Update on Maine Department of Education’s MLTI Plan- Post June 2020

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 MLTI program are set to expire on June 30, 2020. Included in the Department’s biennium budget package, which is currently being considered by the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, are funds to support a “bridge year” for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Department is actively working with current vendors to secure agreements for this “bridge year,” which will enable SAUs to maintain existing levels of technology support. The details of these agreements are still being developed, so the following information is very preliminary:

  • SAUs in cohort 4 (lease begun in 2016) for 7th & 8th grade and staff devices will keep their current devices for SY 2020-2021. They will continue to receive the software, wireless networks, technical support, and professional development they have been receiving. After SY 2020-2021, these SAUs will have the option to buy out their devices at the 2015 rates, $28/ iPad and $48/ laptop.
  • SAUs who are currently leasing additional devices (elementary or high school student and staff devices) from the Department will continue to lease those devices from the Department at a reduced cost of $73/ iPad; $118/ laptop. They will continue to receive the software, wireless networks, technical support, and professional development they have been receiving. After SY 2020-2021, these SAUs will have the option to buy out their devices at the 2015 rates, $28/ iPad and $48/ laptop.
  • SAUs who are currently receiving MLTI grants from the Department that are set to expire in June of 2020 will be granted an additional year of the same grant award as the previous 4 years.

The Department would use the additional time afforded by the “bridge year” to meet with stakeholders throughout the state, collecting feedback on what has worked well in the past, as well as innovative ideas about the future of MLTI. Discussions would 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 would 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.

  • May 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: SAUs have the option to buy out devices; launch of the future MLTI

For more information about the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, contact Beth Lambert, beth.lambert@maine.gov, 207-624-6642.

#DigCit4ME Challenge Highlights Top-finishers and Concludes with Webinar Opportunity on May 9th, 2019.

Since January 2019, educators across the state of Maine have been participating in a blended learning experience designed to support schools as they integrate Digital Citizenship concepts into various student learning opportunities. In particular, participants learned how the Health Education and Physical Education Standards intersected with the Common Sense Media Framework, as well as opportunities to explore these concepts within other content areas.

The #DigCit4ME Challenge featured in-person workshops (agenda and resources)  and an online game designed collaboratively between the Maine Department of Education and Alludo Learning.

Several educators asked questions about the process of designing a blended learning opportunity, so the Department will co-host a webinar where the team from Alludo Learning will discuss the pedagogy behind their design (including gamified learning, evidence-based learning, choice-based learning, and digital badging) and the Department will talk more about our process of designing this blended learning opportunity. Educators will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentation.

Webinar Details:

Additionally, the Department would like to celebrate the participation and success of educators who joined the #DigCit4ME Challenge. Educators and districts competed in the online game, and the results are in:

Districts:

  • First Place: RSU18
  • Second Place: MSAD 17
  • Third Place: Boothbay Region Schools
  • Fourth Place: Falmouth Schools
  • Fifth Place (tie): RSU 10 and Yarmouth School System

Educators: *There were some educators who would have placed with high scores, but we didn’t have permission to print their names!

  • First place: Tim Hebda (Wayneflete School)
  • Second place: Matthew Drewette-Card (MSAD 46)
  • Third place: Maria Reinstein (RSU 10)
  • Fourth place (tie): Kelly Fraser (MSAD 44) and Carisa Hammer (MSAD 17),
  • Fifth place (tie): Allison Braley (RSU 25), Chris Kierstead (RSU 18), Ryan Palmer (MSAD 75), and Nick Shuman (York School Department)

Congratulations and thank you for everything you did to provide evidence of your learning!

Overall participation:

Credit: https://www.alludolearning.com/maine-doe-pilot?rq=digcit

For answers to questions or more information, please contact:

Amanda Nguyen
Digital Learning Specialist
Maine Department of Education
Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov
Office: 207-624-6656
Cell: 207-441-5757

Students and Educators Invited to Vote for Winner of MLTI T-shirt Design Competition

Earlier this year, students were invited to submit entries to the 2019 MLTI T-Shirt Design Competition. The winning design will be printed on t-shirts that will be worn by 1,000 middle and high school students during the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) 2019 Student Conference. A panel of judges reviewed many entries, identified five finalists, and now invites students and educators to cast their votes for the winning design!

The final designs and ballot (as well as a running tally of votes) will remain available until the end of the day on Tuesday, April 30th. We ask that voters use the honor system and vote only once!

Vote here now!

Additionally, the top 20 student designers were offered free registration to the conference. Congratulations to the following students:

Freeport High School: Leora D., Grace W., Maya D., Reagan D., Jessie M., Corilie G., and Alexander L.

Veazie Community School: Lily C. and Rebekah J.

Saco Middle School: Lucas D.

Southern Aroostook Community School: Rose A., Selena B., Gracie B., Brianna D., Jaelyn F., Collin G., Esther G., Nathan M., and Breanne W.

Registration for the MLTI Student Conference remains open through Friday, May 3rd and is open to all Maine schools to send a group of students.

For answers to questions or more information, please contact:

Amanda Nguyen

Digital Learning Specialist

Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov

207-624-6656

Registration Open for the 16th Annual MLTI Student Conference

Registration for the 2019 MLTI Student Conference, taking place on Thursday, May 23rd at the University of Maine campus in Orono, will be open from Monday, April 1st until Tuesday, April 23rd.

We’re expecting 1000 students and their adult chaperones to fill the concert hall at the Collins Center for the Arts for the opening student keynote and, at the end of the day, for the so-called “Über Session.” Between the opening and closing at the Collins Center, students will spill out over the campus for a “college way” lunch, and for sessions where they will learn and create in a variety of ways – through coding, audio, video, images, text, and more. As always, this will be a time for celebration and fun challenges. Described by past participants as, “Our favorite day of the year,” we are dedicated to keeping it that way!

The registration cost for each participant (student or adult) is once again $15. This fee includes all event activities, lunch for each registrant, and a 2019 MLTI Student Conference T-Shirt for each student. Schools will be invoiced for registration costs after the conference.

New this year:

  1. Each student will complete their own registration form and will be expected to register for specific sessions ahead of time. Please plan for this as part of the registration process this year!
  2. Even students from non-MLTI grades can attend the conference. We encourage chaperones to work with students during the registration process to make sure they have a device that will allow them to participate fully.

For more information, please visit: https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/ltt/conference

To register, go to:  https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/ltt/conference/register

Please be sure to register by Tuesday, April 23rd!

Questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the planning team at mlti.project@maine.gov, and we look forward to seeing you and a team of students from your school in Orono on May 23rd!

Reminder of Cybersecurity Opportunity for Students

As a reminder, ‘GirlsGoCyberStart’, an exciting national program that uses online games of discovery to introduce high school girls to the cybersecurity field, is open for registration. Young women in high school who excel in the GirlsGoCyberStart game will have the opportunity to win scholarships and other prizes.

This will be Maine’s second year participating in the program. 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.

Participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or programming experience.  All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. The website for registration can be found here. Registration for GirlsGoCyberStart runs from February 18, 2019 to March 20, 2019, when the event begins.

To be eligible to participate, students must:

  • Identify as female
  • Be at least 13 years old.
  • Be enrolled in 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade at a public or private school (or the home school equivalent)

For further information please contact Carrie Valentine, Director of Workforce Innovations for the Maine Office of Information Technology at Carrie.Valentine@maine.gov.