Report from CUE 2013: Inspiring Your Staff With Technology

The CUE conference has begun in Palm Springs, CA, with over 3900 in attendance. It's always great to be at a local (for me) conference getting energized, inspired, and rejuvenated with CA teachers, library specialists, administrators, and more!

On Thursday, I decided to start my CUE experience with Rushton Hurley of I arrived 20 minutes before the session and it was already packed -- and by the time it began, it was standing room only.

Rushton is one of the most personable speakers you will hear, with a quick wit, wry humor, and always- inspiring message. This session was called "Inspiring Your Staff With Technology." He began by inviting the audience to join in singing with him an old TV favorite, goes something like this: Come and listen to the story of a man named Jed... and with that, pretty much the entire audience was singing along.

As the audience laughed aloud, he swooped in with the "aha" moment. He compared the Clampetts -- happy and content at home, suddenly uprooted by circumstances to a totally new environment, yet remaining the same people, to the staff we work with each day.

The room went silent - and heads began to nod.

Rushton then shared some key ideas for educators to keep in mind as they deal with the many demands and joys of their profession. First, this is a wonderful time to be a teacher. Second, improvement means change. Really. Third, fear has a purpose, so respect it—and try to understand it. Fourth, learn to ask the right questions for the situation. And finally, always remember to take inspiration from those whose work you admire—and, in turn, aim to be a source of inspiration for others.

Great way to start CUE 2013.

Jennifer Wagner, creator of ProjectsByJen, has been helping teachers since 1999 to use online projects in their PreK-6 classrooms. Read more at