Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Great Reasons to Attend the CUE Conference This Year

I have a special appreciation for the annual CUE conference, held each year in Palm Springs, this year March 4 - 6.  And no, it's not the unpredictable weather of Palm Springs at that time of year (did anyone else get caught in that blizzard a couple of years ago!?).  It's that the organizers of CUE have been foremost in supporting innovative projects that have really benefited the educational community.  

CUE was home to the first ever EduBloggerCon.  CUE let us set up the first Open Source Pavilion at an ed tech show, and let us run the first official Open Source speaker track.  CUE provides a Bloggers' Cafe are for social media folks to gather, network, and hook up to the Net.  CUE supported the first Ning community at a major ed tech show.  Their support--and continuation--of these grass-roots initiatives each year has been groundbreaking, and has spread to several other conferences around the country.  And his year is no different:  CUE is letting us run "CUE Unplugged," a wonderful opportunity to participate at CUE that's described in more detail below.

Details on the fun at CUE are below.  Thanks to Mike, Marisol, and the crew at CUE!

EduBloggerCon West (Wednesday, March 3rd, 1;00 - 5:00pm):  
The first ever EduBloggerCon took place at the Shakey's Pizza Parlor during CUE four years ago, and there were just two of us there (big shout out to Barbara Barreda)!  Now a regular event at several conferences each year, EduBloggerCon is an opportunity for those who are interested in the use of social media in education to gather in "unconference" style and share and learn.  You don't have to be a blogger to come, and EduBloggerCon is always free!  CUE provides us with the meeting space and free power and wireless--so bring your laptop, your desire to learn, and join us from from 1:00 - 5:00pm at the Palm Springs Convention Center in the Mesquite F room.  You can register for EduBloggerCon West at http://www.cue2010.org/.  Suggestions for discussion topics can be added at http://www.edubloggercon.com/cue2010.

CUE Unplugged (Thursday and Friday, March 4th and 5th):
If you've ever wanted to speak at CUE or a conference, but have never had the chance, now is your time!  CUE Unplugged is a series of concurrent sessions being held at CUE in a presentation area where anyone can sign up to present.  Really!  Maybe you've been trying to work up the courage to present, and just need this encouragement.  Or maybe you are an expert presenter, but a topic you wanted to speak on came up after the deadline to submit to speak.  In either case, or for any other reason, all you have to do to speak at CUE this year is to sign up on the wiki in free slot:  http://www.cueunplugged.com/.  If you need any help signing up, just email me (steve@hargadon.com) and we'll get you going.  

All of the Unplugged sessions will also be streamed live through Elluminate, so if you can't attend CUE physically you can still watch some of the activity remotely!  I'm also looking for some volunteers to help attend to the Elluminate streaming--no prior experience necessary.  Alice Mercer is helping to coordinate this effort, so if you think you might be able to help, let me or Alice know!

The Open Source Pavilion and Speaker Series:
Not only does CUE let us set up dozens of computers using Linux and Open Source Software in a lab setting so that you can see what Open Source is and how it works, they also run a speaker series on Open Source that has become the standard for educational ed tech shows.  Look for the lab at the conference (it's hard to miss us because the lab becomes the conference evaluation station!), and consider coming to some of our sessions!

The Bloggers' Cafe:
Look for the Bloggers' Cafe at CUE--a great place to socialize, grab some network access, and relax with others.  You don't have to be a blogger here either, but it's a fun place to put faces to the names of your blogging, tweeting, SL, or other online friends! 

So, I'm not officially in charge of Twitter activities or tweeting or "tweet-ups" at CUE, but CUE has a page with Twitter feeds at http://www.cue.org/conference/featuredstrands and the general "hashtag" for CUE is #cue10.  I'm sure there will be lots of Twitter love at the conference... :)

Here's hoping to see you at CUE!