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Spanish teacher Maria Canteli presents at CUE educators conference
Spanish teacher Maria Canteli presents at CUE educators conference

Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School Spanish teacher Maria Canteli presented at the 41st annual CUE conference for educators on March 16. The conference, held in Palm Springs, draws educators from across the country who want to learn about trends, tools, and other innovations for the classroom.

Canteli and Jim Puccetti, Catalina's 1-1 technology coach with Knowing Technologies, presented a poster session called "Spark Global Curiosity with Virtual Tour Design." They talked about how Canteli uses Google Tour Creator and Google Tour Builder to immerse her seventh- and eighth-grade students in different Spanish-speaking cultures and communities.

Canteli, a Google Certified Innovator, shared examples of some of her students' work. In one assignment, students used Tour Builder to create a virtual itinerary for a summer trip to a Spanish-speaking country, including important landmarks or points of interest in three different cities. Students researched each stop and included photos, videos, and street views. In another assignment, they used Google Tour Creator to create a virtual reality tour of their favorite places in the U.S., including descriptions of each place written in Spanish.

After her session, she was interviewed on CUE Live, a video series the conference hosted on Facebook Live. Watch Canteli's segment here (start at 0:55). In the interview, Canteli talked about how these Google tools spark her students' curiosity: "It gives us purpose to learn the language. ... Why do you want to learn Spanish? Because you want to travel to all these places and get to meet people who live in different ways. I think that's a very important part of what I do."

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