Spark Network Round Up for August 16th, 2012

Check out the Spark Network Round Up for exciting network and national news and awesome local opportunities and events.

Network News

K+C Network Member featured on TribLive

Susan Brozek Scott was recently featured on TribLive for her work with childhood education. Coming from a background in public broadcasting, Susan is now the CEO and founder of Afterschool Buddy, Inc., an educational children’s multi-media production company. To read more about Susan, check out the full article.

Fred Rogers Center Ele Releases New Alien App

Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment (Ele) has just released it’s new iOS app, Alien Assignment! This app requires users to take photos using the camera on a mobile device while working to complete a digital scavenger hunt. Learn more about Alien Assignment and Ele here.


National News

D.C. Public Schools Cut Librarian Funds

Nearly 47% of D.C. Public Schools will reopen in a few weeks without a librarian. To be exact, 58 of the 124 schools will not have a librarian, up from the 38 that lacked one last school year. This is a result of funding cuts in these school districts, making the librarian role a “flexible funding” position, rather than “core”. Learn about the possible effects here.

“Race to the Top” Competition offers $400 Million in Grants

The Obama Administration’s Race to the Top competition was presented to low-performing public schools this past Sunday, hoping to close the achievement gap. This competition will award grants between $5 million and $40 million to districts that have at least 2,000 students and 40 percent or more who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches. Read the entire article to learn more about eligibility and grant distribution.

Gates Foundation Combines Games and Education

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has come to earmark $20 million towards developing teacher tools based on social media platforms and video games to change the way instructors deliver lessons to students. In the long run, they see low-cost, if not free, games that teachers can access to evaluate students’ understanding of concepts. Check here to read more.

GE Awards $1 Million Grant for Math Common Core Research

Recently, GE has awarded $1 million to Michigan State University professor, William Schmidt to study new and innovative ways to improve the quality of mathematics instruction in the United States. You can check out more about math Common Core research here.

Upcoming Events

Monday, August 20: Constructing Identity – Fabric, Ribbon, Plastic, Paper, Tape

The PGLCC will continue their summer workshop series with local artist Scott Andrew at this evening workshop involving making garments with materials that can be cheaply and easily conceptualized. Occurring on Monday evening, August 20th, this is the sixth event in the summer series.

Monday, August 20: Learning 2.0 Virtual Conference

Monday marks the start a five day long free, online conference on rethinking teaching and learning in the age of the Internet entitled Learning 2.0. Proposals for this unique conference are being accepted until August 18th. Get details on this free, online conference here.

Wednesday, August 22: Leah Buechley visits the MakeShop

On Wednesday, Leah Buechley, director of the High-Low Tech research group at MIT Media Lab, will be visiting the MakeShop within the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. As an established expert of electronic textiles, otherwise e-textiles, Leah will be giving a presentation about diverse groups of people developing their own technologies.

Monday, September 3: Consructing Identity – Dying Fabrics

This is one of the few remaining Constructing Identity workshops put on by the PGLCC and local artist Scott Andrew. At this workshop, teens will create a garment and learn how to dye the fabric as well as use a sewing machine to do basic stitching. Don’t miss this fun opportunity, coming up on September 3rd!

Friday, September 7: Spark Meet Up at The Warhol

Join The Sprout Fund and K+C Network Members for an evening of creativity and conversation as we gather at The Studio at The Andy Warhol Museum. The event includes drinks, light snacks, and silkscreening, promising to be a fun night! Registration for this Spark Meet Up is limited- be sure to RSVP early!

Published August 17, 2012