My 5th CUE Conference! I think…
It’s taken me a few days to recover from the Fall Cue Conference in Napa this weekend – I blame the awesome sessions I attended that left my mind numb and this parasite I’m growing. I wanted to jot down a few great pearls I picked up this weekend – mostly reaffirming things I’ve learned at past CUE conferences.
First of all, being in one place with so many inspirational and like-minded educators is one of the best feelings. If my mind (and family) could handle it, I would attend conferences all the time because the teacher-high is so worth it. I’m left with a ton of great ideas and an energy to continue to (hopefully) positively impact my students. I won’t be able to package all the greatness of this weekend in this quick post, but there were a few things I can share.
Google Apps for Education is where it’s at
If you haven’t hoped on board yet – do it! Utilizing Google apps greatly improves the lives of both teachers and students. If you’re looking to increase your productivity – Google apps. Streamline your workflow? Google apps. Increase collaboration among students? Google apps. Want someone to grade your quizzes for you? Google apps (Check out what I learned from @MrScottMarsden during his session on forms and Flubaroo). I could go on and on…
Blog with your students, you won’t regret it
I have been blogging with my students for 3 years now, ever since I went to one of David Theriault‘s sessions on blogging (you know, the one where he made us all cry?). I started with a class blog, then leveled up to individual student blogs and now I do a bit of both. Blogging is a one stop shop to covering many of your common core technology bases, but also an invaluable experience for your students. I explained how I implemented blogging in my classes during my presentation and the one I did with my colleague, Rebecca Girard – her wealth of knowledge is priceless!
Increase digital literacy, one step at a time
There are a million digital tools out there… I made that figure up, but there are more than any one person could ever learn and use, but don’t let that deter you! Start with just one (take a look at the Tech Toolkit I shared during my presentation). You don’t have to put your entire course online and complete every lesson using digital tools, you can incorporate one or two new tools at time, wherever they appropriately fit into your curriculum.
Oh and the last nugget I need to share with you – Stephanos Soul Food in Vallejo. Totally unassuming from the outside… fried chicken and mac n’ cheese heaven on the inside. I pulled the whole “I’m eating for two” when I cleared my plate that had enough food for 3 people. Cheers!
Introducing Kaitlyn O., this week’s cameo blogger! Kaitlyn is one a the few students I haven’t taught before, but I am so glad she is taking my class! Kaitlyn always offers a unique perspective on what we are covering and takes the time to really dig deep into the content. Kaitlyn is a conscientious and determined student – I look forward to getting to know her more throughout this year! Please check out her overview of our class last week and feel free to comment on her website!
The Biology students were given the opportunity to participate in Notre Dame’s 19th Annual Fungus Fair this past week. Students were asked to find a specimen from the Kingdom Fungi, identify their specimen using provided resources and present their findings to the class. This is one of my favorite projects of the year for a couple reasons…number one being I am a fungus fanatic!
Here are a couple specimens students brought in:
We also had Dr. Hegarty as an impromptu guest lecturer! While researching her specimen, one student found that if her mushroom’s cap was exposed to Potassium Hydroxide, it should turn a yellowish color. I knew just who to ask to test this hypothesis in front of the class.
Dr. Hegarty used a couple different solutions and we were able to get a slight reaction on part of the cap. It’s always a good day when Biology and Chemistry join forces!
Take a moment today to notice the