Thursday, March 27, 2008

Adult Educators at CUE

Computer Using Educators (CUE) was founded in 1978 to support teachers in using technology effectively in the classroom. It has grown significantly over the years, and now has thousands of members, making it one of the largest organizations of its type in the country. Although membership is open to all educational professionals, the focus has been on K12.

CUE holds its annual conference every year in Palm Springs. Several years ago, there were only a small handful of adult educators attending the conference, even though it provides an excellent opportunity for educational technology people to network and to learn what’s new in the world of technology, but over the last few years this handful has grown to about 20. This year at CUE, Suzanne Ludlum of Oakland Adult School offered a 3-hour workshop on digital storytelling using Windows MovieMaker. Barry Bakin of LAUSD Division of Adult and Community Education presented on Internet Projects Students and Teachers Love. Elliot Jordan, formerly of Burbank Adult School, demonstrated to teachers the many possibilities of open source software. Susan Gaer, a Google-certified Educator and ESL Instructor at Santa Ana College Adult Education, partnered with Barry Bakin to show teachers how to adapt any lesson to include technology and the Internet. She also demonstrated her collaborative online student projects, and volunteered in the Second Life Sandbox, showing people how to use Second Life, a virtual environment. Branka Marceta and Penny Pearson interviewed some of the participating adult educators about their experiences at CUE.

Other hot topics at the conference included Open Source software, Moodle for hosting class Web sites, blogging (educators have their own category, “edublogger”), Google tools such as Google Earth, social networking. The conference also offers skill building classes on programs such as Flash, PhotoShop, and Excel. On Saturday, many student groups demonstrate their projects at the Student Technology Showcase. This would be an excellent opportunity for adult education students to showcase their work and get some recognition.

Adult education in California would never be able to host such a large and diverse technology conference, with over 200 vendors in the exhibit area, so it’s encouraging to see more adult educators participating in this conference and contributing their enthusiasm, experience and knowledge.


Barry Bakin said...

Would it be possible to use TeacherTube as the host for your videos since google video is blocked from many school districts?

Marian Thacher said...

Yes, we are thinking about which video posting service to use, and TeacherTube makes a lot of sense.