Another MassCUE Fall Conference has come and gone and it’s been yet another amazing experience for all. This year, MassCUE celebrated it’s 35th Anniversary. Merely a seedling in 1982, this non profit has grown into a wealth of resources and support for educators throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.
Every year, Conference attendees enjoy a plethora of opportunities for professional growth and networking with others who share their passion for education. And every year the MassCUE Fall Conference never disappoints! MassCUE’s keystone event, the Fall Conference is planned and coordinated by volunteers who give of their time to create the best possible experience for attendees whose feedback is used to continually improve year after year. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Ruha Benjamin, delivered a thought-provoking speech on how schools can foster heart and guts to transform the world. We also heard from Dr. Mary Skipper, Superintendent of Somerville Public Schools, on personalizing the learning journey for students. Steve Dembo enthralled the audience with his message about 22nd Century practice for 21st Century schools, while student CUEByte Speaker, Sachi Badola, captured the attention of all with her musical talent combined with her love for learning. Hearing from such visionaries, combined with adding new features each year, helps MassCUE to keep attendees leaving excited to return to their schools and try new ways to engage students in their learning.
This year, MassCUE introduced CUE Land, an interactive space to learn more about maker spaces, cutting edge practices in support of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM), and various digital tools to engage students in the classroom. The demos included 3D modeling, programming for elementary students and integration of the Engineering Design Process in a high school business classroom. We also enjoyed hearing about a blended professional development model which provides a menu of choices based on teacher skill levels and interests. We received an “A+” on this offering and will be bringing it back to our conference next year.
A Live Broadcast Booth was also added, created with a studio flair. This space was full of energy and was a big hit with passers-by, as well as those who took advantage of viewing interviews live-streamed to other conference locations, as well as online. Various attendees from award recipients and presenters, teachers and administrators, and even some of our very own MassCUE Board members helped to make this a special addition to this year’s Conference.
Social media was also ramped up to help attendees engage virtually and grow their professional learning network beyond the walls of their own schools. In addition to a social wall and event notification features in the Conference mobile app, a live social wall was added to screens in the Vendor area so all could see the latest Tweets and Instagram posts throughout the event. Each day we also hosted an Instagram contest, where attendees posted a selfie on Instagram with someone who educates, inspires or has connected with them using #mymasscue17. Four prizes were awarded each day to those who shared their experience and excitement.
MassCUE17 may be over, but the learning continues with MassCUE offerings throughout the year! Check out upcoming events and conferences, such as the Blended Learning Leaders’ Summit coming up in December, as well as Datapalooza in January, Googlepalooza in February, and our Spring Leadership Conference in March. A variety of both face to face and online professional development offerings are also available for individuals, as well as for schools and districts through both the Leadership in Blended & Digital Learning and MassCUE4YOU programs.
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