Monday, August 22, 2016

SDCUE Mini Grants Winners 2016

San Diego CUE is pleased to announce our 2016 Mini Grants winners. This year, we were able to fund $1000 grants to ten San Diego county teachers. The grant money will purchase technology tools, such as iPads, Spheros, Raspberry Pi, Little Bits, and virtual reality equipment.

Congratulations to our 2016 SDCUE Mini Grants Winners:

Anthony Devine
El Cajon Valley High School / Grossmont Union High School District
“Raspberry Pi”
Materials: 15 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B; 15 Micro SD OS Cards; HDMI cables

Melissa Cuevas
Knob Hill Elementary School / San Marcos Unified School District
iPads for Coding and Robotics”
Materials: 2 iPad Minis; Wonder Workshop accessories for Dash Robots

Cindi Schulze
PRIDE Academy at Prospect Ave / Santee School District
Tinkering Lab”
Materials: 8 AirLink; Wireless Sensor Bundle; Coin Cell Battery Pack

Michele Lopez
Juniper Elementary School / Escondido Union School District
Girls Coding Club”
Materials: 4 Sphero SPRK Edition and clear covers

Christine Hansen
Rincon Middle School / Escondido Union School District
Virtual Reality Field Trips”
Materials: 10 ViewMaster VR; 2 Google Cardboards; 12 Android cell phones

Rose Ann Morris
Jacumba Middle School / Mountain Empire Unified School District
Adding STEM to Math Classes”
Materials: Pasco Middle School Science Standard Sensor Bundle

Deborah Heyer
Cardiff Elementary School / Cardiff District
Go Wild STEAM Project”
Materials: 3 Pack of Studio Lights with carrying case; Green Screen with stand; spare bulbs; 3 microphones, 3 tripod boom mic stands; 3 tripods with iPad holder; Lavalier clip on microphone condenser; iPad CTA digital height-adjustable gooseneck floor stand; Wireless bluetooth sound system

Ryann Rockwell
Pauma School / Valley Center - Pauma Unified School District
Little Bits Mobile Learning Lab: Full STEAM Ahead!”
Materials: 3 STEAM Student Sets (Little Bits); Large plastic storage tub and small plastic inserts

Bill Kvitli
Lilac School / Valley Center - Pauma Unified School District
Ollie Robot in the Classroom”
Materials: 4 Ollie Robots; 3 Dark Side Ollie Robots; 2 Spare tire sets

Dena Hause
San Diego Unified School District
LittleBits + Maker Space + Creativity = Inquiry-Based Art Projects with Meaning and Purpose”
Materials: 8 Little Bits Electronics Basics kits

In the next few months, we will highlight each of the Mini Grants winners in separate blog posts. They will share how this grants has impacted their classroom and students.

Congratulations again to our 2016 San Diego CUE Mini Grants winners!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Better Together - California Teachers' Summit 2016

In a room of 150 teachers, 3 of them were my former students. One I had met at last year's California Teachers' Summit, when she was a student teacher. This year I saw her again and learned that she had been newly hired at San Marcos High School to teach 11th-grade English. A second called out to me as I was walking between the tables in the CSUSM student center. "Hey Fairchild!" she greeted me as I walked by. I had seen her at a previous conference a couple of years ago; she reminded me that she works at Discovery Elementary in San Marcos, very near my house.

Since I had the microphone and was headed up to the stage, I decided to call them out. I proudly announced that two of my former students were in the crowd, and then a thought occurred to me: were there maybe others? I asked the crowd and was delighted when a hand went up! Another of my former students, now a first-grade teacher at San Elijo Elementary, also in San Marcos! Getting to see and talk to those three was the highlight of the day for me. I wish we had been able to get a picture with the four of us.

I was there to introduce and facilitate the EdCamp portion of the day. Along with 10 volunteers recruited to help, I explained to the group how an EdCamp works, how the sessions are scheduled, and what makes EdCamp sessions different from traditional conference sessions. At that point we had the participants write down a topic about which they wanted to learn. The volunteers collected the cards, grouped them into sessions, and created the session board. As always, the EdCamp-model crowd-sourced schedule came into focus. (Even as an EdCamp veteran, I am always impressed that this process works. It seems like it shouldn't, but it always does.) As I read across the session list, I thought to myself that if a group of education experts sat in a room and planned a schedule, they couldn't come up with a better one. Then I thought, that's exactly what just happened!

There were other components to the day: Keynote addresses live-streamed to all sites by actor Ernie Hudson and teacher Kelly Gallagher; local addresses by teachers and activists; photos, conversations, and reminders. But for me, the most valuable time was when teachers got to learn from each other. I hope my three former students, now teachers themselves, thought it was valuable as well!

To learn more about the 2016 California Teachers' Summit, go to

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Get More Involved with San Diego CUE!

Have you ever wanted to get more involved with San Diego CUE? 
This might be your time. This fall we will elect new board members to join the SDCUE Board. I recently surveyed our current board to find out what they like about being on the SDCUE Board. Here are some of their answers:
  • the people
  • bringing ideas to share
  • helping to plan events
  • meeting with like-minded folks
  • being part of the greater edtech community
  • furthering our profession
  • being a leader
  • learning how the organization works on the backend
  • making events better
Also, being on the board is a nice way to advance a career, either by adding to your resume, or just putting yourself out there in a leadership role.

These 2 year board positions run from January 2017 to December 2019. The election will take place in November. There are at least four to eight meetings a year, some of which take place through a Google Hangout. We also vote, discuss, and plan remotely using our SDCUE Google Apps. 

How and why did people get started on the board? 
Many SDCUE members were great teachers like you, busily integrating tech in their teaching or helping others to do so. Some started by presenting or volunteering at the tech fair and then asked about becoming more involved. With some, a mentoring-type person advised them that they may want to get more involved in SDCUE.
Personally, after doing much of the above myself, I was invited to attend a board meeting social by Bernie Dodge, the first president of SDCUE. I quickly found it to be a great group to be involved with and have been on the board for 6 years, plus a couple of years on committees. I will step down at the end of this year.

How else can you be more involved and support San Diego CUE?
  • presenting at the tech fair
  • volunteering 3 hours at the tech fair
  • helping on a committee (for example, helping to build the tech fair online schedule or helping create the Day at a Glance program, helping recruit tech fair speakers, arranging for member events, helping manage our volunteer program, being in charge of tech support at the tech fair, etc.)

If any of these sound interesting to you and you are ready to step up your involvement, either reach out to one of our current board members or fill out the SDCUE Contact Us form.
We welcome your involvement! It's a great team and organization!

Monday, August 15, 2016

We Want to Celebrate YOU!

Get accepted to present at a conference? Have an article published? Or perhaps you won an award from your school, district, or outside organization? Participate in a life-changing teacher travel opportunity? Whatever it is you've been up to, we want to know!

Complete our short survey about your experience and we'll feature you in an upcoming blog post. Just think of how cool you'll be when all your peers see that SDCUE has honored you on their blog... Seriously, it will be one of the highlights of your life.

So stop reading this, and fill out the form! (Oh yea, you may want to bookmark it, too, because we know you'll have more than one celebration to share with us this school year!)

Here it is again:

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Free Workshop for K-5 Teachers

You've heard about coding. Maybe you even participated in the Hour of Code, or knew a teacher who participated in your class. You've always wanted to learn more, but maybe you were afraid to ask, or just didn't know who to ask.

Well, National University and are bringing you a day of learning, and it's free. But you have to sign up, and quickly, before space runs out!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Tech Fair Heading Your Way

SDCUE is gearing up for our 33rd Annual Tech Fair on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at La Costa Canyon HS.  Save the date now, and look out for registration information coming soon!
We are looking for educators that want to share creative and innovative ideas happening in their classrooms, schools, districts and across the nation.
We invite you to apply as a presenter using our official Speaker Application Form.

If you know someone else who would make a great presenter, please forward them this email!  Applications are due September 11, but early applications are very much appreciated.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Gotta Catch Em' All: Connecting with Our Members

Last weekend five SDCUE Board members attended CUE's Leadership Development Institute. This annual event is an opportunity for affiliate leaders to get together and share ideas and best practices for supporting our membership (you!). It was great to be able to speak with affiliates from across the state (and hunt a Pokemon or two at the StubHub Center!). 

Pidgey Pokemon with
2nd Vice President
Reuben Hoffman
One of the main topics this year was how to better support our members through enhanced communications, opportunities to connect, and outreach with other organizations. At the end of the event, each CUE affiliate shared one slide about key takeaways and next steps.

For SDCUE, our key takeaway was that we needed to improve our communications with our members by streamlining delivery and making sure everything we share is relevant. To that end, we have committed to the following:
  • Create an Instagram channel (@sandiego_CUE) for those who would rather receive information there instead of Twitter and Facebook.
  • Create a blog (which you're reading) to keep our members informed on a variety of ed tech happenings.
    • Provide opportunities for members to submit guest posts about ed tech topics
    • Highlight our members by sharing awards members receive, conference presentations they are providing, cool experiences they are part of, and anything else they'd like San Diego CUE members to know about
    • Share summaries of conferences we attend with you so you can keep current on what's going on out there
    • Share information from other San Diego organizations that is relevant to our membership
  • Schedule our newsletter on a monthly basis, so that information is timely and connected to all our social media channels.
  • Invite members to attend our meetings, and provide more opportunities for members to volunteer with our organization.
  • Schedule more opportunities for members to get together, whether it be a BrewCUE, a CoffeeCUE, or just a HangoutCUE.
We look forward to the changes, and encourage you to share with us what works, and what doesn't, so we can continue to serve all our members to the best of our abilities.

Stay tuned for ways you can be highlighted in a future blog post!