I occasionally find myself sitting in conference sessions and meetings and have to silently chuckle about the amount of electronic devices in my possession–a laptop, iPad, iPhone and all of the chargers and accessories that accompany them. However, at the Computer-Using Educators (CUE) Annual Conference in Palm Springs last week, I was far from the only person with a messenger bag full of devices. The CUE Conference brings together educators from all over California that are interested in advancing student learning through the use of technology. For three days, 3,200 teachers, administrators, technology coordinators and professional development providers shared tips and best practices for integrating technology tools into the classroom–both traditional and online.

Scanning through the conference sessions in the program, it was clear what the hot topics were this year: video, apps, and mobile, mobile, mobile. More than 10% of the approximately 300 sessions focused on using iPads. And these sessions were packed. From iPad basics to creating videos on the iPad, the best apps to install, and using them for differentiated instruction, it’s certain that educators see value in tablet computers and are eager to bring them into the classroom.

While there were quite a lot of technology veterans in this savvy group, it was also nice to see educators who are fairly new to this digital world and are enthusiastic about incorporating new tools and strategies into their teaching. In KQED’s session, “Putting Science on the (Google) Map,” we were pleasantly surprised to find that only a couple participants had previously created a Google Map. (Also exciting was that almost all of the attendees were science teachers!). As technology becomes increasingly available and accessible to our schools, I can only imagine this CUE community growing exponentially.

Want to jump onboard? The Fall CUE Conference is taking place in Napa Valley, October 26-27, 2012.


Andrea Aust

Andrea is the Senior Manager of Science Education for KQED. In addition to QUEST, she's had the pleasure of coordinating education and outreach for the public television series Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures and the four-hour documentary Saving the Bay. Andrea graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Environmental Science and earned her M.A. in Teaching and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the University of San Francisco. Prior to KQED, she taught, developed, and managed marine science and environmental education programs in Aspen, Catalina Island and the Bay Area. Follow her on Twitter at @KQEDaust.

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