Sunday, August 11, 2019

#CUEhoot Where Lead Learners Gather

By Jen Roberts, SDCUE Member

What do you get when you combine thirty educators, Monterey Bay, and barbecue? A great day of learning and connecting we call the CUE Hoot.

Most CUE members probably don’t know that CUE has a group called Lead Learners. These are folks who present a lot at CUE events and often get asked to present for CUE to districts and schools. Keeping with the philosophy that learners need to stay connected to each other, CUE hosts a free event once a year called the Hootenanny just for lead learners. This year they held their third annual #CUEhoot and I got to go.

The location alternates and changes. Last year it was in San Diego at the Maritime Museum and this year it was at the Seymour Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz. I love that they always place it somewhere educational and senic.

We always end up tweeting a lot from the #CUEhoot and people who aren’t lead learners often ask me what it is all about. It’s pretty simple really. We spend a day together connecting with people we haven’t met yet, getting some updates about what’s new and coming soon from CUE, attend sessions about presenting better, or learn more about a technical tool. In the afternoon we share out wacky ideas, share what we are most passionate about in short #CUEbooms

The morning session I went to was called IRL Time with Pam. Pam Hernandez is the new executive director of CUE, so this session was about getting to hear from her, but mostly about her listening to us. Lead learners are not shy about sharing, and that includes their thoughts and ideas about what would make CUE even better. Our conversation mostly focused on how to spread the word that CUE exists to support teachers and also ways we can give that support to teachers K-12 and in higher education.

In the afternoon I joined the photo-walk lead by Jason Seliskar and John Miller. The crashing waves, wildflowers, and open ocean of Monterey Bay gave us a scenic place to wander and practice our photo skills. A lot of us prefer to use our own photos in presentations, so this kind of ties into being a lead learner right?

We closed with CUE Booms and some slides karaoke, which is as ridiculous as it sounds, but fun to present without warning. Presenters have to know how to roll with whatever happens in the moment.

The real magic of the #CUEhoot is putting faces to the people I’ve only met online, discovering the genius of some I had never met, and reconnecting with friends I only get to see a few times a year. Along the way we learn, share, eat well and laugh a lot.

If you regularly present at SDCUE, or other CUE events you might be interested in becoming a lead learner too. Find out more at