Fall CUE 2016
By Meghan Cannon
My day started with coffee. But this time, is was free coffee! A teacher’s dream. I had arrived at American Canyon High School for Fall CUE, 2016, and boy was it delicious.
Have you seen Dave Burgess speak? If you haven’t, you should. I sat in the auditorium with my free coffee and few amazing colleagues while I absorbed every ounce of inspiration Dave provided in his pirate attire. He reminded everyone in the room why we became teachers and energized us to teach more like a pirate. If you aren’t familiar with him yet, check out his website at daveburgess.com.
Then, it was off to the CUE STEAMpunk playground. On the way, I may have grabbed a free pastry. Teachers can never resist a free pastry. The playground included Spheros, Ozobots, Makey-Makey kits, and parrot drones. A nerdy teacher’s heaven. And a great opportunity for teachers to try out some of these essential ed tech toys.
But what was the real reason for my pilgrimage this year to Fall CUE? It was for four, eight-year olds who I had the honor of leading to the first Fall CUE Student Showcase. CUE has worked in partnership with the Orange County Office of Education to have students present STEAM or Maker focused project to the people in attendance. My students had spent months locked away during recess and lunch armed with a glue gun, some cardboard, and Spheros. They created their own interactive Sphero maze with a Greek mythology theme complete with QR codes. They rocked Fall CUE, showing teachers and administrators how to code Spheros through their maze. And they held their own, not allowing themselves to be intimidated by the robotics team at the next table who were, impressively, sponsored by NASA.
CUE is not only providing awesome, engaging, and fully relevant professional development for educators. They are putting the power of ed tech where it belongs- with the students. If you have students doing amazing things with technology or the maker movement, I highly suggest you think about helping them to apply to the next Student Powered Showcase. Check out CUE.org for more details.
It was a great two days in American Canyon. Of course, in between all of these adventures were awesome sessions put on by amazing educators. If you haven’t made your own personal pilgrimage to a CUE Conference, I highly suggest you consider it for your next professional development outing.