Headed back to Rocklin after my third summer of fun in Truckee for CUE Rockstar. This summer workshop is designed differently than most because of the hands on piece. What this means is that instead of a one hour “sit and get” these educators have two hour sessions where they both observe and create. My sessions were
1) Revving Up Your Google Drive
2) Visual Literacy
3) This is Flipping Incredible
Along with the longer session time, the number of participants is kept quite low so that as a presenter (or what they call Lead Learners) I am able to “work the room” or be more of a facilitator and help them
For example, in one of my sessions I had a teacher who wanted her culinary class to create their own site much like Yelp where her students can rate local restaurants. She did not want this public on the web but able to have each student to have rights to edit. We bounced some ideas back and forth and settled on using Google Slides to create a hyperlinked presentation where the first “home page” slide had links to all the other slides. Each of these slides would be a template which had a link back to the home plus places for the name, review, star rating, etc included. The students would then have their scoring guide to take to their restaurant; order their food, write notes and take a few photos. Afterwards they would take their resources and add them to this site. We created a very rough outline of this Google Slides and she left with the beginning of a project that she had been wanting to create for a long time.
These are times when you feel like you’ve really helped a teacher and then by proxy, a new group of students who you would never have the chance to reach.
Along with great moments in the sessions like these, some of the times which I will relish the most are those “in between times”. These are the unscripted, unplanned and often unintended moments where connections to new ideas and new people are made. In the past trips to Truckee we’ve had these at lunches and photo walks, but this one year of the best times was during a game of disc golf.
For those of you unaware, disc golf is a combination of golf and throwing a Frisbee or disc. Instead of putting a ball into the cup you have to throw a disc into a chain link basket. You may have seen one of these courses around your town as they are growing in popularity all over the country. It’s a great way to get out for a walk and spend time with friends. I like to call it “hiking with a purpose”. And, maybe the best part, these courses are almost always free. So, I packed up about 12 of my discs and tried to convince some of my fellow lead learners to dive into a new challenge. I convinced a group of these novices to join me and we headed out. Oh what a neat experience it is to see people new to a task or game and see joy on their faces! Regardless of ability, each of them had fun throwing these discs, trying to find where they went and testing out different throwing techniques. And yes, since this was tech conference there was tons of sharing along the way. From burst cameras, like GonnyCam for Android, which allow you to create animated gifs to best practices when presenting our group of disc golfers connected and accomplished the goal of CUE Rockstar – Learn anytime, anywhere.
Lastly, for those of you who have never presented to other teachers I would say “take the leap”! Not only do you see your impact on teachers you also start connecting with others outside your school and district and really help you grow as an educator. For me, Rockstar Tahoe found me reconnecting with many of my closest Ed Tech homies like Brian Briggs, Cate Tolnai, John Eick, Joe Wood, Jennifer Kloczko Rebecca, Maas and Diane Main plus find new friends like Burt Lo, Traci Bonde, Rich Hovey, Erica Goldsworthy, and Adnan Iftekar
Lastly, I’ll share THE defining video of all these rockstar events which is called the First Follower. If you haven’t seen it think of where YOU are in this process of bringing change to your school. Remember… CHANGE IS CONTAGIOUS
So thanks to CUE for having me present again and hope I can come back for one more year!