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CUE Conference Speakers Selection Process

CUE is a grassroots organization that strives to offer conferences that celebrate the classroom and learning with technology. Classroom teachers and school administrators are cherished as speakers at the conferences. Conference speakers share promising classroom practices, new technologies, funding information, and state and national information regarding educational technology.


If you are so inclined to grow professionally, meet interesting people and share your stories, then speaking at a conference is a process that you should undertake. The most important thing is to choose a topic for which you have passion. It must be something that you love, know and are willing to explain, question and share. All of us in the classroom are looking for ideas at CUE conferences and those who can share real stories in an organized, articulate manner are valued.


This article describes the committees involved with the conference, the speaker application form, and the selection process for the different types of conference speakers.


Conference Committee

The Conference Committee is a small group of individuals selected by and approved by the CUE Board of Directors. This committee meets three times a year to advise the volunteer Conference Chair, volunteer Speaker Coordinator and Chief Operating & Financial Officer (CUE staff member) on conference planning topics. Members serve a three-year term.


Submitting Speaker Proposals
Speaker submissions are available online. While completing a speaker application for a concurrent session you should know:

1. Speaker applications must be submitted online by the deadline. 
2. The application must be complete; proposal submission form, title, description and abstract.
3. Spend some time on a good abstract:
      • Topic should fit the description.
      • Be specific about what the session will cover.
      • Mention handouts, resources to be given to participants.
      • It should not be a resume of the presenter.
      • Spelling and grammar should be correct.
4. CUE will provide basic equipment, Internet wired drop, mic, projection and screen.
5. CUE Conferences are member-to-member events. Members will be given preference as speakers.
6. Commercial presentations are given only to vendors exhibiting at the conference.

Abstract Score Sheet

Please review the Session Scoring Rubric.

Click here for grading rubric

Rating Scale for items 1-4:
0=poor 1=fair 2=good 3=excellent

  1. Content. Is the abstract convincing that this is a solid presentation? Does the presentation stand out? Is the topic thoroughly covered in the given time?
  2. Appropriateness. Is the topic current, appropriate to CUE and of interest to our members?
  3. Educational Soundness. Is the presentation educationally sound? Is it more than just a project advertisement?
  4. Expertise. Does the abstract convince you that the speaker knows the topic?


After the reading process, results are give to the Speaker Coordinator. The Coordinator combines all results of the selection committee and assigns sessions based on highest scores and topics. At this point the review is no longer blind. The goal is to cover all strands, grade levels and experience. All abstracts are reviewed, including those with lower scores, to try to meet the needs of conference attendees.


The Speaker Coordinator and Conference Chair meet to prepare a speaker matrix for the conference. This matrix matches sessions to rooms with requested equipment and tries to avoid conflicting sessions on the same topic. (Even with these efforts, conflicts may happen if there are cancellations.)


All who submit applications receive acceptance or rejection letter via email. Call the CUE office if an email is not received. If a session is accepted, the letter will include a description of the presentation room, the day and time of the session, and the equipment that will be in the room. Call immediately if there are any equipment or presentation time changes.


Head speakers at concurrent sessions are compensated registration (not membership).  Co-presenters do need to register and pay for the conference.


Types of Sessions

There are several types of speaker sessions at a CUE conference. This section describes each category and the review process for each. Find the one that’s right for you and let your CUE flag fly! 


Concurrent Sessions
These are one-hour presentations that address all areas of the curriculum and appeal to a variety of teachers. Sessions may be given by a single speaker, team or panel who can address the needs of the novice user of educational technology as well as the more experienced professional. There are two types of Concurrent sessions: Commercial and Non-Commercial.


Poster Sessions

These promote your research and educational innovation in a smaller, more intimate setting that allows for more give and take. CUE will offer two-hour Poster Sessions throughout the conference. All Poster stations will include access to power, Internet connectivity and a large flat screen TV as your “poster” as well as a counter-height presentation table. 


Hands-on Workshops
Hands-on workshops are three-hour guided hands-on activities that address all areas of the curriculum and appeal to a variety of teachers. Workshops may be given by a single speaker, team or panel who can address the needs of the novice user of educational technology as well as the more experienced professional. The objective for these workshops are for participants to develop the skills to incorporate new technology-enhanced learning activities for use with their staff and students. NOTE: The main hands-on workshop presenters in addition to the complimentary conference registration will receive a small stipend.
Build-a-Lesson Workshop & Session
Build-a-Lesson workshops are 90 minute guided hands-on activities that address all areas of the curriculum and appeal to a variety of teachers. Sessions may be lead by a single speaker, team or panel who can address the needs of the novice user of educational technology as well as the more experienced professional. The objective for these workshops are for participants to leave with a learning activity for use with their staff and students.

 CUE Tip

These quick, 20-minute presentations focus on emerging and existing innovations to enhance learning, productivity, or understanding. CUE Tips are noncommercial, brief, and focus on one or two tips, techniques, or resources. CUE Tips have a lot of exposure and are delivered off a large LCD TV. NOTE: CUE Tips presenters do not receive complimentary conference registration unless they present 3 or more CUE Tips sessions.



Planning to present? Below is a list of the most sought-after session topics at CUE Conferences.

Look these over and be prepared to have your session proposal ready for up to 2 of these topic areas when you submit your session to a CUE Conference:

  • Leadership & Administration - Site and District Level Planning: Examples might include: Deploying 1:1, prepping a school network for BYOD, Leading change, Future Ready Initiatives, implementing new types of assessments or changing school culture.

  • Online/Blended Learning: These sessions are designed to support and inspire educators in a fully online or blended learning environment or those wishing to deploy an online learning model.

  • Professional Development: This critical topic can be addressed in sessions that are focused on effective deployments of professional development (PD), innovative methods of delivering PD to educators in small or large groups, online or face to face.

  • Professional Learning Communities: Perhaps no single element is changing the way educators learn more than PLCs. Social Media, including Twitter chats, Voxer groups, blogging, and Google Hangouts are reshaping how educators form these self-learning groups. PLCs sessions allow educators to join this stream of thought by sharing PLC techniques or places to join these revolutionary educational social media movements.

  • Cutting-Edge/STEM/New Tools: Attendees of these sessions should leave with exciting new skills and ideas about the very latest development in edtech tools and edtech resources. Examples might include: STEAM/STEM websites and tools, coding and programming, Maker style tools and apps, robotics and 3D printing as well as others.

  • Hands-On Session/Make-and-Take: These sessions focus on websites, apps or tools that can be used widely by educators in subject areas or focus on a single subject area or grade level. Ideally, educators leave these sessions with a new specific skill.

  • Model Lessons and Lesson Design: These sessions focus on Universal Design for Learning, differentiated instruction and/or long term use of technology, or lesson planning to achieve academic success. Sessions should include sample lessons or classroom workflows attendees can use in their classes.

  • Talking Pedagogy: These sessions present a chance for educators to sit together and discuss issues or share and work in groups in an informal setting. The speaker can choose a single subject for the discussion or a series of subjects.

Tips for Selected Speakers

Once you are ready with your presentation, plan to visit your room before you present and to practice on any equipment you will be using. Presenters only have twenty minutes prior to the presentation (and only 10 minutes prior to CUE Tips) to set up, so prepare in advance. The capacity of your room is stated in the acceptance letter. Be sure to have fun with the presentation. All of us who volunteer for CUE greatly enjoy your participation.