• image Elections icon

    Special Election for President-Elect, MassCUE Board of Directors

    MassCUE 2024 Special Election Nominations Open May 20-May 27, 2024 MassCUE will hold a special election in May/June 2024…

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  • May Featured Educator – Kristina Ierardi

    MassCUE is pleased to announce Kristina Ierardi as our Featured Educator for May 2024! Digital literacy skills empower students, promote critical thinking, bridge divides and prepare students for life in the digital age. That’s why Digital Literacy Teacher Kristina Ierardi is committed to staying ahead of technological advancements and sharing her love of learning and technology with her students. “Digital literacy is essential for preparing students for success in the digital age,” Ierardi says. “These skills empower them to be critical thinkers, responsible digital citizens and lifelong learners in an increasingly interconnected world.” Ierardi teaches digital literacy in grades 3-5 at Bourne Intermediate School in Bourne. She says she mixes lessons from the regular curriculum, focused on typing skills and the responsible use of technology, with What I Need (WIN) classes, which are focused on project-based learning. Examples of lessons in WIN classes include creating with AI in Padlet and other apps, developing stop motion in Google Slides and iMovie, learning HTML with Codemoji and binary code and creating ads in Canva, to name a few. She says digital literacy is important because technology is everywhere. “Being digitally literate is crucial for functioning effectively in many aspects of life, including education, work and personal tasks,” she says. “Teaching digital literacy encourages students to think critically about the information they encounter online. It equips students with the knowledge and skills to navigate the online world safely and responsibly.” Ierardi has a long list of favorite tools to use with classes. Some examples include Google (because it offers so much for free), Typing.com, Blooket, Kahoot, Piskel, Brush Ninja, Word Art and Storyboard That and Photos for Class. She says rapidly changing technology and the unpredictability of online resources can be a challenge of working with technology in education. “Sometimes I can plan a lesson, check it the night before, and then the day I deliver it, there’s been a change,” she says. Other challenges include monitoring students’ screen time to ensure they stay on task and addressing habits and managing apps that students are allowed to use at home, but not in school. When she’s not teaching students about safe and effective online navigation and communication, she’s offering training to her fellow educators. Ierardi offers weekly tech tips for faculty and staff, conducts trainings on various topics such as AI and provides one-on-one assistance on apps and devices. Her latest project is a podcast called Teaching is Hard. “This was an initiative to expand the reach of the professional development we offered in the district,” she says. “I work with the Elementary Curriculum Director, Lisa Dix, to produce weekly podcasts.” Her advice to others in similar roles: learn as much as you can and try to stay up to date or even ahead of the curve. Ierardi says the best way to do that is to attend conferences, do research on YouTube, join online forums and tune in to social media conversations. A couple of her favorite edtech experts are Alice Keeler and Eric Curts. Another great way to stay current on the latest in edtech is to join an organization like MassCUE to connect with others like her. “I find a lot of schools don’t have a dedicated Digital Literacy Teacher, so I’d love to meet you."   Kristina Ierardi is a dedicated educator with a passion for integrating technology into the classroom to enhance student learning experiences. She holds a Massachusetts Professional Teaching License in Information Technology for K-12 education, a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Boston College and a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Technology from Framingham State University. She has been an educator serving Massachusetts public school students for over 30 years. Currently she teaches Digital Literacy and serves as an Instructional Technology Specialist at Bourne Public Schools. She possesses the expertise to effectively teach and incorporate technological tools into the curriculum. She integrates AI, iMovie, Canva, Sphero Robots, stop motion, animation, and many other applications and tools into teaching students to responsibly use and communicate with digital devices. She is a Google Certified Educator (Level 1 and 2) and a Certified Educator for Clever’s Enhanced Teacher Portal. Her background also includes web development with HTML, JavaScript and game development with GameSalad. She is proficient in using and teaching both Google Workspace apps and Microsoft Office programs. Her background in higher education includes serving as a Teaching and Learning Center Mentor, Academic Advisor, admissions recruiter, adjunct faculty member, Professional Development Co-Chair, and the Coordinator of Career Services and Experiential Learning at Cape Cod Community College. She has effectively utilized and instructed on Learning Management Systems (LMS), including Moodle, Blackboard, and Canvas. She is also skilled in using and teaching PowerSchool, Jenzabar, and other student databases and applications. Kristina is committed to utilizing innovative educational platforms to create engaging and dynamic learning environments. She recently co-presented at the MassCUE conference on GAME ON! Free Online Tools to Create Winning Learning Activities. She also presents on LinkedIn and other career development tools. Her latest project is co-hosting and producing the Teaching is Hard podcast on Podbean.

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  • Awards

    2024 Nominations for Administrator and Pathfinder Awards

    Nominate a Colleague for a MassCUE Administrator or Pathfinder Award Do you know an exceptional educator who has made an impact in the field of educational technology? A current or former colleague who serves as a leader and an inspiration to others in their classroom, school or district? Nominate them for an Administrator or a Pathfinder award! Nominations are being accepted now for these awards, which are given out during the MassCUE Fall Conference in October. To submit a nomination, visit our Awards Committee page. Deadline to submit a nomination extended to July 31, 2024.   The Administrator Award will be presented to a school or district leader who models and promotes the effective use of technology in their day-to-day execution of duties; provides exceptional leadership in supporting the integration of technology into the curriculum; and promotes, models, and establishes policies for safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology. To submit a nomination, visit our Awards Committee page. K-12 school teachers, technology coordinators and other educators are eligible to be recognized with the Pathfinder Award, which will be given to an educator who facilitates a positive change in technological thinking in their classroom, school, or district; demonstrates vision and leadership; influences other educators and promotes ethical and responsible use of technology. To submit a nomination, visit our Awards Committee page.   More Information See past winners and get more information on awards criteria and nomination procedures in the Awards & Recognition Committee section of our website.

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  • Influence and Advocacy

    I&A Update: Tools to Develop a School Safety Plan

    May 2024 I&A Update: Tools to Develop a School Safety Plan For those who aren’t aware, the Cybersecurity and…

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  • BSU and MassCUE

    BSU Instructional Technology Information Sessions 4/23, 4/30 or 5/9

    Bridgewater State University Graduate Credit Information Sessions Interested in pursuing a certificate or license as…

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  • image Elections icon

    2024 MassCUE Election – Board Welcomes Newly Elected Members

    MassCUE Board of Directors 2024 Election Results   MassCUE is pleased to announce the results of our April 2024 election. Two veteran members will continue their service with MassCUE, along with two new members for the 2024-2026 term. We would like to congratulate and welcome the following educators, who were elected by our members in voting that took place April 8-12, 2024. This group of professionals brings a wealth of experience, skills and expertise to MassCUE’s mission to educate, connect and inspire educators across the commonwealth. To learn more about our new members, visit the Board of Directors section of our website and click on the Board Members tab.

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  • Better Together

    Recording Available – Better Together: “AI” Virtual Panel Discussion

    Watch the Recording AI: Impact on Education How can AI help and how can it impede learning? Does the…

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  • CUEup

    Join us for a CUEup April 25

    Network with fellow edtech educators and enjoy a fun night out at our MassCUE CUEup on Thursday, April 25 from 5:00 to 8:00…

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  • Grants

    2024 Classroom Grant Recipients

    Congratulations to our 2024 Grant Recipients From drones, to podcasting, to laser cutting, educators from around the commonwealth will be introducing their…

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  • MassCUE Monthly News

    MassCUE April News and PD

    APRIL News Blast Check out our APRIL News and see all that MassCUE has to offer. Video Message from our…

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  • MassCUE Spring Conference 2024

    Register for the MassCUE Spring Conference

    Register for the MassCUE Spring Conference Registration is open for the MassCUE Spring Conference. Set for Friday, May 31…

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  • Dawn Steber

    April Featured Educator – Dawn Steber

    MassCUE is pleased to announce Dawn Steber as our Featured Educator for April 2024! Dawn Steber’s favorite part of being a technology educator is the fact that her computer lab is a place where every student can be successful. As a technology teacher for grades K-5 at Orleans Elementary School in Orleans, Steber wants students to be able to look forward to coming to her classes and to school. “Using hands-on materials and cooperative critical thinking skills creates an atmosphere where even struggling students can excel,” she says. “If there’s any area in school that gets the kids excited to be here, I hope it’s my room.” Steber says she enjoys finding creative ways to introduce her students to all sorts of technology tools and strives to integrate real-world learning. This year, Steber has introduced Bee Bots to incorporate beginning coding concepts with her younger students. She used this tool with her second graders who were beginning to learn about money. The tool’s canvas mats became stores, restaurants and banks. Students had to follow a shopping list, programming the Bee Bots to visit the correct stores and to use the correct coins to pay for items. She has also paired visits to the school garden with a reading of the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, followed by an activity with The Very Hungry Caterpillar Augmented Reality (AR) app, where students count the types of food the caterpillar eats before turning into a butterfly. “Sometimes my classroom is quite noisy due to the level of student excitement,” Steber says. “To me, this truly shows their motivation for learning new things.” Some of her other favorite tools include Dash Robots, which enable students to work in pairs to solve challenges and puzzles while learning the Blockly coding language. Lego and Little Bits give students practice in following directions while making amazing creations. Makey Makey teaches circuitry and digital storytelling when paired with Sprites in the free Scratch app. Steber also uses websites that teach coding and digital citizenship, including code.org and Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship Curriculum. She says these are so important, because kids are fearless when it comes to the internet. “I believe that digital citizenship is the most important, yet most overlooked skill in edtech today,” she says. “Kids don’t get enough information early on about how to behave properly when you use the internet and social media. I’m hoping the earlier they get that information, the bigger impact it will have on their lives.” Steber says she hopes to write a grant in the future to incorporate more digital citizenship into her lessons. Steber was the winner of a MassCUE grant in 2018. With that funding, she created traveling bins of technology materials that targeted Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) standards. The bins were shared between the district’s five elementary schools. “This created a much more collaborative environment for our elementary technology staff and that collaboration has continued,” Steber says. “Receiving the MassCUE grant was the catalyst for our technology staff to begin cultivating equitable 21st century skills in our students across the Nauset District.” Steber also collaborates with her school’s classroom teachers to incorporate multimedia projects into lessons. She worked with librarians to create a Book Review Podcast project for fifth graders, where students learned about book reviews, then wrote and recorded their own reviews. “The podcasts were awesome because it was part of a literacy initiative for the whole school,” Steber says. “It was a lot of work, but it was so amazing for our fifth grade students to review their favorite library books and then share their reviews with our younger students using QR codes.” Her advice to other technology educators: be brave! It’s okay to jump into something new and learn right alongside your students. She says some of her best lessons have been when she is trying out new technology. “I tell the students that I’m not sure how something is going to work but that we’re going to try it out together and they can teach me what they learn,” she says. “They love that! Technology is so fast paced, we can’t possibly know everything, and that’s okay.” Dawn Steber is a K-5 Technology Educator at Orleans Elementary School on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Nauset Regional High School, Fitchburg State University, and Lesley University. She has been an Elementary Teacher in the Nauset District for 25 years. She enjoys working with classroom teachers to integrate technology and create deep learning opportunities using 21st century skills. She finds the most exciting thing about her job is that there is always something new for her to learn beside her students, since Computer Science is changing so rapidly. In addition to her career teaching children, she is also devoted to teaching technology workshops at a local Senior Center. In her free time she can be found spending time with her family, taking walks on the beach, or reading a good book. She looks forward to continuing to make an impact at Orleans Elementary School, leveraging digital tools and increasing technology access for staff, students and families. She considers it an honor to be chosen for this distinction. Bee-BotsBee-Bot with CoinsMakey Makey ControllerMakey MakeyDash RobotDash RobotCode.Org

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