Thursday, March 12, 2020

It's Time for #SpringCUE 2020!

With the month of March comes many things. Trees are beginning to bud, temperatures are creeping up, the sun is sticking around longer each day, and one of my favorite things, baseball, is back and ramping up for the regular season!  But perhaps one of the best things about March for me and for many others is the annual sojourn to Palm Springs, California for three days of learning, connecting, and shenanigans at Spring CUE!  This year, for the most part, promises to be as amazing or even better than years past.  But why "for the most part?"
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Over the past few months, unless you were holed up in a remote cave somewhere in the Sierra Nevada, you have been inundated almost non-stop with news, information, and emergency declarations about Covid-19, or the coronavirus.  As the virus has spread from China to other areas of the world, more and more governments and organizations have been employing a variety of tactics to stop the spread of the virus.  Now that there have been confirmed cases in the United States, these tactics are starting to take effect. 

Sporting events have been postponed, canceled, or played before empty arenas.  Concerts and conventions have also been canceled.  People have made runs on stores, stocking up on masks, hand sanitizer, water, and toilet paper.  The stock market has tanked in recent days and there are signs that prices on various goods, especially gasoline, or going to plummet as demand falls (and with oil, a large supply release from Saudi Arabia has also contributed to the dip in prices). As of this writing, there have been less than one thousand confirmed cases in the United States, but the fear of a mass epidemic has certainly gripped the nation and the world.  

The question for many has been, "Will Spring CUE continue, even as other events throughout California and the rest of the country are put off?"  Again, as of this writing, the event is still on.  CUE has been urging extra caution for the event, such as avoiding physical interactions with attendees like handshakes and hugs, washing thoroughly and carrying hand sanitizer, and staying home if you feel sick.  However, many people have already announced that due to restrictions from their schools and districts, they will not be attending the event this year.  And CUE has even gone as far as stating that if a person cannot attend, they will be able to redeem their registration for another CUE event within the next three years!  

I for one will still be attending the event.  I look forward to this event every year, I have not had any directives issued toward me about attending or not attending, and I have a lot of things on my agenda for the three days of the conference.

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First will be a live recording of The BeerEDU Podcast on Thursday, March 19 at 3:00 PM.  This will be an extension of the Meet the Podcasters event (more on that in a moment).  While my partner, Ben Dickson, will not be there, he is planning to join remotely. Those that are walking by can stop and introduce themselves and chat with us about their conference experience and what they are taking away from the conference.  And we will have various podcast swag to give away!

Then on Friday morning, I will be back in the "booth" to record another episode, this time with my friend Joe Marquez and The Podcast by Sons of Technology.  Like the Thursday recording, those that are passing by can chat with us about what they are doing to buck the status quo and take risks in their teaching. 

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After we are done recording, perhaps the event I am most excited for, Meet the Authors, will take place in the exhibit hall!  When planning the final details on To The Edge: Successes & Failures Through Risk-Taking, I expressed that I wanted the book to be released prior to Spring CUE so I had a great opportunity to share my story with the world.  I will have a limited number of copies of the book for sale at the event and will also have stickers!  So come by the exhibit hall on Friday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, grab a copy of the book and learn more about my story and the stories of the other great authors that will be there!

After a quick break, I'll be back in the exhibit hall for Meet the Podcasters.  Like Meet the Authors, this one will give attendees an opportunity to mingle with some of their favorite shows, talk a little bit about some of the technical aspects of podcasting, and of course, there will be swag from most, if not all, of the shows that are there!  There may even be an opportunity to arrange to be a guest on some of your favorite shows!

Find me during the conference to purchase
a copy of #ToTheEdgeEDU! I have stickers...
Then lastly, literally lastly, I will be presenting a session to close out the conference.  At 3:30 on Saturday, Joe and I will be presenting a session called Changing the World by Building a Brand.  This session will cover the importance of branding for students and educators and some of the various ways that you can build a brand and start making a presence online and in your community.

Because of the hectic schedule that I have on my agenda, my opportunities for sessions are very limited.  Many of the events that I am a part of overlap sessions, so I would miss a great deal of the material presented.  However, I have been looking at the schedule and there are a ton of great sessions, not to mention other awesome events, such as CUE Boom (an event that I opened in 2019), the Kids CUE Boom, LeRoy's Big Idea, and the many keynote speakers sprinkled throughout the conference.  Then it's getting to see all of those that have become friends over the years.  Between sessions, over coffee in the morning, over beers at night, it's going to be great to see so many awesome people that are passionate about teaching!   And then meeting new people, some of which I have interacted with virtually and those that I have never had a connection, building up my PLN even further!

If you are going to be Spring CUE, I look forward to seeing you!  If not, be sure to follow #SpringCUE and #NotatCUE over the course of the conference and get your learn on remotely!

Until next time...  

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