Author Archives: Maine Department of Education

Virtual Reality Immersive Expo

Virtual Reality Immersive Expo
6/19/17 from 10:00am – 4:00pm
Maine State Library
#ImmerseME

Register for the Expo (free) »

There have been many advances in technology that can provide educators with the tools to facilitate deeper learning of complex concepts, and provide students with a more immersive learning experience.

To help facilitate a better understanding of these tools and to bring Maine educators to the forefront of innovative education delivery, the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Sate Library have invited organizations that are using virtual reality in education to come and demonstrate their education tools on June 19th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Maine State Library.

There will be booths located in the atrium of the Maine State Library, and 30 minute presentations throughout the day by organizations, higher education partners, and local schools that have already begun to integrate virtual reality into their classrooms.

The intent of the day is to provide Maine educators with an awareness of these tools and to start encouraging innovative ideas about how virtual reality can be integrated into more Maine classrooms.

Register for the Expo (free) »
We are encouraging folks who attend to use # ImmerseME on social media during the event!

(Check back for a schedule of 30 minutes presentations.)

____________________________________________________________________

List of Participants:
(this list will continue to be updated)

zSpace

  • Presenting: zSpace Learning Lab – zSpace combines AR and VR to create the ultimate learning experience. The zSpace Learning Lab includes a suite of educational software, hundreds of learning activities ready for integration into your curriculum, and zSpace all-in-one PCs.
  • Enhanced learning: Students racing to get to class? That was the scenario when Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District in New York introduced zSpace, a virtual reality technology that allows students to create, test and experiment in an interactive, 3D world. For the 2014-15 school year, students learned science concepts using the zSpace STEM Lab, which consists of a set of virtual reality stations, each outfitted with an interactive stylus as well as a wide variety of educational software ranging from life science to physics and engineering. Now, at the tail end of their first year using the technology, teachers and administrators recognize that the excitement has led to more in-depth and engaged learning in STEM subjects than they have seen in the past.
  • Website: www.zspace.com

Luccia

  • Presenting: Luccia is a total software solution for creating, sharing, and exploring VR education content and experiences. They are currently working with higher education institutions to help develop their VR strategy for their stakeholders through an easy-to-use desktop-driven VR creation process (similar to SquareSpace, but for VR) that can then be directly delivered to various VR devices. The result is a live and networked VR social experience that is directly managed by the institution.
  • Enhanced learning: They are working with Hult International Business School to deliver virtual campus tours to their global audience of prospective and current students. The school is preparing to send out low-cost Google Cardboard headsets along with admission documents so students can visit the various global Hult campuses in New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Hong Kong without leaving their home countries. This is driven by the Luccia platform and allows admissions staff from Hult to host live virtual reality campus tours that are immersive and comprehensive experiences to facilitate the sharing of the beautiful Hult campuses.
  • Website: www.teamluccia.com
  • Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXXVef3Vfy0

York School Department

  • Presenting: Google Expeditions – Bring Your Lessons To Life. Imagine exploring coral reefs or the surface of Mars in an afternoon. With Expeditions, teachers can take students on immersive, virtual journeys. From Machu Picchu to Antarctica to the International Space Station – where will you take your class?
  • Enhanced learning: York School Department has run over 50 Expeditions through the 16-17 school year. Every time one is run, students rave about how they gain a new perspective of what is being displayed. Expeditions not only engage students to learn more thoroughly, but is also teacher led to ensure they stay on task.
  • Website: https://edu.google.com/expeditions/

Bates College

  • Presenting: Oculus Rift setup and their current easy workflow for creating VR tours of historically reconstructed buildings designed by students in SketchUp.
  • Enhanced learning: In the last year several faculty in the humanities have become interested in having students work with the 3D modeling tool SketchUp Pro to create digital reconstructions of ancient cities and buildings. These projects require students to explore ancient structures through primary and secondary sources, and to use that knowledge to bring them to life in 3D with modern software tools, like SketchUp. Virtual reality improves upon this by allowing students to tour their 3D reconstructions in a much more immersive way, experiencing them as though they were really there.
  • Website: http://www.bates.edu/curricular-research-computing/technology-themes/virtual-reality/

University of New England (UNE) -The Alfred Lab

  • Presenting: NN/LM Technology Grant for Embodied Labs Virtual Reality Experience: “Empathy Learned Through an Extended Medical Education Virtual Reality Project”
  • Enhanced learning: Descriptive data from the post-assessments showed:
    92% agreed or strongly agreed that this experience helped them learn about empathy, 88% agreed or strongly agreed that the experience helped them learn about macular degeneration from the patient’s perspective, 89% agreed or strongly agreed that the experience helped them learn about hearing loss from the patient’s perspective, 93% agreed or strongly agreed that curriculum that includes empathy training is important for their future career.
  • Website: http://www.une.edu/news/2017/gaining-empathy-through-virtual-reality-une-college-osteopathic-medicine-featured-front-page
    Embodied Labs: http://www.embodiedlabs.com/
  • NN/LM NER Funding: https://nnlm.gov/ner/funding

Nearpod

  • Presenting: Imagine taking your students to the Taj Majal, The Pyramids of Giza, the Washington Monument or the Great Wall of China. All from the comfort of your classroom.  Whether you have iPads, Chromebooks, Macs or PCs in your classroom – Nearpod VR works on any device. And by using our VR headsets, you can make the experience more immersive.
  • Website: https://nearpod.com/nearpod-vr

HP Inc.

  • Presenting: Regardless of whether it’s in a classroom, lab or library, Sprout Pro prepares students for next-gen careers and elevates instructional techniques by engaging with immersive blended reality and STEAM experiences. With its dual touch interfaces, 2D and 3D scanning and digital inking, Sprout Pro enhances and improves the way educators and students interact with technology.
  • Enhanced learning: Sprout is not a VR solution, but it incorporates 3D imaging and there are many apps that work on the Windows 10 operating system, which Sprout runs on, that incorporate VR.  The following video showcases a school using Sprout, talking about how it has enhanced their learning experience: https://youtu.be/Rs3u50PYmyw
  • Website: hp.com/go/sproutforlearning

UMaine IMRE Lab

  • Presenting: HandWaver is a gesture-based virtual mathematical making environment where learners at all levels can use their hands to act on mathematical structures directly, without mediating their intuitions through equations, keyboards, or mouse movements. HandWaver allows learners to make, modify, measure, and explore mathematical objects in a virtual three dimensional space.  We developed HandWaver to increase access to meaningful mathematical experiences for all learners.
  • Enhanced Learning: HandWaver was developed by the Immersive Mathematics in Rendered Environments (IMRE) Research Lab at the University of Maine. HandWaver combines aspects of dynamic geometry in virtual reality with new modes of building mathematical objects, such as the ability to use one’s hands to stretch objects between dimensions or revolve objects to create surfaces and solids. Our mission is to explore how new modes of interacting with virtual objects can transform mathematics education.
  • Website: www.handwaver.org
  • Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/ltolk48

Thomas College

  • Presenting: The Center for Innovation in Education at Thomas College is working to design AR/VR learning experiences that involve the vibrant immersion and engagement factor found in educational game design. Two educational game design courses teaching these ideas and skills to future teachers have been added to the education major curriculum in the new School of Education at Thomas College.
  • Enhanced learning: How do great scientists, technologists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians often see the world? Through metaphor. One of the pieces that Ted Prawat, Assistant Professor of Education and Design Center Director at the CIE, has been experimenting with in this direction is using metaphor to look at the big ideas found in science and art by creating an idea card library for classroom teachers that utilizes AR.
  • Website: http://www.thomas.edu/cie/

Maine Math and Science Alliance

  • Presenting: MMSA will be showcasing a variety of augmented reality tools including ARIS and EcoMobile examples and discussing how these innovative tools are a magnificent fit for Maine’s rural schools, specifically pairing place-based pedagogy with student-led and designed AR and VR.
  • Enhanced Learning: When one thinks about rural schools, they may not necessarily think about innovative technology use in the classroom.  But throughout Maine, some of the most remote classrooms are forced to take a risk and build on the technology available to them to create fun, interactive, and meaningful learning experiences.   AR and VR are still finding their way into Maine’s classrooms, but in some classes and afterschool learning environments students are on the cutting edge of science communication as they use and design AR environments to share place-based knowledge about their community.

Mount Desert Island High School

  • Presenting: HTC Vive – Integrating the use of VR in high school. See how Mount Desert Island High School has been aligning and exploring the use of the Vive to enhance learning opportunities. We will cover existing applications in science, math, language arts, social studies, visual arts, and how coding and 3D design intersect with VR to inspire student design. We will also cover the costs and set up considerations for room-scale VR in the school setting.
  • Enhanced learning: MDI High School’s primary use of the Vive system has been to serve as a prototyping medium for their Intro. to Design Thinking course. Students in Computer Science courses are learning to use Unity to design custom VR environments which will provide a means for adapting the use of VR to align with specific learning objectives.
  • Websitehttp://islandinnovationslab.wixsite.com/islandinnovationslab

ThingLink

  • Presenting: Thinglink is a cross-platform tool that allows teachers and students to create interactive virtual reality lessons, field trips and student projects for teaching and learning. Users easily add tags with text, images, audio, video and Google Docs on top of any 360 image to add an interactive layer of learning that engages students like never before. ThingLink is a game-changer in education because it moves students from passive consumption to active engagement, allowing them to achieve the highest levels of deep learning.

Big Room Studios

  • More info coming soon!

Maine School of Science and Mathematics 

  • More info coming soon!

Maine DOE Update – May 18, 2017

From the Maine Department of Education


Notices and Reporting Items

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Notice of proposed rule changes to Chapter 81: Uniform School Bus Standards for Pupil Transportation in Maine

The Maine Department of Education is proposing to repeal and replace Chapter 81: Uniform School Bus Standards for Pupil Transportation in Maine in order to modernize the rule. | More

Applications now being accepted for Health Education and Physical Education Teacher Leader Cadre

The Maine DOE Health Education (HE) and Physical Education (PE) programs are seeking quality, motivated applicants to join the Maine Health Education and Physical Education Teacher Leader Cadre (HEPEC). | More

Changes to School and District IDs for 2017-18 School Year

Since 2004, the Maine Department of Education has issued school and school administrative unit (SAU) IDs generated by the Maine Education Data Management System (MEDMS). The MEDMS system is being decommissioned and will no longer be used to generate or maintain these codes. | More

Important Title VI Small Rural Schools Achievement (SRSA) program update

The US Department of Education will be sponsoring a series of webinars now through June 28 to assist eligible Title VI SRSA districts with the online application process. The webinars will provide a walk-through designed to take applicants from the start to the finish. | More

Delay in implementation of new grant management system

The State of Maine is in the process of implementing a new grant management system for all state agencies, including the Department of Education. In prior communications, we have noted that the system was expected to be available starting this spring. | More 

2017 County Teachers of the Year honored

Teachers from each of Maine’s 16 counties were today honored in Augusta’s State Capitol at an annual event in the Hall of Flags announcing the 2017 Maine County Teachers of the Year. | More 

Improving the Success of Career and Educational Development (CED)

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is looking at the Career and Educational Development (CED) standards within the Maine Learning Results system to understand how schools are meeting the requirements of this content area. | More

Yarmouth takes grand prize in Farm to School Cook-off

Whole grain crepes, a wild blueberry kelp smoothie, granola encrusted French toast and fish tacos were featured on the menu as the top two teams of school food service staff faced off at Freeport High School on April 26. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | Priority Notices


Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Notice of proposed rule changes to Chapter 81: Uniform School Bus Standards for Pupil Transportation in Maine

The Maine Department of Education is proposing to repeal and replace Chapter 81: Uniform School Bus Standards for Pupil Transportation in Maine in order to modernize the rule.

The proposal involves four major changes:

  1. Change the format of the rule to separate the rule into shorter and cleaner regulations.
  2. Remove forms from the rule making it easier to adapt to national changes and align with the federal medical examination regulations.
  3. Update the bus specifications to meet current bus technology, standards, and specifications.
  4. Clarify safety, training, and program language to make the rule easier to interpret.

Proposed language of rule Chapters 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, and 86 can be found on the Department’s website. Written comments should be mailed to: Maine Department of Education, Attn: Pat Hinckley, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333-0023, or emailed to pat.hinckley@maine.gov. The comment deadline is Friday, Jun. 16, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Delay in implementation of new grant management system

The State of Maine is in the process of implementing a new grant management system for all state agencies, including the Department of Education. In prior communications, we have noted that the system was expected to be available starting this spring.

However, as we approach the FY 18 grant cycle, please note that there will be a delay in the implementation of the new system which means that you should continue to use the current GEM system for application and management of education grant opportunities. For grant opportunities that are not available in GEM, management will be manual as it has been in the past.

The Department of Education is working closely with the Office of the State Controller and as we move closer to implementation of the new Grant Management System, communication will be forthcoming.

Thank you for your patience. If you have questions, please contact denise.towers@maine.gov or 624-6863.

Changes to School and District IDs for 2017-18 school year

Since 2004, the Maine Department of Education has issued school and school administrative unit (SAU) IDs generated by the Maine Education Data Management System (MEDMS). The MEDMS system is being decommissioned and will no longer be used to generate or maintain these codes. School and SAU information is now maintained in the NEO Maine Schools module, which has its own set of IDs known as Organization (Org) IDs. Starting with the 2017-18 school year, schools and SAUs will need to use the NEO Org IDs for their schools and districts when communicating data to the Maine DOE. This includes uploading data to the new student information system (Synergy).

The Department will be communicating these ID changes to all student information systems (SIS) vendors that are on file as operating in Maine. Please ensure that your SIS vendor information is up to date in the NEO Maine Schools module so we will communicate with your vendor.

Crosswalks from the old MEDMS codes to the new NEO Org IDs are located on the Department’s Infrastructure website.

If you have any questions about these code changes, please contact Maine DOE’s Education Data Manager Charlotte Ellis at charlotte.ellis@maine.gov or 624-6696.

Yarmouth takes grand prize in Farm to School Cook-off

Whole grain crepes, a wild blueberry kelp smoothie, granola encrusted French toast and fish tacos were featured on the menu as the top two teams of school food service staff faced off at Freeport High School on April 26. This was the final round of the 2nd Annual Maine Farm to School Cook-off, sponsored by the Maine Department of Education, Child Nutrition department. The cook-off aims to promote local products in school meals while showcasing the skills of school food service staff.

Pictured L to R: Stephanie Stambach (Maine DOE), Nikki Dovoren, Blaire Currier (Yarmouth School Department Food Service)

Each team prepared a breakfast and lunch meal that was presented to a panel of judges including a culinary arts student, chef and school nutrition director. The judges scored the dishes based on presentation, taste, creativity and food cost, as well as food safety and time management.

For breakfast, Yarmouth whipped up whole grain crepes with a strawberry topping and Maine maple syrup. This was paired with a wild blueberry kelp smoothie. The judges were impressed by the flavor and texture of the smoothie and commended the team for introducing a less common food to students in an appealing way. RSU 52 created a granola encrusted French toast and wild blueberry compote paired with a strawberry smoothie. Each team was tasked to incorporate wild Maine blueberries as a challenge ingredient in their breakfast dishes.

For lunch, Mexican fare was featured by both teams. RSU 52 cooked up chicken quesadillas with a fresh fruit salsa and grilled potatozana. Yarmouth prepared fish tacos using Gulf of Maine fish with a side of roasted potatoes and apple salsa. The judges commended the teams for a creative twist on a traditional salsa. Maine potatoes were used as the challenge ingredient for lunch.

Congratulations to Yarmouth who took the grand prize and was named the 2017 Maine Farm to School Cook-off Champion! All recipes from the cook-off will be shared in a Maine farm to school cook-off recipe book to be compiled this summer.

For information on how you can be part of next year’s Farm to School cook-off, contact Maine DOE’s  Child Nutrition Consultant Stephanie Stambach at Stephanie.stambach@maine.gov.

Improving the Success of Career and Educational Development (CED)

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is looking at the Career and Educational Development (CED) standards within the Maine Learning Results system to understand how schools are meeting the requirements of this content area. In examining this we are asking all school *principals, or a designated staff member focused in this content area to take a few moments to fill out this brief survey:

CED Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3WHX828
(All surveys should be completed by Friday, June 9, 2017.)

Our goal is to get a snap shot of current implementation trends, discover challenge areas, and determine what supports may be useful for schools to best ensure the successful application of this content area within their curriculum.

College and career readiness development begins in elementary school and is reinforced and expanded as students move toward the attainment of their high school diploma. As such, we want to ensure that all schools at every level have the resources necessary as they work to meet the CED standards.

For questions contact Danielle Despins at danielle.r.despins@maine.gov or 207-624-6608.

*Administrators, please forward this message to the principals in your district.

 

Administrative Letter: New School Approval Process, Maine Schools Update due June 15, 2017

Administrative Letter: #8
Policy Code: KLL
TO: Private School Administrators
FROM: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D. Commissioner
DATE: May 15, 2017
SUBJECT: New School Approval Process, Maine Schools Update due June 15, 2017

In accordance with 20-A M.R.S.A Chapter 117, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) requires private schools seeking approval status to be approved annually. Private schools, until and including 2017-18, have undergone a manual approval process, working with the School Enrollment Specialist.

Currently the Department is working toward moving the private school approval process to the NEO education information system by 2019. Our goal is to streamline and facilitate the entry and transfer of important and sensitive information critical to the school approval process.

Effective immediately, private schools seeking approval/renewal are required to enter their organization data (the NEO Maine Schools Update) on the same schedule as the public schools,* and complete staff data in the NEO Staff module prior to submitting the annual application/report. Please see this linked notice posted on April 12, 2017. The remainder of the Private School Approval process currently remains a manual process.

New Maine DOE School Approval web pages have been set up to fully outline the process, and link to instructions and guides for completing the required information in the NEO Maine Schools and Staff modules. The Private School Approval  web page will be the source for required private school approval annual applications/reports and checklists, and will also provide links to other Department resources related to school approval, such as certification, helpdesk, and private school approval for receipt of public funds.

Please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, Maine DOE School Enrollment Specialist at 207-624-6617 or Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov with questions or comments about the new requirements, the new web pages, or the school approval process.

*NEO Maine Schools must be completed by June 15 of this year. As a preliminary step, in order for an organization to be updated in Maine Schools, the superintendent or chief administrator of the school must be verified in the NEO Staff Module by contacting the Helpdesk staff, 624-6896 at the Department of Education, who can also assist schools who are new to the process or in any stage of the Maine Schools NEO report completion. For School Approval, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor.

Public Preschool Annual Report due July 31

The Maine DOE is reminding school administrative units that have created or expanded a public preschool program within the past two years (2015-16 or 2016-17) to complete the Public Preschool Annual Report by July 31, 2017. The report can be found here 

This year’s report has been shortened to gather only the most pertinent information from Maine’s public preschool programs. 

Please note this report is not required from SAUs with programs existing prior to 2015 or those who completed the Public Preschool Application by the March 31 deadline.

If you have questions about the survey or to inquire if your SAU is required to complete it, please contact Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Program Monitor Nicole Madore at nicole.madore@maine.gov or at 624-6677.

Applications now being accepted for Health Education and Physical Education Teacher Leader Cadre

The Maine DOE Health Education (HE) and Physical Education (PE) programs are seeking quality, motivated applicants to join the Maine Health Education and Physical Education Teacher Leader Cadre (HEPEC). Participants of this initiative are charged with leading the way in ensuring high quality proficiency-based HE & PE in all Maine schools. Cadre participants will work together to provide Maine HE & PE professionals with curriculum, instruction and assessment resources and tools; professional development that supports effective proficiency-based education teaching strategies; and skills and resources to educate about and advocate for quality HE & PE. Successful applicants will:

  • receive training in facilitation and leadership skills and formative assessment;
  • develop and deliver professional development at local, regional and statewide events; and
  • develop a website for the field, as well as, establish other effective modes of communication to share resources and materials.

Administrators are asked to identify potential teachers (pre-K through high school) and encourage them to join the HEPEC for teacher leaders. Enthusiasm and a desire to learn and to lead are more important than the current years of experience. Interested individuals need to complete an online application and submit at least one letter of support from a colleague. Successful applicants will need written approval from administration to participate in the project including permission to attend all the trainings. Maine DOE has grant funding to reimburse substitute pay, mileage and lodging for training days as well as to pay stipends for the Summer Institute. To apply, click here.

For more in-depth information contact Maine DOE’s Health Education & Health Promotion Coordinator Susan Berry at susan.berry@maine.gov or Maine DOE’s Health Education & Physical Education Consultant Jean Zimmerman at jean.zimmerman@maine.gov.