Annual MLTI student technology conference brings 1000+ to UMaine Thursday

ORONO – Over 1,000 students and educators will bring their Maine Department of Education provided digital devices to UMaine on Thursday for a one-day conference to understand the power and possibilities delivered to them through Maine’s Learning Through Technology Initiative (MLTI).

Participants will begin their day at the 12th Annual Maine Learning Technology Initiatve (MLTI) Student Conference by hearing from students who have used their access to MLTI devices not only to accomplish their schoolwork, but also to become professional videographers, DJs, digital designers and more. Working Maine professionals will share how these same digital tools used by the students are increasingly becoming important “tools of their trades” and how valuable the access provided by MLTI is in preparing Maine students to become career and college ready.

During the middle of their busy day, conference participants will fan out across the campus to participate in workshops delivered by university staff, K-12 teacher/student teams, and professionals from the digital world. Students will be coding, working with robots, running 3D printers, creating music and video, and more.

After lunch school teams will gather in the Collins Center for the Arts’ Hutchins Concert Hall for what has come to be known as the Über Session, with a presentation by Founder & CEO of Desmos free online graphing calculator Eli Luberoff.  Students will learn the basics of using math to create art, and all 850+ students will collaborate on a “never-attempted-before” group project.

In an online review through Common Sense Media’s Graphite web site, a Grade 7 teacher at Kennett Square, PA’s Charles F. Patton Middle School says, “Desmos is the the most commonly used product in my classroom. The free, online, graphing calculator is simple to use and intuitive for the students. It provides meaningful learning experiences for all students, and gives kinesthetic and visual learners the chance to excel. I thoroughly enjoy how accessible it is, and how it gives students the opportunity to make discoveries in a student-centered environment.”

Luberoff is excited to be able to work directly with over 1,000 participants at the MLTI Student Conference and says, “At Desmos, we are working to support a world of universal math literacy, where no student thinks that math is too hard or too dull to pursue. We believe the key is learning by doing. Through the MLTI, Maine students are uniquely equipped to use the Desmos graphing calculator, and are looking forward to a great day. Lots of math, and lots of fun!”

Mike Muir, Policy Director of the Maine Department of Education’s Learning Through Technology Team understands the value of all components of this great day for teachers and students. He says, “The Student Conference exemplifies what we hope of MLTI: for students to discover and grow academic and vocational passions — things that will help them succeed in school and be well prepared for their adult years.”

WHERE: Collins Center for the Arts, UMaine Campus, Orono

WHEN: 8:50 a.m. to 2:40 p.m., Thursday, May 21

FMI: Visit the MLTI Student Conference website at www.maine.gov/mlti/studentconference/ for more details, including a complete event schedule.

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