Winter will suck. #CUErockstar Florida will not suck.

We are taking #CUErockstar back to the beach…but keeping it in the Eastern Time Zone. Rock Star Teacher Camp Melbourne, Florida will take place from January 17-19 at Stone Magnet Middle School just a few blocks from the Atlantic beaches.

I had a blast coordinating Rock Star Saugatuck last summer and am tickled to be the lead learner for this Southeastern version of the best professional development on the planet.

Two guys we are proud to announce as faculty for this extravaganza are Rushton Hurley and John Sowash. Both are immensely talented at working with small groups of learners and have literally traveled the world sharing their knowledge.

Rushton Hurley


John Sowash and Family

We are accepting applications for additional faculty through November 1 and encourage educators ready to take the next step in their career as a facilitator or presenter to the next level. Apply now.

Conference Format

All CUE Rock Star Teacher Camps are purposely designed, focused, small group everts that have three items in common:
Hands-On Learning Sessions 
All three days consist of two, two-hour sessions allowing attendees to “dig in deep” and really get to know their topic and build resources to use next year. Morning sessions are repeated in the afternoon so that attendees have two different opportunities to attend a workshop.
Small Presenter to Attendee Ratios
CUE Rock Star events are built so that there is one presenter for every ten attendees, and the events sell out at 60-70 attendees. This allows participants to get hands-on support and learn directly from knowledgeable educators.
Time for Collaboration and Networking
We purposely start late, end early, and take extended lunches so that all attendees have ample opportunities to collaborate and network as part of a learning community.

Daily Schedule:
9:00 Coffee – Pastries (provided)
9:30 Shred Sessions
10:00 Hands-on Session 1
12:00 Lunch (provided) / Networking
2:00 Hands-on Session 2 (complete with ice cream break)
4:00 Closing

My mantra for organizing and leading events like Rock Star Teacher Camp is simple: “Treat teachers like they have never been treated before.” Feedback from Saugatuck attendees was that we knocked that out of the park. I will personally guarantee that will happen for this one as well.

Winter will be here all too quickly and it is going to suck. Book your trip to escape it in Florida now…and experience amazing professional learning along the way.

Register now.

Best of MACUL presents #CueRockStar Saugatuck Updates

A lot of progress has been made on this summer’s CUE Rock Star Camp Saugatuck  since we first announced it back in February.

We have assembled an absolute All-Star faculty made up of several Apple Distinguished Educators, Google Certified Teachers, a recent tech director of the year, the current MACUL Tech Educator of the Year, and California’s “Oustanding Emerging Teacher” for 2014. Not only are these people “kind of a big deal” in the educational technology world, they were all hand selected because they possess the uncanny ability to work with teachers in a fun way.

We have also begun to solidify what will be offered each day. Check out our growing list of sessions to see the wide variety of offerings.

The Rock Star format is all about allowing attendees to build relationships and have tons of fun. Here is our daily schedule.

Daily Schedule:
9:00      Coffee
9:30      Shred Sessions – Presenters hype their daily sessions
10:00    Session 1 – Hands on learning
12:00    Lunch/Networking
2:00      Session 2 (with ice cream break) – Hands on learning
4:00      Closing

Optional “After party” – Cut loose with your fellow Rock Stars for a couple of evening excursions to the Saugatuck Dune Rides and Fenn Valley Winery.

Camp will be held on July 23-25th at Douglas Elementary and Hamilton High School.

So…I am hoping lots of our local educators will take advantage of this professional learning opportunity. Register today at

#MACUL14 Lightining Talk: 15 seconds with 15 great Michigan Educators

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 2.12.35 PMToday I had the honor to present a Lightning Talk at Michigan’s MACUL Conference. The concept is to tell a story in twenty slides in five minutes. Quick math reveals that each slide only lasts on the screen for fifteen seconds.

I chose to take my five minutes and salute fifteen amazing Michigan educators whose contribution to my personal learning network have allowed me to learn all that I have and keep me going in my daily teaching life. It was a live version of the Twitter #FollowFriday hashtag.

Here they are. I could easily produce a list of fifteen more over and over again. I learn from hundreds of great people constantly.


Ben Rimes: @techsavvyed
Kristi Zoerhof: @kristizoerhof
Brad Wilson: @dreambition
Rebecca Wildman: @rebeccawildman
Brad Waid: @techbradwaid
Drew Minock: @techminock
John Sowash: @jrsowash
Karen Bosch: @karlyb
Mark Behnke: @mbanksvid
Amber Kowatch: @amberkowatch
Tony Dilaura: @anthonydilaura
David Prindlw: @dprindle
Kelly Kermode: @coachk
Dave Tebo: @tebotweets
Dan Spencer: @runfardvs

There are so many more and I will salute them periodically throughout the months to come. Thanks to all of these great people.


Life is Too Short for $#%++% Professional Development

Life is too short for crappy professional development and on Saturday February 8, several of us at the inaugural Nova Now Conference had a great conversation about where professional development in education often comes up short.

This wasn’t just a gripe session but one where we discussed what works well in professional development and what we as teacher-leaders can do to help foster better learning experiences for all of our colleagues in association with our admin teams.

The following slides were the collaborative effort and summary of our conversation.

Five great Pinterest boards from five Hamilton educators

Since its inception, Fridays on Twitter have been full of tweets encouraging the following of others. Today, we’ll take #FollowFriday over to Pinterest as I share five great pinners who I get to work with each week here in Hamilton, Michigan.

Jill Sloothaak, Kindergarten – Literature Extensions Sloothaak

On this board Jill is collecting all kinds of activities to use with the books she and her kids are reading in her class. Some of my favorites are for the books featuring Pete the Cat.

Brooke Vruggink, First Grade – Math

VrugginkBrooke has close to 100 great ideas for making math come alive for her first graders. I love spending time in her and teaching partner Megan Reilly’s classrooms. The creativity they bring to teaching and the accountable talk they teach their students to use really build dynamic environments.

Kristi Zoerhof, First Grade – School Treasures

ZoerhofThis board really lives up to its name as it pushes nearer and nearer to 2100 pins. Kristi is a pretty amazing educator and was my partner on the Sony Xperia Case study I featured last Spring. Her stuff on Pinterest is great and so are the resources she shares via @KristiZoerhof. She also tweets with her kids at @MrsZFabFirsties.

Teisha Struik-Kothe, K-5 Principal – School Ideas


Here is one for the administrators, especially the elementary ones. Teisha brings a special flair to Blue Star and always has resources at her fingertips to share with the staff. If you are interested in developing academic vocabulary Teisha has lots of knowledge and her board features great activities.

Jodi Hansen, Fourth Grade – School

If you are an upper elementary teacher and need new ideas for language arts, this board has you covered with all kinds great techniques. Some of the neatest things I have found  that Jodi has pinned involves communicating with parents. She does a great job building that school-to-home connection.

I am a pretty lucky educator to work with these five people 2 1/2 days a week at two different schools. There are a lot of other great educators in Hamilton. These are just a handful.


Mobile Reach #55: Summer Acronym Summary ~ ADE, DEN, GCT, and More

Last week I had the chance to join the hosts of the Mobile Reach Show and talk about the various professional learning organization that fuel our teaching.

Hosting the show are Jennie Magiera, Sue Gorman, and Dave Freeburg who I first met face-to-face in 2011 at the Apple Distinguished Educator institute. We were joined by Josh Mika and Scott Meech who both became ADE’s with us that summer.  Scott and I first met in 2008 as we became Google Certified Teachers together at the Google Teacher Academy in Chicago.

Prior to the show I had just returned from my week at the Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute and shared how that experience compared to the acronym opportunities other teachers are attending this summer.

Head on over to the Mobile Reach homepage to either listen or watch this episode.