Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#WeirdEd Week 33- CUE Rockstar and Conferences

NOTE: Yes, I have presented at two CUE conferences and yes they have my proposals to present at more this summer. This chat is not an hour-long brown nose session so they love me and will let me come back*. I really do love the way Rockstar does things. Trust me, there are easier, less public ways to kiss up.

There are many education conferences out there. Most follow the same format- 60-90 minute sessions crammed  into one-to-three days. Teachers with long, complicated schedules trying to make it to which room at 9:00 and then what room at 10:35 and then that other room after lunch and pretty soon my brain is full and I can’t take one more sit-and-listen session no matter how brilliant the speaker is and I don’t know when I’ll ever be able to implement half of the things I’ve learned.

Here’s where CUE Rockstar comes in. Rockstar is one to three days, but the sessions are extended, normally running 2.5 hours. “Oh good,” you think. “Even MORE time to listen to someone’s face talk at me.” But that is where you are wrong, Mr and Mrs Person Teacher. The session rock star teaches for maybe an hour. MAYBE 90 minutes. Then the rest of the time is for you, the session attendee, to practice, create, and Do The Thing. In the case of one of my Rockstar sessions, I taught the group how to use YouTube’s internal editing program to create easy videos and how they could teach their students to use it too. And then every single person in my session made a YouTube video. With cuts. And edits. And music. And effects. And humor and personality and verve.

I teach you the Google-Fu!
That’s the beauty of CUE Rockstar. Long sessions allow presenters to get in with the attendees and get personal. Long lunches means we all see each other as teachers, not as The All Knowing Presenter and the lowly plebes.

The most fun part, though, happens in the morning.

Before any sessions start there are Shred Sessions. A Shred Session is simple- each presenter has one slide and one/two minutes (depending on which conference you’re at) to make his or her case about why you should come to the session he or she is putting on that day. Boring fails. Dry is unacceptable. I am the King of the Shred Session. In my first one I recited a poem I’d written which described my Using Drive to Unbury your desk. The second day I did no talking, my monster Courson did it all. And the third day, when I was presenting on using Google-Fu, I had a little help from a friend who overdubbed my Shred while I showed off my fauxrate. Shred sessions set the tone and let the conference know this is not your average day of learning.

Rockstar John Wick and I.
This week #WeirdEd is lucky enough to have CUE Rockstar founder Jon Corippo (@jcorippo) here to help us talk about what we really want out of conferences and to give us the run-down on what’s new with Rockstar this summer. #WeirdEdE brothers and sisters, I'm sorry Jon can't make both chats. But the questions are still co-written by him and are still excellent.

To submit to present or to register to attend please visit http://www.cuerockstar.org/

*though, I mean...if it helps…

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