Spark Network Round Up for August 2nd, 2012

Interested in education news and upcoming local events? The Spark Weekly Update has it covered!

Advance Notice: TRETC 2012 is coming!

Save the Date: The Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference will be held November 13 and 14

The Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC) is the premier K-16 educational technology conference in Western Pennsylvania. More than 300 educators from K-12 schools, higher education and non-profits come to the event. In addition, each year more than 25 vendors showcase their new technologies. Spark will be there, will you? Register early to make sure you don’t miss the innovation!


Obama Calls for Equal Education Opportunities

Last week, President Obama signed an initiative that ought to level the education playing field for African American youth. The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans seeks to offer minority youth the same education opportunities to rise to standards as other students. Read more about the President’s plan on the Huffington Post.

Nutrition Education Measure In the Works

The American Medical Association’s Pennsylvania delegation drafted a measure requiring schoolchildren and teens to have obesity education. This measure cited data showing that more than 300 million people worldwide are obese. Requiring nutrition education has never been proposed as a way to prevent obesity, until now. Read the whole story on Education News.

Standardized Tests in Texas Rendered Useless

According to studies done by an associate professor at University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) assessments are “virtually useless” when it comes to measuring the classroom instruction. Officials are hastily working to prove validity of tests before standardize testing gets called into question nationwide.

Assisting the Shift from Print to Digital

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is sponsoring a one-day webinar for educators about making the transition from print to digital textbooks. Occurring on August 21st, at 2 p.m., the webinar will help participants strategize over approaches to using digital content and the benefits, challenges, costs, and savings that comes with its use. Register for the webinar here.

Petition for TechEd Pushes Forward Towards Congress

The International Society for Technology in Education is at the front of a petition to Congress to point support toward educational technology professional development across all teachers. Several senators and congressmen have publicly endorsed the petition, and hope to see it off to Congress soon. Read more at Education Week.


Upcoming Events

Monday, August 6: The Anywhere/Everywhere of Play – A Lunch & Learn

Spark will host a lunch & learn on the Sandbox Summit at The Children’s Home & Lemieux Family Center on Monday, August 6th at noon. The luncheon will feature presentations by Seema Patel, CEO of Interbots, and Patrick Mittereder, CEO of Electric Owl Studios, based on their experience at the Sandbox Summit earlier this year. RSVP for your spot today!

Monday, August 6: Creating Identity Workshops

The Pittsburgh Gay and Lesbian Community Center and local artist Scott Andrew will continue their Creating Identity Monday workshops. Head over to the PGLCC and join them on the 6th of August to partake in an evening of paper mache!

Wednesday, August 8:  App Learning Party at Assemble – and it’s FREE!

Do you play with phones? Like pressing buttons? Like solving problems with a press of a button? Then you belong at Assemble’s next Learning Party: the App Party on August 8th from 4:30pm-7:30pm. Meet App experts, programers, designers, artists, and App Users! Design your App. Play with others!  Participate in fun, hands-on activities led by local makers, scientists, artists, and technologists. Fun for kids, friends, and grown ups! All materials provided.

Thursday, August 9: The LAB’s Workshop on Workshops

Register by August 4th to save your seat at this unique workshop! This invitation is extended to anyone interested in creating a one-time workshop or a series of workshops for youth. Melissa Butler and Lucy Ware, teachers and WPWP Fellows, will be leading the session and helping to ensure that your workshop will pique curiosity, prompt inquiry, and spark creativity!

Wednesday, August 15: Mini Maker Faire Call for Makers Deadline

The deadline of the call for makers for Pittsburgh’s Mini Maker Faire is rapidly approaching. This is the final round for application submissions from both individuals and organizations. Seize the DIY spirit and answer the call- apply for the faire today!


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Published August 02, 2012