Consider the desert, a gathering of over 5,000 teachers, and a seemingly endless list of sessions lead by quality educators from all over the US. That was CUE14… well, in a nutshell. CUE14 took place on March 20-22 in beautiful Palm Springs, CA.
There were so many take aways from CUE14 and I will share a few with you.
1. The first takeaway was not a session at all. It was the people.
One of the true joys of CUE14 was weaving down the halls and seeing my PLN face to face. I wasn’t able to make it 10 steps without bumping into one of my friends I have made since joining Twitter. Small gatherings of my Twitter friends would become unique learning opportunities that didn’t require an assigned room or scheduled time.
Joining meetups like the #caedchat meetup the first night of #CUE14 helped me to put a face to Twitter handles and get to know some of my PLN on a personal level. Making connections with others at CUE14 was humbling, inspiring, and absolutely the best learning I had throughout the conference.
2. Get your students blogging. You just might inspire them.
On the first day I attended David Theriault’s session about how giving his students the space to create and write through a blog has brought out a new love of writing within his students and so many unexpected surprises. In fact, David’s way of presenting through storytelling had me going from belly laughs to tears as he shared his silliest teaåching moments to his most gut wrenching sad moments. He claims that we should inspire our students to leave something positive behind. We should inspire our students to share their passion through blogging.
While I have had my students blogging for two years now, I brought back with me a new level of enthusiasm about student blogging. This last week, my students too, found a new inspiration for blogging… and that was greatly due to the fact that I attended David’s session. One student came up to me when he finished his work and said, “Can I write a blog in my free time?” I said, “Absolutely!” Then he replied… “Blogging is my FAVORITE time of the day!” Now why would a fourth grader find so much joy in this? It is because his writing has a purpose and an audience. He hopes that his classmates will start talking about his blog post and it will go viral in the classroom.
3. Your iPhone is your canvas. iPhoneography.
I started on Instagram about two years ago. One of the first people I started following was Nicole Delasio, also known as @magrelacanela. Her pictures that she posts on Instagram are pieces of art. In her session she shared with us her tips and tools she uses to take an ordinary iPhone photo and transform them into… well anything!
Since her session, I have taken on some of her tips and her app ideas to create a few of my own. My favorite photo editing app she shared with me was PhotoWizard. PhotoWizard has an incredible amount of editing tools. Here are my sketchnotes from her session.
Here are a few photos I took on a photo walk last week with my fourth graders. We went looking for angles: acute, obtuse, and right. Here is the shot I took of an acute angle. The before shot shows what the original image looked like. The after picture was the image after it was edited in PhotoWizard.
4. Google tips are endless! You’ll never know them all.
I have said this before… but if you ever say you know everything there is to know about Google… you’re lying. I attended two sessions about Google Apps and Extensions lead by Mark Hammons and the other lead by JR Orinion Ginex. In both sessions I learned so many ways to make my life easier with Google Apps and Extensions.
Here are my favorite ones:
Clearly: This extension allows you to display an article without all of the ads or other distracting things that are regularly found on a webpage.
Awesome Screenshot: Allows you to screen capture and annotate the image!
SnagIt: Allows you to annotate a webpage.
Dot ePub: Turn any webpage into an :!
Screencastify: This is a simple screen-casting software for Chrome.
Google Voice Search Hot word: This extension is in beta but you can say, “okay Google” then say your search terms.
Here are my sketchnotes for both sessions.
5. I love presenting!
This year I applied to present at CUE14 about using Twitter to develop a personal learning network. My session was titled “Twitter: A Superpower for Educators.” This was by far one of the largest audiences I have ever presented to. They were a great bunch and I think some of them were even inspired enough to go out there and get themselves a Twitter account and start making some connections to the thousands of educators out there sharing what they do.
By they way, I am super proud of this slidedeck. I created my own slides on Paper53. I don’t know which was more fun… creating the presentation or delivering it!
Here is my presentation:
Here is a blog post link about this presentation.