This year’s BOLD Symposium was kicked off on Monday, May 18th by CUE’s Chief Learning Officer Jon Corippo and Hyperdocs co-founder Lisa Highfill. BOLD – which had to have registration capped at 1,500 participants – has brought educators from across the United States together for another virtual conference on the specifics of lesson design, thanks to Madeline Hunter’s seven element lesson design. Corippo states, “We were only hoping for 700-800 people and there was a huge surge of sign-ups over the last weekend. We decided [on capping] attendance so that we could keep the sessions from being overfull and allow the most possible interaction with our speakers.”

The conference boasted sessions centered around Hunter’s now infamous lesson design template and focused on the creation of conditions ideal for blended learning. Corippo states, “The goal of CUE BOLD is to really bring a sense of lesson design to teachers who have maybe been too focused on apps and tools, using the classic Madeline Hunter framework of design for all of our sessions so that attendees can easily move from one session to the other and understand how the seven elements are being used.”

BOLD provided a fresh take on the traditional conference by providing shorter sessions through their Lesson Builder’s Fair (LBF). The LBF provided lessons that follow Hunter’s original lesson design template – taught by a diverse group of talented educators – focused on topics prominent to the blended learning sphere and included project-based learning (PBL), universal design for learning (UDL), and 1:1 device implementation.

BOLD veteran Melissa Hero presented “Phenomenal Science: Now in 3D!” where she took participants through a Hunter-inspired lesson design with a NGSS twist. Whether new to NGSS or an experienced implementer, Hero’s session offered thoughtful ideas on how to incorporate the science and engineering practices seamlessly into the Hunter design plan. Hero also provided relevant and meaningful ways to assess learning throughout her presentation and introduced attendees to other platforms that she’s used in her own high school science classroom. Melissa’s resources can be found here.

As a creative mind and Bitmoji supporter, I also appreciated the guys from #MidnightPedagogy bringing in the fun with their “Bitmoji Monday: I Like Bitmoji Backgrounds and I Cannot Lie” mini-session. I first learned about this cool creation activity through a Youtube video which featured a tutorial from super-sharer Amanda SandovalEd Campos Jr. and Paul Gordon took session attendees through a fast-paced introduction on how to create your own animated Bitmoji Google Classroom GIF. Check out their resources here.

As a self-proclaimed #K2CanToo fan and advocate, I wanted to make sure to take in kindergarten teacher Ben Cogwell‘s session on “Blending for Littles.” Cogswell kept it real – even admitting he was filming his session from his master bathroom – and introduced session attendees on how to blend digital instruction using both analog and digital tools. During the Q&A portion of the session, Ben fielded questions about how to incorporate technology into the K-2 classroom for the tech-reluctant. “[When creating Youtube videos] I try to harness my inner Dora the Explorer. Dora made it an interactive conversation. Be like Dora,” Cogswell stated. “Remember when you’re doing that video, you’re talking to somebody – and anybody can do that, everybody can do a Youtube video. We have to get over seeing ourselves and that’s the hardest part. But that’s what’s important for kids – to see you.” For Ben’s session resources, check here.

Cogswell discussed blending both analog and digital tools to benefit even our youngest learners.

As a special education teacher, universal design for learning (UDL) holds a special place in my teacher heart. When I saw that my friend Sonal Patel was hosting a session on UDL, it was immediately marked on my schedule. The Inland Area CUE President and Digital Learning and Innovation Coordinator for San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools introduced attendees to UDL while seamlessly blending appropriate EdTech tool recommendations that supported the various learner types according to CAST’s guidelines for implementation. Patel’s session resources can be found here

Patel asked for some self-reflection during her presentation – here’s mine!

I also watched Edward Gonzalez, third grade teacher and CSU Bakersfield adjunct faculty member, talk about student leadership and agency in his presentation titled “Student Leadership Edition.” Gonzalez uses students’ familiarity with pop culture and current trends and ties it in seamlessly into his instruction in the classroom. “These kids literally Madeline Hunter’ed me!” Gonzalez shares as he talks about how he and his students use “unboxing” videos with writing prompts. Gonzalez uses students’ interest in online platforms and games – such as Roblox – and ties it into graphic organizers and writing pieces for the classroom. Gonzalez’s resources can be found here.

Corippo is proud of the results of this year’s conference. “CUE BOLD this year brought lesson design, artfully combined with technology in a blended learning model to a worldwide audience that was nearly double the size of Fall CUE 2019 and four times larger than CUE BOLD 2019, for perspective,” he states. “Over 34,000 minutes were logged inside of the CUE app for BOLD and we added 500 new followers on Facebook this week alone so we feel like CUE is really getting the word out and teachers are responding.”

If you weren’t able to attend, no worries! All session resources can be found on this document here.

Make sure to check out CUE and Microsoft’s new partnership – the Global EdTech Academy – for more professional learning opportunities available to educators this summer!

About Kristin Oropeza
Kristin is a full-time special education teacher, contract consultant, and educational content writer. She is a Google Certified Teacher (Level 1 and 2), Google Certified Trainer, and MIE Expert for 2020-2021.

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