I presented at my first CUE Rockstar in Tahoe during the summer of 2013. I loved the style of how PD was given; slower placed, make & take, and FUN. This year I was fortunate enough to present again but time in Redwood City with my podcast partner Brian Briggs taking the lead. In my whirlwind of early summer travel I drove make from a weekend in Lake Tahoe and had Briggs pick me up after about 45 minutes at home. Briggs brought with him another for this expedition, his 11 year old daughter. Once he showed, I piled myself and my stuff in his Prius and off we went on our road trip to the bay area.
The ride was long (especially after my 2 hour ride down from Tahoe) but fun, with a games like “how well does Briggs know his daughter” (he got only 60%) .
We arrived and joined some of the other presenters (also known as “lead learners”) for dinner and then got ready for the three days of awesomeness.
The day kicked off with seeing old friends and meeting some new. Reconnecting with the people who you see online is truly special. For example getting to see Diane Main and her rock star son Cameron again is always a joy.
As per all Rock Star events, presenters have to sell their session. Meaning that during the morning introductions, you have one minute to sell everyone to come to your session. These are filled with some heckling and laughs and are a fun part of what Rock Stars are.
I presented on Using Photos in the Classroom with a focus on introducing them to Google Photos (which is my favorite and most under the radar Google tool out there). I had the usual wow’d faces when they saw the features like:
Briggs and I offered our podcasting session. Here we showed both how to find & listen to podcasts as well as how to get started on making one of your own. Those who attended all seemed interested in starting their own be it for their class, school or entire district. We even had some of the CUE staff themselves swing by including Mike Lawrence whom we used as a Guinea pig to create a demo podcast. Thanks for being a good sport Mike and yes, I will check out “blue grass covers of popular songs” like you suggested.
We finished this day of with a killer visit to the Google headquarters in Mountain View. I saw a Google self driving car, got a tour and was even able to hop on one of the Google bikes for a spin
For this day I was only able to do one session but had a big group of teachers looking for ways to use Games in the Classroom. We mostly focused on game shows and had a loud and fun time playing these and discussing how we could use these in our classes.
You can check out these games we played at my Game Shows link in my navigation on top.
If you haven't had the chance to attend one of these events you should check them out. They are some of the most rewarding professional development opportunities out there.