Guidance on District Technology Plan Development for 2017 – 2018 and 2018 – 2019

Over the past few months, there have been a number of questions about expectations for completing and submitting to the Department district technology plans. This correspondence is designed to answer those questions for district and school administrators, in particular, those who are responsible for developing technology plans.

Has the Technology Plan Requirement Changed?

Yes, there are three main points here:

  1. The federal technology plan requirement for E-rate eligibility no longer exists.
    • Districts still need to maintain copies of approved plans and approval letters for the time specified to your district under federal requirements at the time you last submitted a plan.
  2. Districts should include their technology plan in their Comprehensive Education Plan.
    • This is not submitted to the Department, however, superintendents certify this is complete on their School Approval Application, which is submitted to the DOE.
  3. The MLTI Participation Agreement includes additional guidance.
    • Superintendents signed participation agreements when their schools opted into an MLTI solution.
    • A sample participation packet can be found at the link below: http://www.maine.gov/doe/mlti/policy/responsibility_sau/index.html
    • Two parts are relevant to the new technology plan expectations:
      • “#3. SAU agrees to address how MLTI will support its school and district goals in its Board-approved technology plan.”
        • This does not mean that the DOE needs to review or approve your plan.
      • “#11. SAU agrees to take part in studies, surveys, etc. related to the MLTI (e.g. Bright Bytes).
        • This part enables us to have state-wide insight on the impact of MLTI and the use of the technology for better teaching and learning outcomes.

What Does This Change Mean for My District?

  • In 2017 – 2018, we’ve asked districts that receive state support for participation in MLTI and whose current approval expires in June 2018, to share their technology plan with us. This can be accomplished using the short form provided to districts earlier this year (see below).
  • In 2018 – 2019, only the schools that are participating in the MLTI Apple and HP opt-ins (have those solutions or packages) will be asked to provide information to the Department. Districts will be asked to have students and staff complete the BrightBytes survey in the fall of 2018, no later than November 30, 2018, and may be asked a few additional questions by the Department.
  • For those districts that want technical support as they review their data or create action plans related to technology use, the Department will still provide support and will be continuing to work with BrightBytes to offer online and in-person learning opportunities.

Form for 2017 – 2018:

  • The form to be submited to the DOE is substantially shorter. A number of districts have gathered a small group of stakeholders and completed this task in a matter of hours.
  • The form can be found here: http://www.maine.gov/doe/mlti/techplan/2018DistrictTechPlanForm.docx
  • The goal of the new form is to encourage:
    • Purposeful and intentional use of technology for teaching and learning
    • Planning for technology use with multiple stakeholders
    • Alignment of technology use to your schools/districts’ mission or priorities
  • The form requires you to pick five data points from BrightBytes and create an action plan to improve each.
    • This means that you need to administer the BrightBytes survey to your students and staff.
    • Advice: Pick a unifying theme or overarching goal, and then think of the data points as five indicators of progress toward that goal.
    • Rationale: Doing so allows you to align your technology plan to existing school and district priorities and allows you to talk with teachers and students about using technology in a way that already supports the teaching and learning that is happening (instead of thinking of it as one more thing to do).
  • For districts that want feedback on this form, please submit it to Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov by June 30th. You will receive feedback over the summer.

If you have any questions about this, you can reach out to Amanda Nguyen Digital Learning Specialist for the Maine Department of Education at  Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov or 207-624-6656.