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Highly Recommended: 15 Must-Hear Speakers at Spring CUE 2020 in March

From March 19-21, 2020, more than 5,000 education-minded and edtech loving professionals will convene in Palm Springs, California to learn and share their institutional knowledge. There will be more than 450 sessions and several 90-minute workshops at Spring CUE 2020 to help educators bring technology to the classroom. 

There are some outstanding speakers this year, from the featured keynote presenters to speakers leading various discussions and seminars. Here is our must-see list for you to plan your schedule around. 

Meet the Featured Speakers

The conference planners at CUE have outdone themselves with this year’s lineup of featured speakers. These presenters are traveling from as far as Texas, Canada, and Australia and have become pioneers and thought leaders in how they connect with students. Make sure you get a good seat for their presentations and come ready with questions to ask them. 

  • Sylvia Duckworth has more than 32 years of experience and hails from Toronto, Canada. She is actually leading two sessions at CUE on sketchnoting. This is a great way to help students learn with visual cues and to bring artistic elements into your lessons. Duckworth is an author of several books on sketchnoting and is an Apple Distinguished Educator.  
  • Claudio Zavala, Jr. is based in Fort Worth, Texas. He looks for new and engaging ways to bring creativity to the classroom. Zavala uses his experience in music, photography, and cinematography to engage his students and help them better understand complicated material. Learn how he uses storytelling in the classroom and how you can apply his teaching methods.    
  • Nicholas Provenzano recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his Twitter persona, The Nerdy Teacher. He is the Makerspace Director at University Liggett School in Michigan. This session will be particularly important for STEAM educators, as Provenzano will be discussing the value of project-based learning and makerspaces to support student agency.    
  • Rachelle Dene Poth is a Spanish and “STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology” teacher. She is a noted author and an incredibly hard worker and advocate for her students. In 2018, she received the ISTE Gold Award for having done more than 500 hours of volunteer service in education. She is visiting from Oakmont, Pennsylvania. 
  • Brett Salakas is the founder of #aussieED (the largest online network of teachers in Australia) and has 20 years of experience teaching in South East Asia and Australia. He is leading a session called “The Meta of Greta,” and will encourage teachers to consider which pedagogical practices can help students become leaders and follow their passions like Greta Thunberg.

Each of these speakers brings a unique way of teaching to the classroom. From engaging students in nerdy ideas to using creativity and storytelling, they create lessons that help students fall in love with learning and seek out the material they need to know.

Our Top 10 Notable STEAM-Focused Presenters

The featured speakers are just the starting point for getting the most out of Spring CUE 2020. There are hundreds of presenters from the west coast and across the United States. We combed through the list and found notable names we are looking forward to hearing. Their backgrounds, interests, and speaker topics are incredibly varied, but all have a core interest in STEAM concepts and improving education through technology. 

Andrew Arevalo

Andrew Arevalo is better known for his persona Gameboydrew. He is a fourth-grade GATE teacher and district Esports director in Southern California. Notably, Arevalo was the 2019 CUE Emerging Teacher of the Year. At CUE 2020, he will talk about his passion for blended learning and bringing play into the classroom. You can ask him how his students designed a learning game to improve their motivation and reasoning skills. Check out his blog to get an idea for his personality and make sure you catch him at CUE.

Mariana Garcia-Serrato

Mariana Garcia-Serrato is the blogger behind the site Teaching Above the Test, which discusses gamification, project-based learning, and genius hour. Garcia-Serrato is a firm believer in science education. She sees how it provides a strong foundation for students to develop future-ready skills that they can apply to any classroom in college and beyond.

Whitney Roth

Follow Whitney Roth on Twitter (@JustKeepSTEMing) for an idea of the engaging lessons she creates for her students. Her feed is full of bright pictures and excited students who are eager to learn something new. Roth is a Pennsylvania native who now works for the San Gabriel Unified School District near Los Angeles. In her current role as the TK-5th Grade STEM Teacher at McKinley Elementary School, Roth explores all kinds of robotics, coding, and 3D printing activities with her students.

David Platt

David Platt is a technology trainer at Covina High School in California. He has been part of the district for 16 years, where he has worked to integrate technology into the learning experience through multiple roles. You can learn more about Platt through his website, Organitech, where he explores the future of edtech as something that happens organically when people are creative, innovative, and driven. Platt is an experienced session leader, making his presentations engaging and memorable for those who attend.    

Judy Nguyen

Judy Nguyen is a teaching and learning consultant in Anaheim, California with more than 15 years of teaching experience. In her previous position, Nguyen helped Rosary High School adopt a 1:1 laptop program and worked with teachers to develop flipped and blended classrooms. Today, she helps teachers experiment with tech and guides them through lessons that incorporate 3D building and virtual/augmented reality.   

Katie McNamara

Katie McNamara brings her love of technology to the library. She is an AR/VR enthusiast who engages students in various projects to deepen their understanding of technology and how it can be used to make learning fun. McNamara is a Global Maker Day organizer and a Mackin Transform Your School Library Advocate. Bring questions about the role of libraries in tech-based learning. 

Shannon Tabaldo

Shannon Tabaldo is one-third of the bi-weekly podcast team behind My Tech Toolbelt, which works to recognize great teachers and the work they are doing with technology. Tabaldo is currently a professor at Loyola Marymount University and has more than 20 years of classroom technology experience in the junior high classroom. Follow her on Twitter to keep up with the latest ideas in edtech.

Darren Alcala

Darren Alcala is the District Technology Coach for the Cucamonga School District in California. In his role, Alcala coaches teachers on how to use technology and related skills in the classroom. Specifically, Alcala started the district’s Family Coding Night, which brings together students and parents to better understand the tech used in today’s schools. He also started the District Student Media Festival. Alcala is a returning presenter to Spring CUE so you can expect him to hone and improve his ideas for this year. 

Carrie Willis

We love finding Ozobot Certified Educators at conferences! Carrie Willis leads presentations on bringing robotics and creative coding to the classroom. Her Twitter feed is packed with photos of her latest projects and seminars. Willis is currently the STEAM coordinator at Valley Preparatory School in Redlands, California and has 18 years of teaching experience. Most recently, she was responsible for the design and implementation of her school’s STEAM lab addition.

Jesus Huerta

Jesus Huerta’s website has one clear graphic: Why I Teach. In every lesson, he puts together a big picture idea students can take with them beyond the classroom. For example, he currently has a blog post up about 3D printing and empathy. Students start by printing various trinkets and toys, but then move on to learn important, practical uses for the tool, like printing prosthetic limbs. Huerta believes in making technology accessible to all students. Listen to his ideas for blending technology with the classroom.

If you’re planning to attend Spring CUE 2020, find Ozobot among your other favorite STEAM vendors. We’d love to hear about the work you do and the creative ways you teach with Evo and Bit. See you there!

Images by: rawpixel/©, Jozef Polc/©, rocheartist

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