TRETC 2015: 600 K12 Educators Gather to Share & Learn

TRETC 2015

Photo Credit: Kris Hupp, Cornell SD

The annual Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC) was hosted November 3-4, 2015 at the Bethel Park High School in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. For nearly 15 years, TRETC has been Western Pennsylvania’s opportunity to share the shining stars in the classroom and introduce teachers and administrators across the region to new practices and methodologies in the effective use of technology in the classroom. In the early years, TRETC was hosted at the Carnegie Science Center with early adopters including Questeq and others supporting its mission to integrate technology throughout the student learning experience. The annual conference has consistently grown in size and scope over the years from just under 200 attendees to the record number of 600 this year!

This year as part of the TRETC conference, regional district administrators participated in the EdSurge Education Leaders Workshop. Through EdSurge, small groups of school administrators explore tech, build partnerships & network with other leaders.

The TRETC pre-conference workshops on Tuesday afternoon included about 60 pre-registered attendees. I participated in a CREATE lab session led by teachers and facilitated by students from public and private schools in the region. Working in small groups led by the students we worked with the Hummingbird Robotics Kit, a spin-off product of Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE lab. Each group experimented with simple engineering and robotics activities and then combined kit parts and crafting materials to create a robotic sculpture. One group developed an animated PacMan, another a Hungry Hippo, and our group created an interactive Jack O’Lantern robotic creature. In the session we learned how students of all ages engage with a combination of electronic kit parts and craft materials such as felt, cardboard, and pipe cleaners to create unique and simple animated robots.

The theme of the conference was Digital Learning: Today and Tomorrow. The keynote speaker was Mandela Schumacher-Hodge, a former public school teacher and education policy researcher. Mandela co-founded Tioki, the “The LinkedIn for Educators,” in 2011. Tioki empowered educators throughout the country with tools and techniques to position themselves for employment and career advancement.

The open lobby in the Bethel Park High School was conducive for service providers from a variety of educational technology companies to host table displays and converse with participants as they scurried to and from breakout sessions. There seemed to be lot of good activity and discussion in the gathering spaces. The breakout sessions held in classrooms were well attended throughout the day. Sessions were designated into strands such as Blended Learning, Teaching Strategies, Vision and Leadership, and “Spotlight.”

Spotlight sessions highlighted those regional presenters that had been recognized nationally or internationally for their leadership in educational technology. One example of a Spotlight Session was led by Kris Hupp, a teacher and instructional technology coach at Cornell School District who was the recent Busting Boundaries Awardee for the Digital Innovation and Learning Awards (DILA) presented by Digital Promise and EdSurge. Kris teamed with a colleague from the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and me, representing Questeq in a Spotlight Session entitled “Busting Boundaries through Videoconferencing.” The session was attended by teachers, instructional technology coaches, service providers, and district administrators interested to hear about how we work together to leverage educational technology to enhance classroom instruction while connecting students learning across the globe.

There were students from regional schools in the remake learning zone and in a number of sessions throughout the day as a reminder of why we do what we do. The opportunity for networking with colleagues over lunch and throughout the day was well worth the price of admission.

Tim Devlin Joins Questeq as Sr. K-12 Account Executive

Tim DevlinQuesteq is pleased to announce the addition of Timothy Devlin to the company as of October 5th, 2015.

Tim comes to us with a combined background of educational and industry experiences. Tim is responsible for identifying opportunities to advance 21st century learning in Pennsylvania Schools through Questeq’s Educational Technology Management Service. He holds a Masters of Educational Technology Management and Masters of Public Management of Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

“Questeq has aggressive plans to expand our Educational Technology Management service within and outside of Pennsylvania while continuing to improve the outcomes of our service in the classroom” said Jeffrey Main, CEO of Questeq. “Tim is a proven educational leader who will fit right in with the Questeq culture, and he will also bring unique experience and additional confidence to our service approach to K12.” said Mr. Main.

Questeq Ranks 28th on Pittsburgh Business Times Top 100

2015 Questeq PBT Top100

Recently the Pittsburgh Business Times ranked Questeq #28 out of the top 100 fastest growing private companies in Pittsburgh, PA from 2012-2014. In 2014 we ranked #51 on the same Pittsburgh 100 Class list. We also moved from #10 to #8 for technology company growth in Pittsburgh. Click here to see Questeq and the other top companies who were recognized by the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Our company continues to learn and grow as we strive to provide the best educational technology management service for our customers.

Questeq Seeks Experienced Account Manager

Questeq is seeking an experienced Account Manager to join our growing team. The Account Manager is responsible for generating revenue and developing new business through self-generated as well as incoming leads. This position requires a high achiever and results-oriented contributor who thrives in an entrepreneurial and customer-focused environment. Territory includes Pennsylvania with the potential to expand to other states. Travel required is 25-50%. Experience in the K-12 school district market is a plus.

Applications are being accepted via our Questeq Job Board. Questions regarding the position can be directed to: Technical Recruiter – Gary Hoffman at ghoffman@questeq.com or 412.375.0300 X128.

Wilmington Area School District Partners with Questeq

The Wilmington Area School District took the first step in a long-range technology plan designed to aggressively improve student and teacher engagement and better prepare students for post-secondary readiness when its Board agreed to partner with Questeq, Inc. for full education technology services and staff management. Wilmington Area School District, located in northwestern Pennsylvania, is a two-county district in Lawrence County and in Mercer County. The district spans a large geographic area of 111 square miles with enrollment of about 1,200 students in grades K-12.

The long-range plan spans at least five years, and begins with staff realignment and the introduction of a new Questeq Director of IT to the District. Questeq now manages IT in about 30 PA school districts, and plans to identify and reinvest savings while leveraging its education technology management experience to move the district forward.