If you enter a classroom today, chances are you will see students using much more than pencil and paper. Technology is being used in classrooms at an ever-increasing rate.

Unfortunately, not all teachers have been trained to keep up with the growing demands to use technology in the classroom. Many studies report that teachers have a strong desire to utilize technology, but lack the necessary training. Events like the recently held EdCamp Coachella 2018 helps to provide training in a way that teachers find appealing and valuable.

On Sept. 22, approximately 80 educators attended a full day of EdTech training hosted by Cahuilla CUE and the Desert Sands Unified School District at Desert Ridge Academy.  Attendees came from multiple districts including: Desert Sands Unified, Coachella Valley Unified, Palm Springs Unified, Beaumont Unified, Temecula Preparatory, Romoland Unified, and Calexico Unified. Participants were primarily classroom teachers, however, several administrators and district technology teachers on special assignment joined in on the day of learning.

The event was hosted in EdCamp style; meaning that there were no preassigned presenters.  Learning ideas are generated upon arrival and then participants break up into collaborative learning groups to share knowledge and skills with each other. Learning to use technology can be intimidating for some adults.Educators sometimes feel that learning from their peers in a collaborative setting, like an EdCamp, is less intimidating than a formal training environment.

Technology a Staple of Today's ClassroomDuring this EdCamp, attendees participated in learning lead by teachers covering multiple topics such as Best Digital Tools, Seesaw, Augmented Reality, Hyperdocs, Digital Interactive Notebooks, G-Suite, EdPuzzle, and Stem/Robotics. Topics such as these help teachers to learn how to use the power of technology to achieve educational outcomes. Teachers also learn how to integrate technology into the lesson design in a way that improves student achievement.

Cahuilla CUE was founded in 1989 as an organization under the umbrella of Computer Using Educators (CUE). The goal of Cahuilla CUE has always been, and continues to be, to provide quality professional learning opportunities to Coachella Valley educators in the area of educational technology. As technology continuously changes, it is important that teachers in the Coachella Valley have the support necessary to adequately prepare students for this ever-changing technological landscape. Events like this one ensure that teachers have multiple opportunities to receive training.

The next Cahuilla CUE event, Tech Fest, will be held on Feb. 2, 2019.


Editor’s Note: Jennifer Dean, classroom teacher at Earhart Elementary and Communications Specialist and Events Committee Co-Chair for Cahuilla Computer Using Educators Inc.also contributed to this report.