Adventures at #CUE16

If you follow me on Twitter, then I'm sure that you are well aware that I attend the National CUE Conference in Palm Springs last week (#CUE16). I've been a member of CUE for the last two years and attended conferences and edcamps put on by its affiliate in the Central Valley, but this was the first time that I ever attended one of its national events.
To put it simply, #cue16 was like the CVCUE Conferences and GAFE Summits that I have attended, but on steroids. Everyone was there for the same reasons: to learn new tools and techniques for the classroom, to network and collaborate with fellow teachers, and to share their excitement and enthusiasm for edtech, teaching, and learning. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous that I would be lonely since I was the only one attending from my school, but these shared interests and the positive energy made everyone incredibly friendly.

Of course I was able to see my friends from CVCUE and GAFE Summits

I also got to meet people I've followed on Twitter for awhile and I got to meet some new friends:

Beyond the amazing social aspect of #cue16, I walked away with more inspiration, ideas, and knowledge than what could fit in my brain. For example:
  • In Brad Montague's keynote, he said, "lots of things are contagious: fear, anger, hate...viruses. But joy, hope, love are the best kinds of contagions." This was such a powerful reminder that our actions have meaning, especially with our students. 
  • Badges are a powerful motivator, even for adults.
  • Google Tours is a perfect way to add a narrative perspective to Google Maps, which I learned from Lisa Nowakowski and Adina Sullivan's #cuerockstar session
  • During the Twitter Chat for #caedchat, I realized that I could easily create a green screen in my room AND I found a local CVCUE friend (Kim Calderon) to help me!
  • Educational technology is significantly on the rise: only 300 of 9.2 million students had to take CAASP with paper and pencil and 9,000 teachers have experienced CUE professional development this year, as compared to the 2,000 last year
  • Flocabulary has added "This Week in Rap" feature that updates students about the recent current events. This would be awesome for blog post prompts! They also appreciate chubby cats 
  • iBooks Author is an awesome tool that I could easily use for #pbl, especially as a way to reach populations that require certain accommodations. Thanks, Luis Perez!
  • Diane Main and John Miller showed me that Minecraft EDU is an incredibly fun way to #gamify learning for multiple content areas; my brain still hurts when I think about all the things I could do with Minecraft...and I want to play it again... :)
  • Trying to find a plug to charge around 2pm at #cue16 is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
At one point, I was sitting behind the CUE Gear Store and a TV screen for an available plug.

Naturally, there were so many incredible and inspiring moments that I can't even begin to list them all, but hopefully this gave you an idea how power #cue16 was. It was a life changing experience and, even a week later, my mind is still blown.


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