The 34th annual ACTEM Conference was a virtual event for the second year in a row and offered over fifty sessions from a variety of Maine educators, educational consultants, and edtech vendors. The Maine Department of Education’s MLTI team offered eleven sessions that showcased their diversity of knowledge and experience.
On Thursday afternoon, Digital Learning Specialists, Jon Graham and Emma Banks, led a “Meet the MLTI Ambassadors” session, which provided an overview of professional learning under MLTI 2.0. The Ambassadors (Rob Dominick, Holly Graffam, Kate Meyer, Erik Wade and Jonathan R. Werner) were able to introduce themselves, discuss what drew them to the position, and each shared some aspects of their role within MLTI. The recording of the session has been made publicly available by ACTEM and is available here for viewing:
The ten sessions hosted by the Ambassadors were largely developed from their classroom experiences and several drew heavily from the realities of the past two school years. Kate Meyer’s, “Let’s Talk: Using Parlay Ideas to Practice Civil Discourse,” and Holly Graffam’s, “EdPuzzle, FlipGrid & HyperDocs to Build a Video/Audio Library,” spoke to apps that they used regularly in both in-person and hybrid education settings. Holly also tapped a Technology Engineering teacher, Scott Daigle, to co-present, “Add a Little Fruit to Your Tech Diet with Pear Deck.” Erik Wade, the only Minecraft certified Educator in the state of Maine, brought his expertise to his offering, “Engage, Explore, and Create with Minecraft Education Edition.” Rob Dominick, a Google certified educator and trainer, presented sessions on two popular Google tools in, “Making G Sheets FUNCTIONal,” and, “Powering Up Google Slides.” Aside from the exploration of specific tools, Erik Wade blended science and outdoor education in his sessions, “Engaging Students through Citizen Science” and, “Authentic Integration of Technology and the Outdoors.”
Two additional sessions, facilitated by Jonathan R. Werner, arose from his experience with a pair of concepts that have proven highly successful in shaping educators’ practice both during the pandemic and going forward. The first, “Ready to LAUNCH: Bringing Design Thinking to Your Classroom,” offered educators a glimpse of how Jon Spencer and A.J. Juliani’s, LAUNCH Cycle, with its reliance on iterative thinking and prototyping practices, might apply to a range of classrooms and disciplines. His second session, “Irresistible: Fighting Back Against Addictive Tech,” focused on ways educators can help address the tensions that emerge when our reliance on tech to facilitate teaching and learning bumps up against the tech industry’s aggressive efforts to distract and entertain its consumers.
All of the MLTI Ambassadors’ sessions, as well as dozens of other sessions from ACTEM `21, (plus over a hundred sessions from previous conferences) are available through the ACTEM website for members.
ACTEM’s Vendor Expo Hall provided another opportunity for the MLTI team to connect with some educators from across the state. The MLTI “table” featured a Bitmoji classroom inspired space that offered links to some of the key programs tied to the team. During the afternoon expo time, a rotating group of Ambassadors joined in-person. Some educators joined and made introductions in the chat, while others came right in with their cameras on for some face-to-face discussion. It was a relaxed and welcoming environment. This proved to be another vital step in making contact to educators, especially those at the MLTI Ambassadors’ respective schools, as the MLTI 2.0 professional learning program comes together.
The MLTI Ambassadors are available to provide professional learning to all MLTI schools. If you are not sure which Ambassador has been assigned your school, check out our interactive map. If you are interested in connecting with an MLTI Ambassador, contact information is here. If you are looking to learn more about MLTI 2.0, please check out our website.