Two days of the CUE 2016 National Conference are in the books. Two days of lessons, learning and lots of walking. The mood is much like the weather here in Palm Springs- bright without a cloud to be seen. Conferences, especially big ones, can take a toll on the attendees. The crowds, constant motion and seemingly endless sources of learning start to fill your bucket so much you wish you had a second bucket.
That said, the CUE 2016 National Conference is a small-feeling big conference. With nearly seven thousand in attendance sessions are packed but not claustrophobic and everyone is making friends, even with people they didn’t even know from twitter. It’s like social media, but IRL. IKR?
Day two kicked off with co-founder of code.org, Hadi Partovi’s keynote about the importance of computing, coding, and making sure equal opportunities are given for all. To say that he had fans in the audience would be an understatement.
— Hadi Partovi (@hadip) March 18, 2016
We go straight from that to one of the new jewels in the CUE 2016 National Crown- The LeRoy’s Big Idea: Lesson Design Master Class session. Led by master presenter Hall Davidson and all-around rock star Jon Corippo, the Finkel Finalists finally found the finish line of their journey. One by one they presented their Big Ideas to a panel of judges, including special guest judge Brad Montague. At the end of the session it was Jonathon Natividad’s plan to use a GoPro to film student adventures to aid writing that came out on top. A thousand congratulations to him and thank you to everyone else who applied and presented. CUE and the profession is stronger for your innovations
There was a surprise today as well that not many people were aware of- LeVar Burton, of Reading Rainbow (but more importantly to this writer- Star Trek: The Next Generation). He was on the exhibition floor for maybe thirty minutes, taking pictures and meeting with attendees who’d signed up for Skybrary by Reading Rainbow. I didn’t get a chance to meet him, I was off talking #FailureFriday with a new friend (instead of paying attention to the session we were in- shhhh).
Let’s check in with twitter and see what else we learned today.
— Susie Reilly (@reillysusan1) March 19, 2016
— Michelle Townsley (@MsTownsley) March 19, 2016
— Ari Flewelling (@EdTechAri) March 18, 2016
— Amy Springstead (@AESpringstead) March 17, 2016
And, of course, closing out the night with some karaoke.
— Amanda Haughs (@MsHaughs) March 19, 2016
The third and final day is hours away and I can’t wait to see what’s in store at our closing keynote. (Hint- flying sharks are involved.)
Doug Robertson is the CUE blog editor, Ravenclaw faculty representative, and a tenth-year teacher currently talking at fifth graders in Northern 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 THE Teaching Text (You’re Welcome), and an active blogger. Doug speaks 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). Doug is also the creator and moderator of #WeirdEd on Twitter, which happens every Wednesday at 7pm PST