CADA Conference 2013

•February 19, 2013 • 1 Comment

As we near our state convention, I wanted to take some time to share with you some insider tips and information that will help make your experience amazing.  For new attendees this is priceless, for veterans, I might even hit on something you forgot from last year (or already know), and for old timers – you will most likely see me at your workshops.

1. Create a checklist, this will ensure you get everything you need for your lesson plans at school as well as in your bag for San Diego.

2. The CADA program is online now with most of the programs and workshops listed.  I wouldn’t print it out (it’s over 50 pages long), but this will give you an idea of the types of workshops you will want/need to see as well as the keynote speakers. Feel hardcore, check out the CADA Convention App. Create an account, choose your schedule, link up with Facebook. It’s the program you keep on your smartphone.

3. Bring a bag with some space. You will receive many items from the vendors: t-shirts, pencils, notepads, candy and possibly one of the many raffle prizes that the vendors will be awarding.  These make great items to give to your kids or staff members when you return.

4. If you don’t have business cards, bring something with your name on it, like labels.  This is much easier than filling out raffle tickets or information sheets over and over again. Many vendors use an scanner called “Lead Finder.” They scan your badge and get your info right away.

5.  Check the weather, highs in the low 60’s and lows in the low 50’s.  While we are inside during the day, for some of the networking events and in between workshops you may be outside.

7. Bring a computer, netbook or iPad if you have one.  You will have access to the web 24/7.  We want you to interact with technology and create items at the workshops so you can go back to school and use them to access documents and resources presenters have put online.

8. Create a twitter account. We will posting updates and holding conversations on Twitter throughout convention. Our hash-tag will be #cada2013 (if you don’t know what that means, check out the workshop on Twitter, if you do know what that means, start following!) That being said, check out our Facebook page for pictures and posts about the days events.

9. Create a Google account/email address.  We will be spending a lot of time using free Google software and planning lessons right in the workshops.  Having the account started and ready to access will be a huge step in the right direction for you.

10. Download the CADA iPhone app.  If you have an iPhone, this app is for you as it has our Twitter feed; and it will give you access to our podcasts, blog, YouTube channel, as well as a multitude of leadership and technology links online. This is different than the conference app listed above.

This list is only a start, though this should give you a great insight into what to expect a week from Wednesday.  If nothing else, bring an open mind and a courageous spirit as you are about to be surrounded by over 1200 of the most inspirational and energetic educators, administrators, and businesses in the United States.  If there is any proof that learning is fun, it’s the CADA state convention, see you in San Diego.

Also, if we missed anything you think is important, feel free to add it in the comments below.

Video You Can Use: Let X = Student Activities

•March 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This weeks submission comes from the Alliance for Student Activities. Everyone of us has a story to share about teaching and a student we have impacted or possibly a student that has impacted how we teach. However, that does not lead to much action in this test driven age. For me, I get the, “That’s a great story, but we still have make sure kids can pass the test.” That’s one of the problems, because many kids pass the test because of their relationship with a caring adult on your campus. Once we make the connection that personal goals are academic goals then we can start to see that our student’s success is directly connect to the connections they have to our campus.  Continue reading ‘Video You Can Use: Let X = Student Activities’

Peace, Love, CADA 2012

•February 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment


With just a few days to go, and as I prepare to descend upon Reno, it is time to share a few thoughts and give some insight to this year’s convention. To say the least, we are excited and ready to put on another great leadership conference.

First and foremost, if you have not already done it, head over to our online schedule and check out some of the amazing workshops and people who will be attending this year’s convention.  Head to where you an create an account on the site, link up your Facebook, create your own personal schedule, or just interact with your color coded agenda. Also, there are maps of the various events embedded within the app. Lastly, open this URL on your smartphone (Android or iPhone) and save a link on your screen, then you can access your CADA schedule as an app.

This is by far one of the coolest ways to keep track of everything going on at this year’s CADA conference. Keep it green and look at your schedule on your smartphone screen.

The opening day workshops all offer some great resources for you to take-in. Sandy Kurland will be sharing her info on brain research and understanding the people you work with, Matt Soeth will be going over some of the latest trends in technology, and Mike Smith will presenting a brand new program from the Alliance for Student Activities called When X=Student Activities. Three great ways to kick off the start to any convention.

Network to your heart’s content. There is nothing better than sitting and visiting with some of your favorite activity directors, administrators, and presenters. Don’t have business cards to hand out, use Evernote and take everyone’s pictures while you type in their name. Also, all of our vendors are utilizing a scanning system. That means they will be scanning a bar code on your name tag instead of having you fill out a form. You can still bring cards if you have them, or the old tried and true mailing labels, but there are many ways to get contact info and keep track of everyone you meet and see.

For more information on CADA 2o12, check out our podcast with President Elect Monica Anderson. Also, keep checking back to your website for updates and information as they appear. This year’s conference hashtag is #CADA2012 – follow on Twitter and add your own posts as we talk about this year’s convention.

YouTube You Can Use

•January 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been doing a lot of work in my core classes as well as my leadership class. The challenge, creativity. My students attempt to put on a face and be something they are not. I am constantly trying to tap into their confidence and show that their authentic self is a great thing to be. Too much I feel they put on a front being afraid of what people will say.

I found this video by Bill Cosby as he speaks about graduating college from Carnegie Mellon. He gives his own definition about being a Nerd and why someone would chose that label – great story at the beginning of the video – which I used to discuss with my leadership students about being labelled a leadership student. We elaborated on that question even further by how different groups on campus interpret the term leadership student.

My favorite part of the video comes five minutes in, when Bill – a master story teller – shares an experience as a young comedian of finally making it big. Bill bombs terribly and almost walks away from comedy all together. With some prompting Bill goes out and kills on his second set. His point, don’t let anyone – including yourself – talk you out of being you. This clip starts about 5:20 into the keynote and lasts a little over 10 minutes.

Sometimes it’s just fun to play

•October 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Many times, as an ASB class, we get so caught up in our work and planning that we forget how much fun it can be to work together as a group. Amidst this chaos, take some time and have a game day with your students.

It’ s Time to Play

Travel Back in Time with Video Time Machine

•September 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Living in a media drive age, it would make sense that we, as educators, have access to videos and clips that feature some of the great moments in our history: movies, music, tv, news, sports, games and ads.  To truly understand history in any context is to know what is going on in that time period. There are many ways to set the scene, YouTube is one, though researching all of that video footage takes time; the Library of Congress has some great videos to download via iTunes if you have the time; or how about the vidoes and DVD’s which are delivered with our textbooks (in my case, laser discs and reel to reel – totally up to date on technology here).  Even better, how about a device that let’s kids research or identify the videos that best describe the time period? Enger Video Time Machine, a new app available for the iPhone and iPad that carefully selects videos that best represent the time period they were made. As the site claims, “You can watch over 10,000 handpicked videos from 1860-2011.”

When I first heard of this app, I became excited, an all inclusive app that finds video from a specific year for me. When I started to use the app, I became more excited as the resources here are invaluable as an educator. For example, I am currently watching an animation on the sinking of the Lusitania made in 1918. Certainly a propaganda film, but still a great example of film and animation in the early days of theater. This could easily be used in History, English, Film Studies, Film Production, Cultural Studies, Art & Animation … wherever you may want it to go. I could see using some of this as background research for The Great Gatsby as understanding WWI is the precursor to understanding the Roaring 20’s. Even better, could kids make the connection that the sinking of the Lusitania is like that of the attack on 9/11?  Again, things that make the kids think are always good.

My biggest appreciation of the Video Time Machine app is that it gives me, the teacher, options. I can let my kids loose to see what they find and then have them share – narrowing down my videos to four or five out of 160 in a particular year. I can choose a specific video to watch, guiding my students to the topic and asking them to write about, make a connection, or find a similar film on their own. Even better, I get it all for just .99 cents. No companion pieces to the literature, so major additional research on my own time, just an app on my learning device. Additionally, I can share the videos via Twitter and Facebook. So, with all of my students on Twitter following my class feed (SoethEngClass) I can share the videos that way and see how many watch the videos prior to class; or, how many watch them again once we leave class. Learning is about interacting, and what better way for kids to take the video with them to interact with on their iPhone, iPod, other smartphone or home computer. Now I just extended the learning beyond my classroom at no extra cost to the student.

As a newer program, they are still growing, so the 10,000 videos will definitely increase. Right now, 1860 has one video, the first sound recording. However, if I look up the year I was born, 1978, there are 165 videos, big difference.  All I can say in hang in, I’m sure more will be added, and in any context, this is till a great resource.

On a side note, Video Time Machine wants to know how you are using the app, if you create a video you can submit it to them to post on their site. This app is also good for grandparents, check out this video with “Mimi,” a user submitted video where one person looks at the year she was born, 1931.

A big thanks to Bill Engelhardt who brought this app to my attention. It is well worth the .99 cent price tag.

Is Cyber Bullying the Issue?

•May 19, 2011 • 1 Comment

I can still remember, clear as a bell, walking up to the yard duty.  In my eight year old voice I said, “they’re making fun of me again.”  Without any hesitation, the yard duty looked back, and almost yelling said “What do you want me to do? You tell me this every single day, what do you want me to do about it?” With my eight year old logic I thought, “Make it stop, you’re the adult.” However, my perceived protector did not share my viewpoint.  So, my tormentors proceeded to call me names and chase me around the school yard.  It wasn’t until I did something about it, and got in trouble, that the idea was brought up that I change schools.  When my mom asked me how I felt at my school, I said “it’s like everyone got invited to a party except for me.” Bullying has been around a long time – the fact that bullying or its reach is enhanced by technology does not change it’s severity or impact. 

Continue reading ‘Is Cyber Bullying the Issue?’

The Time is Now

•May 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My schedule for the 2011-2012 school year is done.  Sure, a fundraiser might pop-up, or a lunch time activity may arise based upon special circumstances, but the schedule is set. 

Activities are like that, we area always planning ahead, preparing for the next year.  So much so that it can be hard to finish the year we are currently in.  Next year will be my school’s first senior class, I can’t help but look with excitement and anticipation at what will be.  Sure, this year has been good, but next year, seniors.  Will our culture be complete? 

As I sit here grading essays, my mind is focused on the task at hand, but looming – pleasantly – is the future.  I look forward to a school that is developing an identity, tradition, spirit.  A school with a sense of pride, unique in our endeavors.  Time will tell, but I look forward to seeing of our seniors step up and help take our school to the next level.

“Yay” is for Learning

•April 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Today’s post comes to us from Matt Soeth, technology coordinator for CADA.  Matt is an English teacher and Activity Director with seven years experience.  He has also been a vice principal and led many professional development trainings with students, educators and administrators in technology and leadership.

When you see kids learning, that’s when teaching get’s fun.  This post looks at the process for me, as an educator, how amazing it is when I see kids I have been working with all year have their “a ha” moment:

All of Us Have Something in Common …

•April 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I stand amazed at the quality of educational leaders that are connected through
CADA. At the state convention this year, it was impossible to go anywhere without
witnessing sheer excellence. It was impossible to leave without feeling truly
energized and, in some cases, empowered to integrate technology like we never
imagined. Every detail was exquisite. Every presentation not only educated those
who were there, but also challenged us to do better (and more!) with less. Continue reading ‘All of Us Have Something in Common …’