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Spring CUE: Educators on Fire Finish the Year Strong!

Melody McAllister
March 30, 2023

Spring CUE was a blast of energy. Attending educators were on fire, loved sharing, and were all about connecting. Spring CUE is in Palm Springs every year right around the beginning of spring break & St. Patrick’s Day. It is one of my top favorite conferences to attend and present. Check it out and maybe we’ll get to meet up next year! 

Assessment Showcasing Whole Child

My session, “An Assessment Platform Showcasing the Whole Child/Student,” was fun but also a collaborative learning experience. Teachers, leaders, and counselors shared about building community, celebrating growth over grades, and all the things they do that build up the whole child. We were learning from one another and sharing ideas that could help our respective classroom learning.

Sharing SpacesEDU with this wonderful group was a way to bring all the concepts together so every student can celebrate growth while inviting parents to be involved. SpacesEDU helps get beyond buzz words and puts into action the changes we need in education that focus on the whole child

A teacher can use SpacesEDU to build digital portfolios, utilize it for weekly reflection, or as a way to have virtual circle time. By the end of our time together, we were all inspired to finish the year strong and showcase the personalized growth that each student achieves. 

Chat GPT & AI Voted Most Popular

Chat GPT was probably the most talked about edtech tool. I was fortunate to sit in a session led by educator and leader, Katie McNamara. When she showed how this tool can help us reclaim time, I was sold. She suggested trying to use Chat GPT for lesson planning, emails, helping with difficult conversations, as a thought partner, and so much more. 

Educator Katie McNamara shows how Chat GPT can help educators reclaim their time!

Curipod is like using ChatGPT to make interactive lessons. However, talking with the Founders & CEO, Jens & Eirik, they explained they use their own AI. On the Curipod platform, you share a subject or topic to design lessons around, and it pulls up interactive slides to share with your students. A teacher can edit and add to it as needed.

Once you make your lesson (which might take five minutes instead of an hour), you can add the link in your SpacesEDU account and share with your students, too.  If you sign up at, you can use code CURIMELODY for three months of a premium account! 

Jon Corippo & I took some time to meet the Founders and CEO of Curipod, Eirik & Jens at their Booth at Spring CUE.

More Tools that Empower Students

I was also in sessions with leaders who used SolveInTime, a card deck and type of gamification where students create solutions to real world problems. In Ken Shelton’s session, we used SolveInTime to study bias in various school systems so we could create more equitable and anti-racist solutions. My group focused on gifted and talented programs. 

Another session, led by Dr. Nyree Clark, Marilyn McAlister, and Dee Lanier (the Creator of SolveInTime) showed us how we could use these cards to facilitate lessons where students found real world solutions for the world Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Growth Over Grades Podcast: Episode 7 - Marialice Curran, Ph.D. & Eugenia TamezS1: E7: Digital Citizenship & SDGs

Speaking of sustainability, another tech tool that Eddie Campos, Jr. introduced to me was Wipebooks in his session. We used Wipebooks Flipcharts to explore STEAM. These Wipebooks are reusable, forgiving when we make “mistakes”  and have an app so teachers can upload and share the drawing students make to their Google Suite or other platforms. They can be wiped clean, and REUSED!

Honoring the educators in the room, Eddie and his Session Partner, Cristina Bustamante wanted us to think about our “walk up song” and share it whenever we shared our learning with the whole group. It might sound super weird to do this, but it actually helped us grow closer as a group. Everything these leaders shared supported teachers in creating STEAM education that honored the whole child. I absolutely loved their session. 

Eddie Campos and Cristina Bustamante encourage educators to dive into a deeper way to facilitate STEAM education.

SpacesEDU sponsored CoffeeEDU

On St. Patrick’s Day at 7am, a few of us educators got together to drink coffee and talk about whatever we wanted. Building Community is the BEST part of any conference. We don’t have to be in sessions to learn and share with each other. Thank you SpacesEDU for the coffee! 

Second Annual CoffeeEDU at Spring CUE sponsored by SpacesEDU!

3 Reasons You’ll Want To Join Our Spacetronauts Community

What’s Your Green Sauce?

One of my favorite Cue Boom (Cue Boom is where educators present slides in three minutes and talk about an inspirational topic) presentations came from educator and leader, Brent Coley. He shared about his love of green sauce and how it was really the reason he kept visiting a certain restaurant. While it wasn't the main course in itself, it made the main course the best and kept him going back to that restaurant. 

Brent likened the green sauce to that special something that each of us brings to the classroom. It’s highly unlikely that our students come for the curriculum, it’s that unique twist we bring that keeps them wanting to learn in our classes. He encouraged us to be proud of our green sauce and to continue to develop it. 

What’s your green sauce?

Brent Coley inspiring educators during his CUE Boom session!

I loved the whole premise of CUE Boom! It led me to think about how this process could be an amazing way for students to showcase something they are learning about in a three minute story. It reminded me of the Growth over Grades Podcast episode with Natalie Vardabasso. Nat shared how telling stories is a way to humanize assessment and really find out what students are learning.

Growth Over Grades Podcast: Episode 4 - Natalie Vardabasso

S1: E4: Assessment Through Story

Our SpacesEDU Community really showed up at Spring CUE. Congratulations to Benjamin Cogswell, Sue Thotz, and Dr. Nyree Clark (just to name a few) for being recognized as CUE Award recipients for the impacts you are all making in education. 

I loved my time at Spring CUE this year. The sessions were led by educators who are always learning more about edtech and how to make school communities stronger and better places to be. If you get the chance to go, I highly recommend it. See you next year, CUE!

About the Author

Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator, and author. She and her family relocated to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019.  McAllister is 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year and author of the I’m Sorry Story, a children's book about taking responsibility for mistakes and making sincere apologies. She is the Educator Community Advocate for SpacesEDU.  McAllister has spoken at ISTE and ASTE about equity issues in education, and writes about her journey in her blog, McAllister also hosts the SpacesEDU sponsored Growth Over Grades Podcast. 

Melody McAllister

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