CUE experienced more than 200K views for Spring CUE sessions and BOLD is CUE’s next answer to the COVID-19 educational crisis. BOLD – set to take the stage May 18th through May 23rd – will follow much the same format that Virtual CUE did this spring. 

This year’s virtual BOLD Symposium will take teachers, administrators, and district leaders on a deep dive into the world of blended and online lesson design. Set to take the (virtual) stage as this year’s Featured Speakers are Dr. Robert Dillon and Lisa Highfill. Dr. Dillon, a long time educator and author, is known for his work in instructional design, technology infusion, and learning space design. Highfill, co-creator of HyperDocs and Google Certified Innovator, actively shares her ideas to improve the way students – and educators – experience learning. Joining Dr. Dillon and Highfill are 18 other educators who are ready to go bold and help you up the ante on your blended and online learning game.

Kim Voge, BOLD’s new director, first got involved with CUE because of a shared interest: love of learning and education. “CUE is all about the people and our common mission in education,” she states. “They truly are working for the greater good.”

Although a virtual conference was not originally what Voge had in mind when she started mapping the conference out with CUE staff, she quickly pivoted to embrace the challenge of planning and executing a conference during the COVID-19 crisis. “Pretty much everyone is a Blended Online teacher at this point. We need to provide meaningful, pedagogically sound opportunities for students. Attendees will have multiple opportunities to engage with presenters that will be helping them deepen their understanding of pedagogy and the Madeline Hunter lesson model. They will leave with practical lessons to implement in their own rooms. And, they will grow their PLN, which is vital!”

This event will challenge all educators to meet and lead their students in the 21st century with a focus on the symbiotic relationship of learning environment design, digital learning systems, and rethinking traditional lesson design as the essential components to launching a personalized 1:1 learning environment.

Teresa Ozoa, a high school English teacher from Irvine Unified School District and CUE Lead Learner, will be one of the presenters at this year’s BOLD Symposium. Ozoa states, “BOLD is both practical and pedagogical. Participants will learn both the HOW and the WHY in each presentation from a diverse and talented group of passionate educators. They will be welcomed into a community of energetic educators, eager to share and collaborate. Now more than ever educators must demonstrate instructional agility. BOLD and the CUE community will add to any educator’s toolbox for tackling the challenging times ahead.

Valerie Sun, Interim Director of Alliance Française de Pasadena and three-time BOLD presenter, hopes participants will walk away from BOLD empowered and ready to try blended learning with the help of CUE. “This isn’t the typical conference – this is like going on a camping trip where you overpack to be prepared for all situations,” Sun states. “BOLD backpacks are stuffed to the brim so that the attendees will have options for every step of their journey in blended and online lesson designs.”

Jennifer Dean, a first grade teacher from Desert Sands Unified School District and Coachella CUE Board Member, will be presenting at BOLD for the first time and is targeting K-2 teachers for her sessions. Dean is excited for her first experience as a BOLD newcomer and looks forward to other teachers joining her. “It isn’t just a time to learn a new tech tool, but a way to really transform their teaching and student engagement,” she states. “I hope my participants leave ready to design their own lessons. I hope they see that this is something that changes the way we teach and students learn and feel confident to implement it into their own classrooms/district.”

Ben Cogswell is no amateur to teaching boldly in his kindergarten classroom. Cogswell has been a regular sharer of ideas and resources since before the on-set of COVID-19 and looks forward to presenting at his fourth BOLD Symposium. Cogwell, who teaches in Alisal Union School District, refers to BOLD as “the best conference EVER!!” (yes, with capitals and double exclamation points) and encourages educators to attend who want a more intimate conference feel than the larger CUE events. “I think any one who is looking how to step up their teaching game, and really reflect on thoughtful implementations of technology [should be attending],” he states.

BOLD isn’t just for elementary school teachers, though. It’s for any educator hoping to revolutionize their teaching practice – and to validate good pedagogy and sound EdTech practices. Steven McGriff, Instructional Designer and Founder of DivergentED Consultants, has presented at the BOLD Symposium for the last two years and returns this May for a session on Eduprotocols. McGriff notes BOLD’s attraction for educators. “The power of short sessions on lesson design is like a rock anthem for an instructional designer. The intensity of the lesson design experience is matched by the intensity needed for presenting in 30 minutes. The sessions are high energy, focused, and finished in a short time. Participants walk away with a lesson, coaching, and [an] example they can use right away.” Why is this so important now? McGriff states, “In the absence of teachers’ physical presence for guiding instruction, they need great virtual presence in the way they design and chunk their lessons for their students. BOLD is a chance to learn from the best educators doing EdTech with sound pedagogy and student-centered practice.”

Last year’s BOLD Symposium at Sage Creek High School. Photo credit: Jonathan Nalder

Voge hopes that educators will take advantage of this new opportunity and platform for the BOLD Sympositum. “I hope that we can help teachers embrace blended-online experiences,” she states. “Everything is chaotic right now for many people. I truly hope we can meet people where they are and help them as we shift into and through this unexpected model.”

Registration is $49 for the 5-day event, set for May 18th through May 23rd; attendees will have access to all live and recorded sessions. To register, click here.

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.