Tustin Unified School District and foundation to host educational technology conference

The Tustin Unified School District and the Tustin Public Schools Foundation are jointly hosting their second “Connect Institute,” a technology and learning conference, from Feb. 24 through Feb. 26.

Connect Institute #1 - March 2015More than 160 educational leaders representing 20-plus school districts throughout Southern California have registered for the three-day conference, which will be held at the Irvine Marriott. Attendees will explore connected teaching and learning, effective classroom technologies, leadership strategies and more.

This year’s keynote speakers will be Tustin Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin and John Couch, vice president of education for Apple. Couch is also a computer scientist and advocate for technology in education.

Picture1Board members, superintendents, principals, district administrators, IT directors and teacher leaders will get a chance to participate in strategic team planning sessions and workshops on a variety of topics, including educational technology in the classroom, essential tools for secondary math, establishing student-run technology help centers, developing student leaders to support robotics programs, building college and career-ready pathways, innovative online professional development, creating educational cafes in the classroom and utilizing Google Classroom at the secondary level.

Participants will also visit three schools – Barbara Benson Elementary School, C.E. Utt Middle School and Beckman High School – to see how teachers and students are using technology in the 21st-century classroom, and they’ll have an opportunity to tour the district’s Technology Operations Center at Beckman.

For more information about Connect Institute, contact Tustin Unified’s Communications Office at 714-730-7339.

OC educators will be able to remotely attend this year’s CUE educational technology conference

This coming March, scores of tech-minded teachers and administrators will once again descend upon Palm Springs for the annual CUE National Conference, featuring the latest educational technology innovations.

CUEBut what about those who can’t make it out to Palm Springs? Well, now there’s a way to participate remotely from Orange County. (Because technology!)

“CUE Connect” will enable registered educators to watch all three keynote speeches at the March 17-19 event and virtually engage in the breakout sessions from a conference center at the Orange County Department of Education, located at 200 Kalmus Drive in Costa Mesa. This is a first for CUE, which says it intends to explore other venue options in future years.

Founded in 1978, CUE works to advance student achievement by offering insight and training on the latest educational technologies. More than 6,000 teachers and administrators annually attend CUE’s signature conference, billed as the largest and oldest education technology gathering in California. It’s also among the largest in the U.S.

This year’s CUE National Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 17; 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 18; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. The CUE Connect registration fee is $149 for all three days.

For more information, or to register, go here.

Five O.C. teams selected to showcase technology projects at the CUE 2015 Annual Conference

Congratulations are in order for the talented young scientists, inventors and engineers selected to take part in the Student Technology Showcase at the CUE 2015 Annual Conference, which is the largest and oldest education technology conference in the state.

This year’s showcase will again feature the best curriculum-aligned student technology projects from across California. Here are the representative Orange County teams:

McPherson Magnet, Orange Unified School District

University of California, Davis C-STEM Program

McPherson Magnet C-STEMSeventh- and eighth-grade students from McPherson will display their robotics project, which is part of the C-STEM program created by the University of California, Davis. Using computer-aided drafting software and a 3-D printer, they designed and manufactured their own robot parts. In addition, they learned C++ — that’s the computer language used to program each modular robot – and applied algebraic thinking to solve and plot out complex robotic interactions.

Tustin High School, Tustin Unified School District      Tustin High Locking Skateboard Rack

Locking Skateboard Rack

Students from the Tustin High team aimed to find a way to develop affordable racks to secure skateboards at school. They designed a locking skateboard rack using SolidWorks 3D CAD software and built a prototype using a 3-D printer. Pre-production units were manufactured in their engineering shop. The plan is to install the units around the high school campus.

Brea Olinda High School, Brea Olinda Unified School District

Brea Olinda High Ninja Cyber Safety AcademyNinja Cyber Safety Academy

Students from Brea Olinda High researched current social issues that affect today’s youth. Addressing one of those issues, online safety, they created lessons designed for younger students to warn and inform of the hazards associated with social media. The lessons, created in an informational website, also included a post-quiz on specific topics.

Imperial Middle School, La Habra City School DistrictImperial Middle What's on Your Bathroom Shelf

What’s on Your Bathroom Shelf?

Eighth-grade students from Imperial Middle School created their own cosmetic product by expanding their knowledge of chemistry, including acids and bases. Working with industry professionals on formulations, they researched and created a natural and organic product. The young scientists then used technology to develop a commercial supporting the properties of their new cosmetic and developed a marketing and advertising campaign using social media. The project was featured in this video posted on the OCDE Newsroom in January.

Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary School, Magnolia School District

Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary FIRST Lego League Robotics ProgramFIRST Lego League Robotics Program

FIRST Lego League is a robotics program that introduces fourth- through eighth-grade students to engineering by having them build LEGO robots to complete tasks on a thematic play surface. Students at Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary have taken a primary role in the creation of the robotics team at their school. They built an official playing field and Lego models, programmed a robot to perform a number of tasks and prepared a research project.

The Student Technology Showcase is open to the community at no charge. If you’re in the area, you can view projects from 10:15 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 21 in the lobby of the Palm Springs Convention Center at 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs.

For more information on CUE and the annual conference, click here.