree with it on a deeper philosophical level. As a professional developer and lifelong learner, it flies in the face of all that I do professionally.

Educators at all points in their career CAN and DO learn new ‘tricks,’ can think innovatively, can change teaching practice and adapt to new challenges. But I’ve struggled because not all of them DO. I think this is why Sal Khan’s recent post on “The Learning Myth: Why I’ll Never Tell My Son He’s Smart” (Aug. 19, Huffington Post) resonated with me so strongly.

CUE’s mission is to inspire innovative learners, and if you believe your ability to learn is set at birth, this mission is hard, if not impossible, to achieve.

“Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows. They’ve found that neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones.” -Khan

When CUE is invited to support schools and districts through our professional learning offerings, we find that the biggest challenge we have is not the step-by-step training on technology, or the physical logistics of coordinating professional development, but addressing this ‘fixed mindset’ many educators’ bring to their own learning. There are many that believe they are incapable of learning new practices and shut down when presented with something they don’t understand. They fear failure more than stagnation, and it’s paralyzing for them.

Clearly, those who attend our conference events in Napa Valley, Palm Springs and around the world with Google Teacher Academies, Rock Star Teacher Camps and CoffeeCUE events are not like this. They embody the growth mindset. They come thirsty for learning, willing to share and seeking connections. Their brains are switched to ‘ON’ for the duration of the events, and stay on through the sharing that continues for months following these gatherings. It’s exciting to witness the learning through #cuerockstar #fallcue, #CoffeeCUE and the other hashtags as it extends beyond the limitations of time and space.

“…the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail.”-Khan

There’s a group of educators to which I belong that have a strong collectively-held belief in failure as a learning environment. They celebrate AND LEARN FROM the mistakes they and others make as a celebration of learning. It’s almost a tribal experience when one of us makes a public mistake – we actively cheer them in that moment. Some of you reading this are a part of this group of distinguished educators, and others have experienced this through improvisational or other performance training. Hopefully, you have established a culture like this on your campuses to support student (and adult) learning in a proactive, nurturing environment. It seems like our CUE 2014 closing keynote has instilled just such an environment within the Khan Academy, and I’m glad he’s sharing it with the world.

We reached out to Sal Khan to ask permission to repost his original piece, and he graciously agreed. You can read the original post at KhanAcademy.org and on the Huffington Post. And for more, take a look at the recording of the CUE 2015 “Khanversation” from last March.

 

M.Lawrence2014Mike Lawrence’s title was recently changed to Chief Executive Officer. An educator for the last 20 years, he worked as a teacher, administrator and professional developer prior to starting at CUE in 2005. He received the CUE Gold Disk in 2010, and recently served two terms on the ISTE Board of Directors. He is the Director of the California Student Media Festival, was named one of NSBA’s “20 to Watch in Educational Technology” in 2012, and received ISTE’s Making IT Happen Award in 2013. 

mlawrence@cue.org