Friday, October 28, 2016

It's time for another SDCUE election! Candidates announced!

The election was originally announced via a post on the SDCUE website. Since then, our
Nominating Committee has been busy interviewing current board members as part of the process for putting together a slate of candidates for the Board of Directors elections.

The committee members, all past SDCUE Presidents (Mary Lange, Pam Howard, Terri Linman, and Kathy Hayden (Chair)), do their best to look for great nominees and also support the goal of having a board:

  • representing the various regions of San Diego County

  • including various role types (such as teachers and administrators) and student grade ranges

  • supporting the bylaw stipulation that “the major employment of a majority of
    elected and appointed Board members should be in a public education institution, or a private education institution whose major endeavor is the provision of education of students. While considering regional representation, nominees shall be selected from among those who have provided service to the membership as a whole or who have provided service to a  committee or learning network”

This year we are moving from a three year term to two year term, and having overlapping terms, in order to help with continuity of experience. As part of this move, some current board member terms are being extended.

2017-18 Board: Laura Spencer, Terri Price, Pam Rabin, Mari Venturino, Kevin Fairchild (1 year)
2017-19 Board: 6 new board members (2 years)
2018-20 Board:  (2 years)
2019-21 Board:  (2 years)

An email was sent to the current membership list on October 25 announcing the slate of candidates.  

There are eight candidates. Members may vote for up to six.  The top six names will be on the SDCUE Board for two years, from 2017-2019.

Please look at the Candidate Names and Statements (listed in random order).

Members, please look for the Oct 25 email from SDCUE for more details on on the election.
For more information about SDCUE Membership, visit CUE at

Members can expect an email from a survey tool such as Election Buddy on November 9th, 2016.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ollies in the Classroom

Ollies in the Classroom
by Bill Kvitli
Lilac School
Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District

Through the generosity of SDCUE, I was able to buy 7 Sphero Ollies for my classroom. An Ollie is a robot that students program and control on their iPads. Ollies roll at speeds of up to 14 mph and can turn at sharp angles.

We began our experience with the Ollies through exploration. My students took the Ollies out to the playground and began experimenting with the app (Lightning Lab). Students quickly learned how to “drive” the robot without having to program it. They had a lot of fun.

Our next lesson was about programing the Ollie. The program app is a visual block-based building interface that made learning the basic principles of programming approachable and fun. Drag and drop actions, controls, operators, and more give the robot the orders. Once students learned the basic programming skills, they applied these skills to their understanding of geometry and its basic shapes. In the activity, students wrote programs to have their robot move in geometric shapes (squares, rectangles, triangles, and pentagons.

Our follow-up lesson will be to create a geometric maze (thank you Jo-Ann Fox for this lesson on the Sphero Learning Lab Activity site!). In this activity students will apply their understanding of geometry by collaboratively creating a maze that includes right angles, acute angles, obtuse angles, parallel lines, and intersecting lines. Then students will use the Lightning Lab app to program Ollie to travel the maze. Students will need to measure or use critical thinking skills to program the correct degrees for the angles they created. Students will also have an opportunity to try to program another team's maze.

My students have had so much fun working with their Ollies. The hands-on activity has sparked their thirst for learning in a fun, 21st century way! Their excitement has spilled over to all the students at our school as they watch them working and playing with the Ollies. Thank you SDCUE.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


The LeRoy Finkel Fellowship is intended to promote leadership in the field of educational technology. CUE "Fellows" will
  • Strengthen professional skills;
  • Develop an innovative technology-enhanced curriculum project, aligned to curriculum standards; and
  • Share their ideas and strategies through the OnCUE Journal, conferences, websites, social media and much more.
Any part or full-time K-20 educator that is a member of CUE working within Calilfornia or Nevada is eligible to apply. To be considered as a finalist or for the full fellowship, applicant must be willing to travel to Palm Springs and present their idea on stage at the CUE 2016 National Conference on March 18. The selected Fellow should be willing and able to perform the duties and attend the events below before applying.

Finalist Awards
  • Five (5) $500 awards (applicable taxes apply)
  • Complimentary registration at the National CUE Conference for the current year
  • Invitation to present your Big Idea on stage during the LeRoy's Big Idea: The Finalists session
  • Inclusion in 'LeRoy Finkel Finalist Update' column of OnCUE Journal

Fellowship Award
  • One (1) $2,500 award (applicable taxes apply)
  • Registration and travel expenses to the ISTE Conference for the current year.
  • Guidance for one year of a professional mentor, recommended by the CUE Board.
  • Invitation to write feature article for OnCUE Journal in the year following the award.
The Deadline to Apply for the 2017 LeRoy Finkel Fellowship application is December 8, 2016