Jeff Mao, the Maine DOE’s learning technology policy director, was recently named leader of the year at the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) Leadership Summit banquet.
This annual award recognizes an active SETDA member who has exhibited outstanding leadership in integrating technology to improve student learning, collaborated with peers through SETDA initiatives to affect positive change for the organization, and engaged within the broad education communities to ensure the effective integration of technology in learning to improve student achievement.
Mao served two terms as board chair of SETDA, beginning in 2010, and remains an active member. During his time as chair, Mao developed a new strategic plan for SETDA, released three major reports and launched the State Education Policy Center – a state-by-state compilation of policies and practices now available in a searchable database.
Mao’s leadership of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) at the Maine DOE has influenced schools worldwide. Maine schools have led the way for more than a decade when it comes to harnessing the power of technology to make learning a customized, engaging and demanding endeavor. Mao has written a number of articles in support of education technology and testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
Mao has also been instrumental in the expansion of MLTI by inviting other states to move toward a similar model. Vermont has joined as one of the lead states in the Multi-State Learning Technology Initiative that Mao helped make possible. He took the lead and envisioned a recent Maine request for proposals process to encompass any other state that had an interest in a comprehensive package for schools, which includes devices, professional development, service and support over a four-year period. Additional states are considering joining or embarking on a similar mission.