Professional Learning Opportunity: Leveraging Free Technology to Create More Inclusive Classrooms

The Maine Department of Education and Microsoft are collaborating to offer educators the opportunity to participate in a program from March 2019 to June 2019. The program will focus on leveraging free technology tools available to Maine educators to create more inclusive classrooms. A Microsoft Learning Consultant will lead these sessions.

Technology can create opportunities for students to have more independence and agency over their learning.  Leveraging technology to remove barriers to learning can result in and also lead to improved student achievement. During these sessions, educators will learn to integrate several free technology tools to better serve students. These sessions are free for Maine educators.

Program Details:

Educators will receive on-going professional learning support related to the following tools that are designed to support the development of inclusive classrooms: Learning Tools, Accessibility Tools, Sway, Office Lens, One Note, Microsoft Teams, Translator, and Microsoft Inking. They will:

  • Attend two in-person workshops
  • Participate in a facilitated online Professional Learning Community in Microsoft Teams
  • Participate in two webinars (in April and early May) – dates to be determined.

Educators who participate in all parts of the program can earn up to 16 Contact Hours.

Workshop Agendas

Note that registration for each location will be limited to 50 participants. 

Inclusive Classrooms Part 1

March 27th, 2019 – Augusta

March 28th, 2019 – Gorham

March 29th, 2019 – Bangor

 

8:30am Light Refreshments
9:00am Welcome and Introductions
9:15am Microsoft Teams
10:15am Break
10:30am Supporting English Language Learners
11:30am Lunch
12:15pm Accessibility Tools
2:45pm Closing
3:00pm End

 

 

Inclusive Classrooms Part 2

May 29th, 2019 – Augusta

May 30th, 2019 – Bangor

May 31st, 2019 – Gorham

 

8:30am Light Refreshments
9:00am Welcome and Introductions
9:15am Connections: Sharing what you’ve done with the tools
10:15am Break
10:30am Authoring Accessible Content
11:30am Lunch
12:15pm More tools to create inclusive classrooms
2:00pm Planning for greater impact in your school/district
2:45pm Closing
3:00pm End

Who should register?

All educators are invited to register, though space is limited in each session. If districts want to focus their participation on certain educators, the tools can be very helpful the work of: Special Education Directors and Teachers, Teachers of English Language Learners, School Leaders, Curriculum Coordinators, Technology Integrators, and Library Media Specialists.

Registration:

Inclusive Classrooms Part 1

Register by 3/8 if you want Microsoft to bring a device for you to use, otherwise, register by 3/20 and plan to bring a device with Microsoft OneNote, Word, Powerpoint, etc.

March 27th, 2019 – Augusta (Registration Form)

March 28th, 2019 – Gorham (Registration Form)

March 29th, 2019 – Bangor (Registration Form)

Inclusive Classrooms Part 2

Register by 5/10 if you want Microsoft to bring a device for you to use, otherwise, register by 5/20 and plan to bring a device with Microsoft OneNote, Word, Powerpoint, etc.

May 29th, 2019 – Augusta (Registration Form)

May 30th, 2019 – Bangor (Registration Form)

May 31st, 2019 – Gorham (Registration Form)

 

Note: Please communicate with your technology director to be sure that you and your students will be able to access Office 365 tools (free to schools) on your devices and network.

 

For additional information or answers to questions, please contact:

 

Amanda Nguyen

Digital Learning Specialist

Maine Department of Education

Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Participates in National Cybersecurity Opportunity for Young Women in High School

To help educate more young women about the opportunities in the field of cybersecurity, Governor Janet Mills, the Maine Office of Information Technology, and the Maine Department of Education are promoting ‘GirlsGoCyberStart’, an exciting national program that uses online games of discovery to introduce high school girls to the field.

“Cybersecurity is a growing and critical field. It is more important than ever before to train skilled experts in Maine and across the nation to defend our national and financial security,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This program will help young women pursue the education and training they need for lifelong careers and leadership positions in cybersecurity.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for information security analysts is expected to be very high, as these analysts will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Maine students to showcase the incredible skills and talent they have acquired from the many computer science initiatives, programs, and curricula happening in schools throughout Maine,” said Maine Education Commissioner A. Pender Makin.

CyberStart was created by the SANS Institute and was first piloted to youth in the summer of 2017. The program enabled 3,500 students nation-wide to discover and demonstrate their aptitude for cybersecurity, yet only five percent of the students who participated were young women.  The results of the pilot sparked the GirlsGoCyberStart program, specifically designed to interest young women in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12.

This will be Maine’s second year participating in the GirlsGoCyberStart.  Last year, nearly two hundred students from all over Maine participated in the event and placed in the top 100 of all participating state teams.

“We are excited to join this wonderful opportunity to expand our talent pipeline by engaging young people interested in learning more about cybersecurity and directing them to the appropriate training and career coaching,” said Ande Smith, acting Chief Information Officer for the Office of Information Technology.

Maine students who participate in GirlsGoCyberStart will be doing so alongside students from Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or programming experience.  All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Young women in high school who excel in the GirlsGoCyberStart game will have the opportunity to win scholarships and other prizes.  The website for registration opens on February 18, 2019. More information about the program and eligibility can be found at CyberStartUS.

For more information about Maine’s participation in the program, contact Dr. Kelly Samson-Rickert, Director of Workforce Innovations for the Maine Office of Information Technology at Kelly.Rickert@maine.gov or 207-624-9965.

Professional Learning Opportunity: Learning Design Lab at East Grand School

Maine Educators are invited to visit East Grand School in Danforth, Maine on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, to join a Learning Design Lab lead by Kim Gray, a Kindergarten teacher, Jill Plummer, a Middle School teacher, and Jennifer Gilman, a 6-12 Mathematics teacher. This is an opportunity for educators to visit classrooms and talk with students and teachers about ways technology is successfully integrated into elementary, middle, and high school grades.

Elementary grades use digital learning portfolios to capture evidence of student learning over time and to engage families in their students’ learning journey. Middle grades have a new cohort that has embarked on project-based and place-based learning. Visiting educators can also engage with high school students who will demonstrate some of their work with 3D printing and the school’s Virtual Reality Lab. After visiting classrooms, educators will have time to debrief the experience with lead teachers and to be supported as they plan ways to bring what they’ve learned back to their schools.

  • Date: Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 (Snow date: Wednesday, March 13th)
  • Time: 9am – 2pm (arrival begins at 8:30am with light refreshments)
  • Location: East Grand School, 31 Houlton Road, Danforth, ME
  • Open to all Maine educators who have completed the fingerprinting and background check process through the Maine DOE as part of your employment in your local district.
  • Free to attend
  • Contact Hours: Educators can earn 5 contact hours
  • Registration (please complete by Wednesday, February 27th at 5pm): http://bit.ly/EastGrandLearningLabRegistration

Agenda

8:30am – 9:00am: Arrival (light refreshments will be provided)
9:00am – 9:30am:  Welcome and Introductions
9:30am – 11:00am: Classroom Visits
11:00 -11:45am: Lunch (will be provided)
11:45am – 12:45pm – Conversations with lead educators
12:45pm – 1:45pm: Supported planning time
1:45pm – 2pm: Closing and Reflections

For answers to questions or more information, please contact Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov or 207-624-6656.

MLTI T-shirt Design Competition Accepting Entries Until April 12, 2019!

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) has hosted a design challenge for years. Students were asked to submit original works of digital art that could be used as screensavers. Twenty winners were chosen, and those images were used as screensavers on thousands of student laptops across the state each year. This was a way to celebrate the varied ways students could create with the MLTI technology and share with others across the state.

This year, the MLTI still wants to encourage students to create digital art and share it widely, however instead of a screensaver challenge, we will be hosting a T-shirt Design Competition. A panel of judges will narrow the submissions down to five designs, and then we will ask Maine students and educators to vote for their top choice. The winning T-shirt will be printed for the 1000+ attendees of the 16th Annual MLTI Student Conference, which will be held on Thursday, May 23rd at the University of Maine in Orono. Additionally, based on design submissions, up to 20 students will be selected to receive free registration to the conference.

Eligibility:

  • Any student who attends an elementary, middle, or high school in Maine during the 2018-2019 school year is eligible to enter the competition.
  • Students may work in teams, but the design must be an original piece of artwork created only by eligible students.

Submission Guidelines:

  • All submissions must be an original artwork. Any use of any photo, drawing, images or elements created by any other person (other than the MLTI logo) is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification.
    • Please adhere to the guidelines for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards regarding copyright and plagiarism: Even if you have permission to use a work or if the work is in the public domain, the work that you submit to this competition must represent a new, original work. Additionally, changing the medium of an original work is not considered transformative. For example, a painting or drawing of a photograph taken from the Internet or a magazine is not considered original and should not be submitted.
  • Each student or team may only submit one entry.
  • The artwork should be sized to 81/2” x 11”.
  • Students may hand-draw or digitally design their artwork.
  • Digitally designed artwork should be 300 dpi, RGB color, and the fonts must be embedded.
  • Submitted artwork must incorporate the phrase “MLTI Student Conference” and the year “2019” or “’19”.
  • Students must incorporate the MLTI logo into their design: downloadable files or by copying and pasting this link: http://bit.ly/MLTI_logos.
  • The design should reflect this year’s conference theme and include the text: “#Create4ME.” We are celebrating the power of students to create innovative solutions to challenges in Maine or the spirit of entrepreneurism that is found in many Maine communities. Technology often plays a role in that creation, but doesn’t need to be depicted explicitly.
    • Optional: Students may submit an artist statement (less than 200 words) with their design to help bring clarity to their adherence to the theme.
  • Acceptable file types: PDF or JPEG high resolution.
  • Color: T-shirts are one solid color with one color ink, and the student can suggest the color for each.
  • The t-shirt design must fit on the front of the t-shirt.
  • Signed Release: Each student must sign this release and include it in their submission. If the link above doesn’t work, please copy and paste this link: http://bit.ly/MLTI2019T-shirtDesignCompetitionRelease

Judging Criteria

  • Guidelines: Work clearly adheres to the submission guidelines.
  • Theme: Work has represented the theme “Create for ME” or “Create4ME”.
  • Principles of Design: Work incorporated the following elements of art: balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, and unity.

Timeline:

  • Competition opens: February 5th, 2019
  • T-shirt designs due: April 12th, 2019 (no late entries will be accepted)
  • Finalists selected and notified: April 18th, 2019
  • Voting opens: April 19th, 2019
  • Voting closes: April 30th, 2019
  • Winner Announced: May 1st, 2019

Ready to enter the competition?

Submit your entry with this form or copy and paste this link:

http://bit.ly/MLTITshirtCompetitionSubmission2019

For more information or answers to questions, please contact Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov

Call for Student and Educator Team Proposals: MLTI Student Conference

The MLTI Student Conference Committee is issuing the call for student and educator team proposals for the 16th Annual MLTI Student Conference, to be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at the University of Maine in Orono.

Two important notes:

  1. Proposals are due much earlier this year! This will allow us to have a session list finalized by the time conference registration opens.
  2. Ideally, all proposals will have some form of student leadership incorporated. This could mean students will lead the whole session (with some adult support), students will serve as guides/coaches during the activity portion, or something in between. Students can co-present with teachers or other educators (including from community or business organizations).

Sessions will be one-hour long, must involve some form of creating, making, and doing, and should leave participants excited about what they learned and eager to share their experiences with others.

Here’s the information you need to submit a proposal:

Conference Theme:  Create for ME

Possible Topics:  Proposals are not limited to the conference theme, and might include topics such as music, spoken word recording, coding, video production, graphic design, or writing and publishing your collection of short stories.

Device Requirements:  The student conference supports all MLTI devices, regardless of platform and encourages “platform-agnostic” sessions.

A Proposal Submission must include:

  1. The name of your school
  2. The title of your session
  3. List of all presenters ($15 registration cost will be waived for up to two presenters per session)
  4. A description of your session:
    • What skill will participants learn? How will you teach this?
    • What activity will participants engage in – what will they create?
    • What can participants expect to walk away knowing and being able to do?
  5. Materials to share in the conference registration form:
    • Short video advertisement of the session (less than a minute)
    • Short description of the session (less than 200 words)
  6. Student leadership information:
    • How will student leaders be incorporated into the session?
    • How will they be empowered to succeed during preparation and during the day of the conference?
  7. Session requirements:
    • Level of expertise needed to participate fully (beginner, intermediate, expert)
    • The maximum number of participants you can accommodate (room sizes vary from 30-100)
    • Space set up requests (auditorium, tables/chairs, projector, speakers, etc.)
  8. Technology requirements:
    • A list of which platforms can be used in the session: (MacBook, iPad, ProBook, ElitePad, Chromebook, other)
    • Software and materials participants must have to participate (be specific)
  9. The name of the educator to be contacted about this proposal, and their email and phone number

Submit Proposals by 5 pm, Friday, March 15, 2019 to this online form or copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://bit.ly/MLTI-student-conference-proposals-2019. It is recommended that you type your answers in a separate document and then copy them into the form, so you can be sure to save your work.

General Timeline:

  • Proposals due: 3/15
  • Proposals selected: 3/22
  • Registration open: 4/1
  • Last day to register: 4/23

Spread the word – if you know of someone doing fantastic work involving technology with making, doing, or storytelling please encourage them to submit a proposal or send an email with suggestions to Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov!

For more information or answers to questions, please visit the MLTI Student Conference page or contact Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov.