Friday, March 21, 2014

CUE14 Day 1: No Wifi, Writing Workshop, Google Sites, & Connections

The first day of CUE14 was overwhelming and great all at the same time.  There are so many people here that it's easy to get lost in the shuffle.  Luckily, I'm here with a few CUE veterans and fellow PAUSD folks, Ellen Karaska, Smita Kolhatkar, Nancy Pang, and Carolyn Tuomy.  They've been extremely helpful in both small and big ways.

The first two sessions I attended this morning were all about using Google sites and student writing together.  Wow!  I have so many great ideas to now take back directly to the classroom (let's face it, if I didn't- what's the point?).  I've used Google sites before, but never in the way that I learned about today, so I was anxious to log on to wifi, get my hands dirty, and try it out!  Alas, there was no working wifi... at the teacher tech conference.  Really?  Talk about irony. 

However, lack of working wifi aside, I picked up great tips and ideas from both Nicole Dalesio and Kerri Willa on using Google sites to support student writing.  Once I am back on regular wifi, I am creating a classroom Google site, giving students a brief tutorial (that's all they seem to need with anything tech-related), and am setting them free to create their own sites for learning portfolios and to publish their writing workshop finished pieces.  I can't wait!  Thank you to Nicole and Kerri for the inspiration!

Since I couldn't (and still can't) effectively take notes on Google Drive due to lack of working wifi, pictured below are screen shots of my notes from the two sessions.  The notes are copied directly.  I haven't edited them yet.

After the sessions, I met up with my CUE roomie and co-presenter, Ellen Kraska.  We chatted about work and our presentation over lunch.  We then set off to work a little more on our presentation.  It's been so great collaborating with Ellen over the past couple months on this project!  I am excited to see it all come to fruition tomorrow and then again next week in class with my students as we read aloud our Alcatraz iBook for the first time together as a class.

Along the way today, I bumped into a few teachers I follow on Twitter and reconnected with teachers from different EdCamps and other events.  It's been great meeting other educators face to face and reconnecting with others with I do not often get to see.

At 4:30 in the afternoon, we were fortunate to hear an inspiring keynote from  Dan Meyer, classroom math guru.  Dan made many good points, but what I really took away was that we all need to have an edtech mission statement.  Tools are constantly changing.  As soon as we love a tool, it may be gone.  So, we need to have a vision instead of a dependency on tools and products.  He offered up many other tidbits of information and inspiration as well.  To visit when I have better wifi:

After the keynote, the valuable conversations continued late into the night with a happy hour/dinner excursion to downtown Palm Springs with fellow PAUSD educators, and then at a #CaEdChat meetup where I met and chatted face to face with many teachers I regularly follow online.

I think I'm reaching my goal:  I'm definitely bettering my practice by being here.  Looking forward to learning and presenting tomorrow!


  1. Thanks for the mention! Glad to hear you found something useful in my session! Nicole

    1. Very useful, Nicole! My students are so motivated to work with G-sites. It's such a great way for them to display their work. Plus, I have to say I am now addicted to iphoneography due to your session at NBCUE. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!


I'd love to hear your comments!