About Laura

MeWhen I unwrapped that Commodore Vic-20 computer Christmas morning of my 3rd grade year, little did I know my destiny would be sealed. It wasn’t just a computer I received for Christmas; I received the freedom to create; to inquire; and to teach. I never looked back. From that moment on, I knew that learning went beyond sitting in straight rows and turning in assignments. Learning was limited only by my own imagination and grit. My life experiences have been a product of that spark created at nine years old.

Former middle and high school English, Journalism, Reading, and Yearbook teacher, Instructional Technology Coach, Ed Tech and IT Director, and now Executive Director of Innovation & Design. Also serving as SDCUE President.

RECENT PRESENTATIONS

SDCOE Equity Symposium – Academics and Innovation: Getting it Right
The world of education is buzzing with topics such as tinkering, project-based learning, maker spaces, personalized learning, and design thinking. All of these have a place and a purpose, but not in the absence of academic rigor and instructional expertise. In this session, teachers and leaders will examine practices which focus on high-quality instruction, a strong academic core, and the skills that matter most for today’s students. Participants will explore structures where learning is the focus and drives the intentional use of tinkering, project based learning, maker spaces, personalized learning, and design thinking. Environments can come alive with critical thinking, real-world applications to solving problems, and curiosity that is encouraged through creativity and innovation.

#DesignCamp – Designing the Extraordinary School Experience
Design Thinking isn’t just for UX designers. Kindergarteners can do it, too. In Del Mar Union, our mission to ignite genius and empower students to advance the world through extraordinary school experiences is resulting in a radical transformation of classroom learning. Learn the WHY, the HOW, and the WHAT to revolutionizing the traditional school experience to better prepare today’s students. Pinpoint the systems, structures, and beliefs that shape the current educational landscape. See how design thinking empowers students of all ages to be thinkers and change-agents. Leave with strategies for building a culture of innovation and examples of design thinking in the classroom to help you on your own transformational journey.

 

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

“Laura Spencer was a integral part of the Lakeside Union School District’s Educational Technology Program. Under Laura’s direction, the 1:1 iPad take home program was successfully implemented in grades 4-8. Laura helped shape the vision that all Lakeside students are problem solvers, communicators, and collaborators. She inspired teachers to think outside the box and encouraged them to rethink what teaching and learning looks like. She constantly shared cutting edge ideas’ and resources to increase students engagement and learning. Laura supported and encouraged innovative ideas at all levels – from district support staff, administration, teachers to students. In addition, Laura put LUSD on the map by creating a social media presence to showcase all of the amazing things happening in classrooms and throughout the district. Not only was she admired and respected throughout the district, Laura’s excellent communication and leadership skills were an asset to Lakeside.”    Sandy Patterson & Kay Little, Digital Learning Coaches

“Laura can pivot at any point to personalize, adjust or adapt her plan to dial it in to exactly what folks need right then. Her skills, ability to create excitement for educators and in-event engagement are top-notch.” Jon Corripo, CUE Interim Director

“Dr. Laura Spencer’s vision and educational expertise is well known, but her power to effect positive change comes from her generosity and her ability to build positive relationships.  Laura proactively shares with her close peers as well as with a wide range of educators, wherever they might be from.  Whether it be small 1-on-1 collaborations, or at scale, via her role as the President of the San Diego CUE, or through the many other organizations she’s involved in, Laura is always learning and sharing ideas that lift up those around her.  Always keeping the focus on what’s best for students, Laura is a force to be reckoned with and is not shy to ask hard questions to determine how specific educational practices, teaching strategies or broader systems might be improved.”  Terry Loftus, Technology Director, Oceanside Unified

 

AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS

Cox Business Exemplary Honoree Winner, Top Tech Exec Awards, 2017

Innovative Educator of the Year, Classroom of the Future Foundation, 2016

SDCUE President and Board Member, 2013-Present

CUE Deployment Squadron, 2015-Present

CUE Rock Star Faculty, 2016-Present

Apple Teacher, 2016-Present

Achieve Award, Classroom of the Future Foundation, 2013

Administrator of the Year, American Heart Association, 2011

Innovate Award, Classroom of the Future Foundation, 2010

“Best of NECC” Conference Co-Presenter, 2009

Innovative Educator, Tech4Learning, 2007

Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2006

Microsoft Innovative Teacher, 2006

 

CONFERENCE PRESENTER

Achievement Gap Task Force, SDCOE

Association of California School Administrators

California Educational Technology Professionals Association

California Reading Association

Central Valley CUE

CETPA

CUE Annual Conference

CUE Leadership Development Institute

CUE Rock Star Admin Camp

CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp

#DesignCamp

Equity Symposium, SDCOE

International Society for Technology in Education  (formerly NECC)

Lead 3.0

Leadership Development Institute

Learning Forward

San Diego CUE

University of San Diego P.O.S.T. Tech Fair

%d bloggers like this: