CUE Conference 2013

I just had the privilege of attending the annual CUE (Computering Using Educators) conference in Palms Springs, CA March 14-16. Every time I attend, I come away invigorated with new ideas I can implement in my practice and share with my students and co-workers. I also presented two sessions this year. I am embedding the presentation files for the two sessions at the bottom of this posting.

Here were just a few of the highlights of the conference sessions for me:

CLRN’s Brian Bridges fast-paced session on “50 Free Online  Ready Reference and Web 2.0 Tools for Life Long Learners” filled me in on a number of websites and apps that were new to me. Here’s the link to all his tools. He saved them in one of the tools he told us about,  One website,, a source for Creative Commons-licensed music, was one I was able to share with the attendees at my own session the next hour! Another offering I have already checked out is Dropbox’s connection to Project Gutenberg. I knew about both tools, but not that they are now connected. Project Gutenberg is a collection of over 42,000 free ebooks that are in the public domain. When you find a free ebook in Project Gutenberg, you can save it to your Dropbox account in a “gutenberg” app folder. From there, I was able to open the file in my Kindle app on my iPad and iPhone.

At Google Search Educator Tasha Bergson-Michelson’s presentation on “Really, Really Simple Search: Developing Effective Search Education,” she had us work in groups to develop new ideas for teaching students the critical thinking skills they need to become more effective searchers and to evaluate the sources they find. Tasha had us record our conversations in a Google Doc, so we can all refer to them. Here’s a link to her materials.

I attended two sessions by Mark Hammons, Educational Technology Consultant for the Instructional Technology Services team at the Fresno County Office of Education, on iTunes U and on the Apple TV in Education. At the latter, I got some tips on new ways to use my Apple TV. In the former, I learned the basic steps to creating courses in iTunes U. iTunes U is becoming a popular platform for schools and universities to upload both self-paced and in-session courses. The courses are all free, and can be public or private. I am excited about drawing from and contributing to this free sharing community. I have set myself a goal to create a self-paced course on the topics I covered in my “Build Digital Citizenship Skills & Inspire Creativity with Creative Commons” presentation asap. The one drawback I see to iTunes U is that, while the courses can be developed on either Macs or PCs (with some browser limitations), they can only be delivered on iOS devices. I wish Apple would offer an option to deliver the courses on desktop and laptop computers and other types of mobile devices. Are you listening, Apple?

And, it was very interesting hearing my Principal Ben Dale and Vice-Principal Ian Drummond’s background thinking about the evolving iPad program at Mira Costa High School. Here’s a photo of them presenting:

Ben Dale (right) & Ian Drummond (left) presenting at CUE Conference
Ben Dale (right) & Ian Drummond (left) presenting on at CUE Conference on “High School iPad Implementation and the Student-Use Model”

You can see all the presentation files/handouts posted so far on the CUE Schedule at When you click on any session, look for the “Presenter Resources” link. Since many presenters wait until after they present to submit these links, I would check back periodically for resources from sessions that interest you.  You can also find a lot of links to session materials in Twitter by searching for the hashtag #cue13.

Here are the presentation files for my own sessions, but do contact me for a “walkthrough,” since these show only the visuals, not what I said as I presented.

My concurrent session was on “Building Digital Citizenship Skills & Inspire Creativity with Creative Commons.” I shared how to teach students about these concepts, as well copyright, public domain, and fair use, and why they are so important. I also urged the attendees to join the “Commons” and share their own work with Creative Commons licenses so that we can all benefit from each others’ knowledge and creativity. Here is the presentation file:

(If this embedded file doesn’t display in your browser, you can access it at this link. Also please note that these files are graphics-intensive and may be slow to fully download on a mobile device. I would recommend viewing them on your computer.)

Pam Oehlman and I did a CUE Tip talk (informal 20-minute session) on “Free Web Tutorials for You and Your Students.” We walked the audience through five free, online, self-paced, reusable and remixable tutorial options available from CSLA (California School Library Association).

(If this embedded file doesn’t display in your browser, you can access it at this link.)

Finally, here’s Pam and me at our CUE Tip session:

Pam Oehlman & Jane Lofton presenting

We’re wearing our Avatar T-shirts from the November 2013 CSLA Conference, on theme since creating avatars is one of the activities in the tutorials we were promoting.

Here’s me at my concurrent session:


Presenting at CUE