The Maine Department of Education, through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI), has been providing 7th and 8th grade students and teachers access to, and support for, educational technology since 2002. While the goal has remained constant – provide State support for access to technology-enhanced education experiences for all students – the program has changed in many ways and will continue to grow and evolve in the future. The Department remains committed to this goal.
As many school administrative units (SAUs) are aware, the final contracts for the existing MLTI program are set to expire on June 30, 2020. During the 2020-2021 academic year, the Department has designed a “bridge year,” to provide support for devices, infrastructure, and professional learning while we continue to work with stakeholders to design what is the next phase of the MLTI program. With the support of the 129th legislature, the Department has designed the bridge year to mitigate and minimize disruption to SAUs. The details of the bridge year are the following:
- The Department will purchase all of the MLTI devices at the end of the lease.
- The Department will transfer ownership to SAUs in cohort 4 (lease begun in 2016) for 7th & 8th grade and staff devices in July 2020. JAMF licenses on these devices will continue at no charge to SAUs through June 30, 2021. Systems Engineering will continue to support the WiFi infrastructure of 7th and 8th grade classrooms during the bridge year.
- SAUs who are currently leasing additional devices (elementary or high school student and staff devices) from the Department will have the option to buy out their devices from the Department at the 2015 rates, $28/ iPad and $48/ laptop in July 2020. JAMF licenses will be available on these devices for the cost of $6/ iOS device and $12/MacOS.
- No new grants will be awarded during the 2020-2021 academic year.
- The Department will provide statewide and regional professional learning,
- The Department will host the MLTI student conference in May 2021.
Over the past several months, the Department has hosted “Think Tank” conversations regionally around the state to reflect on the past 17 years of the MLTI program and envision innovative ideas about the possibilities for the next 20 years of the program. We will continue to use the additional time afforded by the “bridge year” to meet with stakeholders throughout the state. Discussions will include topics such as portable computer devices, device management and deployment, software, wireless networking, technical support, and professional development, as well as financial models to support these efforts. The Department will also convene a workgroup to synthesize this information and help to create a plan for the state.
Below is the estimated timeline for MLTI through 2021.
- June 2019 – August 2020: The Department holds meetings with stakeholders regarding the future of MLTI (post SY 2020-2021) and convenes a workgroup to develop a State plan
- July 2020 – June 30, 2021: Bridge Year
- October 2020: The Department announces plan for MLTI post SY 2020-2021 (including the release of any necessary RFPs)
- July 2021: launch of MLTI 2.0
For more information about the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, contact Beth Lambert, email@example.com, 207-624-6642.