|A painted reminder of what road you are on, painted|
at intervals throughout the stretch of Route 66 near Goffs, CA
|Some of the beautiful views of the road and the train passing by.|
|A short video clip of my stop along Route 66|
Eventually, I made it to Palm Springs to start what would be a whirlwind of nearly four days of learning, networking, sharing, laughing and reconnecting. I went into the conference with several goals:
- Attend sessions on topics that I was unfamiliar with, such as hyperdocs, sketchnoting, Microsoft Office365, and coding: goal met, except for the coding sessions, I didn't end up making it to one
- Meet the authors of Ditch That Textbook and Ditch That Homework, Matt Miller & Alice Keeler: goal met, great conversation with both and personalized signings of my copies of the books
- Reconnect with countless people that I have come to know over the years to talk shop, share a few laughs, and after hours, have a beverage or two: goal met many times over!
- "Interview" a few people to include their reflections in the blog along with mine: goal not met, but I accomplished an alternative to this that I will address momentarily
- Sketchnoting is not as ridiculous as I had thought prior and had mentioned in my CUE18 Preview post. One of my biggest complaints about sketchnoting before was how all of the notes that I saw people posting looked super professional and as if they had spent hours creating it, which is not realistic. I had a conversation with the presenters about my concerns beforehand and told them that I wanted to have an open mind but I was going to need to be convinced because of this. They both agreed that there was no wrong way to sketchnote and to do what I feel comfortable with. I am more open to it, but for now, I am still more comfortable taking standard notes.
- I finally feel comfortable in my ability to construct a hyperdoc. I had attended sessions before on hyperdocs, but unfortunately, most of the presentations did not go into the process much, only provided some templates and did not go into the pedagogy behind using them. When you go to one of the sources, one of the creators, Lisa Highfill, you know you're going to get great information, and Ms. Highfill did not disappoint.
- Microsoft Sway and OneNote are tools that I wish I had in my life sooner! I had used similar tools in the past, such as Adobe Spark Page as an alternative to Sway. While I had at least heard of OneNote and was familiar with some basics of it, I had never heard of Sway and was blown away by its capabilities. On top of that, I got to test it out during an "Iron Chef" style activity during the Microsoft session. The Iron Chef activity was designed by Jon Corippo, the Executive Director of CUE, Inc. I was lucky enough to have lunch with Jon and he told me more about the activity and instructed me to contact him at a later time to get full details so I can have the activity at my disposal!
- If you can't go to a session, find somebody to talk to because it will most likely be even better than a session. I don't want to take anything away from the amazing presenters and the hard work that they put it, but sometimes, a great conversation with a like-minded educator, or a debate with a not so like-minded educator, can go so much further than sitting in a session, taking notes, and trying out a new tool.
- There are so many teachers trying to make a difference in our world. I don't know any exact figures, but I would venture to guess that there were over 7,000 that attended CUE. On top of that, you had many of them that presented sessions or tips, or one of my favorites of the conference, the Leroy's Big Idea finalists that submitted proposals for money to fund stunning projects to better their classrooms and outcomes for their students. I am proud to call one of the finalists, Rebekah Remkiewicz, a friend and while her proposal did not win, she still had a great project and was awarded $1000 to further her idea.