Educators take a CUE from National Conference


Pamela Quiros and Jon Resendez present a slide of their presentation to an audience of roughly 200 members. Their presentation focused on the interdisciplinary projects Portola is pioneering.

Staff members Assistant principal Kris Linville, library media specialist Pamela Quiros, and teacher Brianna Rapp and Jon Resendez joined over 6,000 educators at the 40th annual Computer Using Educators (CUE) conference in Palm Springs, California on March 14-17. At the conference, they presented the interdisciplinary portfolio project that students are creating each year.

Students have expanded their horizons with the technology-based projects across campus. Working on the Change Portfolio Project during advisement each week has given students a different medium than traditional homework assignments on the Chromebook because each student is responsible for his or her own Google Site.

“It’s not all about computers and software; it’s about how we can leverage that software to do meaningful things with students,” Resendez said. “In a lot of ways, with technology, [Portola is] innovative.”

Having students work online has been a main component of most classes, and with the pilot one-to-one program for Chromebooks, students are able to seamlessly expand on their projects without worrying about technological capacity in computer labs or libraries. Constantly having access to projects and online homework allows students to work on assignments during breaks or at home.

“The fact that this technology is no longer icing on the cake but now an ingredient in the cake is why I think it’s really important that we have one-to-one,” Linville said. “It’s enabled teachers to use technology without having to go through the logistics of checkouts.”

Passion projects from the 2016-17 school year outlined the contribution of all classes each student was in. This year’s revamped projects allow students to be more involved in how all their classes link and will allow them to build on their experience in high school as a preparation for their senior year passion projects.

“We really wanted to work on the cross-curricular collaboration piece, because that’s a big thing here at Portola, to see those connections between the disciplines,” Quiros said. “When you go to math, it’s not just about math; you should be able to connect that to science, which then may connect to social studies.”