“We know that districts are constantly striving to better leverage their local resources, especially when it comes to their instructional technology,” says Mike Muir, Maine DOE’s Learning Through Technology Director. “We want to support their efforts by providing them access to BrightBytes, a quality planning tool.”
This year, the Learning Through Technology Team will be purchasing the BrightBytes Clarity Platform for grades 7-12 in Maine public schools (both MLTI and non-MLTI schools). “We know some schools just think of BrightBytes as the survey they do for us,” says Muir, “but it is a respected and validated planning tool, focusing on critical components of a learning through technology program. We really hope to make technology planning more helpful and useful to districts.”
Using BrightBytes begins with a survey of teachers and students, taking only about 10 minutes to complete. Schools will receive a custom Maine report providing them data on where they fall within key indicators, including leadership for change, professional learning and support, focus on learning, student motivation, and technology access and support. The system also provides resources, suggested interventions and next steps, and other supports for districts.
Using BrightBytes builds buy-in for a school’s program by soliciting teacher and student voices and provides suggested next steps and interventions based on local data. At least one district reports having justified the addition of a new position based on its BrightBytes data. Participation will also count as participating in MLTI program evaluation. Further, the data and results that come from using BrightBytes will help districts with new Tech Plan requirements that will be released later this month.
The BrightBytes collection window will be late this month to early March with professional development on using your data to follow. BrightBytes will be contacting schools directly the week of January 11 with details and supports (please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if your school isn’t contacted by Jan. 15). Muir advises that principals and tech leads may want to add email@example.com to their contacts list to ensure that their BightBytes notifications do not end up in a spam folder.