Guidance on District Technology Plan Development for 2017 – 2018 and 2018 – 2019

Over the past few months, there have been a number of questions about expectations for completing and submitting to the Department district technology plans. This correspondence is designed to answer those questions for district and school administrators, in particular, those who are responsible for developing technology plans.

Has the Technology Plan Requirement Changed?

Yes, there are three main points here:

  1. The federal technology plan requirement for E-rate eligibility no longer exists.
    • Districts still need to maintain copies of approved plans and approval letters for the time specified to your district under federal requirements at the time you last submitted a plan.
  2. Districts should include their technology plan in their Comprehensive Education Plan.
    • This is not submitted to the Department, however, superintendents certify this is complete on their School Approval Application, which is submitted to the DOE.
  3. The MLTI Participation Agreement includes additional guidance.
    • Superintendents signed participation agreements when their schools opted into an MLTI solution.
    • A sample participation packet can be found at the link below: http://www.maine.gov/doe/mlti/policy/responsibility_sau/index.html
    • Two parts are relevant to the new technology plan expectations:
      • “#3. SAU agrees to address how MLTI will support its school and district goals in its Board-approved technology plan.”
        • This does not mean that the DOE needs to review or approve your plan.
      • “#11. SAU agrees to take part in studies, surveys, etc. related to the MLTI (e.g. Bright Bytes).
        • This part enables us to have state-wide insight on the impact of MLTI and the use of the technology for better teaching and learning outcomes.

What Does This Change Mean for My District?

  • In 2017 – 2018, we’ve asked districts that receive state support for participation in MLTI and whose current approval expires in June 2018, to share their technology plan with us. This can be accomplished using the short form provided to districts earlier this year (see below).
  • In 2018 – 2019, only the schools that are participating in the MLTI Apple and HP opt-ins (have those solutions or packages) will be asked to provide information to the Department. Districts will be asked to have students and staff complete the BrightBytes survey in the fall of 2018, no later than November 30, 2018, and may be asked a few additional questions by the Department.
  • For those districts that want technical support as they review their data or create action plans related to technology use, the Department will still provide support and will be continuing to work with BrightBytes to offer online and in-person learning opportunities.

Form for 2017 – 2018:

  • The form to be submited to the DOE is substantially shorter. A number of districts have gathered a small group of stakeholders and completed this task in a matter of hours.
  • The form can be found here: http://www.maine.gov/doe/mlti/techplan/2018DistrictTechPlanForm.docx
  • The goal of the new form is to encourage:
    • Purposeful and intentional use of technology for teaching and learning
    • Planning for technology use with multiple stakeholders
    • Alignment of technology use to your schools/districts’ mission or priorities
  • The form requires you to pick five data points from BrightBytes and create an action plan to improve each.
    • This means that you need to administer the BrightBytes survey to your students and staff.
    • Advice: Pick a unifying theme or overarching goal, and then think of the data points as five indicators of progress toward that goal.
    • Rationale: Doing so allows you to align your technology plan to existing school and district priorities and allows you to talk with teachers and students about using technology in a way that already supports the teaching and learning that is happening (instead of thinking of it as one more thing to do).
  • For districts that want feedback on this form, please submit it to Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov by June 30th. You will receive feedback over the summer.

If you have any questions about this, you can reach out to Amanda Nguyen Digital Learning Specialist for the Maine Department of Education at  Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov or 207-624-6656.

 

MEDIA ADVISORY: MLTI Student Conference to be held on May 24th at UMaine

What:
The 15th annual Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) Student Conference is once again bringing Maine students together for hands-on learning with technology.

Who:
Over 1000 Maine middle school and high school students, and their teachers

Where/When:
Thursday, May 24, 2018
University of Maine, Orono Campus
8:40 am –  Opening/Student Keynote (Collins Center for the Arts )
1:10 pm – Closing “Uber” session (Collins Center for the Arts )
Breakout sessions all day (throughout the Campus – Sessions by Location Quick Guide)

Schedule Highlights: 
Between 8 am and 8:45 am, school busses unload hundreds of excited students and adults who grab conference T-shirts and file into the Hutchins Concert Hall, where the Ballroom Thieves and the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra provide a musical welcome.

8:45 am – After Brief Welcome by DOE, UMaine and Apple representatives,
Student Keynote Speaker Nicole Pendleton, an 8th-grader from Camden-Rockport Middle School, takes the stage, followed by a professional reflection by Andrew Johnson, VP of Business Development at Ai2.

2 Blocks of Hands-on Learning Sessions: Visit classrooms where students are demonstrating and learning how to create in a variety of ways – through coding, audio, video, images, text and more.

1:10 pm – “Uber” session in the Hutchins Concert Hall at the Collins Center for the Arts – Over 1000 students and adults participate in a group music project using their laptops and tablets, guided by the Ballroom Thieves and the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra

For more information visit:

Members of the media are welcome to attend. For further questions contact, Maine DOE Director of Communications Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov or call 624-6747.

15th Annual MLTI Student Conference

Registration is open for the 2018 MLTI Student Conference, taking place on Thursday, May 24th at the University of Maine campus in Orono.

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.” Once again, music and coding will drive the opening and closing sessions.

Between the opening and closing at the Collins Center, students will spill out over the campus for lunch and for sessions where students will learn and create in a variety of ways – through coding, audio, video, images, text, and more. Sessions throughout the day will be optimized for current MLTI devices (Apple and HP laptops and tablets), although other devices can participate in most activities as long as they can access the Internet. Session listings will specify device requirements.

As always, this will be a time for celebration and fun challenges. From the opening Student Keynote through the Block 1 & 2 sessions across the campus, to lunch the “college way,” and on to an amazing Über Session, this day will be another of what so many folks over the past decade-and-a-half have described as “our favorite day of the year!”

The registration cost for each participant (student or adult) is $15, the same as last year. This fee includes all event activities, lunch for each registrant, and a 2018 MLTI Student Conference T-Shirt for each student. Schools will be invoiced for registration costs after the Conference.

To register, go to: http://maine.gov/doe/mlti/student/studentconference/registration/index.html

Registration closes Friday, May 11th.

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 24th!

Technology Plan Update

Technology plans are designed to help educators and school leaders think about how they use technology and how to better leverage technology to improve student learning. The Learning through Technology team at the Department of Education manages the technology planning process and assists schools in learning to use technology more effectively.  This communication sets forth guidance regarding technology plans that are due in the 2017-18 school year as well as plans that were due in prior years.

Plans Due in 2018

For plans that are due by June 30, 2018, school administrative units (SAUs) have two options:

  1. Submit a learning technology plan following the guidelines from the 2016-2017 school year.
  2. Submit a learning technology plan using the guidance for the 2017-2018 school year. This guidance was developed recognizing that SAUs have a smaller window of time to complete this process and that many SAUs have asked for more clarity about what exactly the Department is looking for in these plans.

More information about the specific requirements can be found here: http://www.maine.gov/doe/mlti/techplan/

For both options, schools will need to administer the BrightBytes Technology and Learning Survey to students and use their data to inform planning for technology use in their schools and SAUs. BrightBytes offers webinars and in-person workshops to help schools and SAUs leverage their BrightBytes data for technology planning.

(Note: Webinars will be recorded and posted to be viewed at a later date.)

Webinar: Technology and Learning for Curriculum Leaders: Using T&L to Transform Instruction (March 15, 2018  from 3:30 -4:30pm) – still accepting registration.

Webinar: Technology and Learning for District Admin: Vision to Action, Lighthouse Schools, and Pilots (April 10, 2018 from 3 – 5pm)

Onsite “Data Into Action” Workshops: Building Actionable Instructional Technology Plans that Really Drive Change (Offered regionally during the weeks of May 7th and May 14th – specific locations and times TBD)

Registration and more information about these sessions (as well as recordings of past webinars) can be found here: http://bit.ly/2sxx7CZ

If you have any questions about technology plans due in 2018, please contact Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov or 207-624-6656.

Plans Due in 2016 or 2017

If you haven’t received an approval letter from the department for a technology plan that was due from your SAU in 2016 or 2017, , please send an email requesting an approval letter to mlti.project@maine.gov.  If you have questions about those pre-2018 plans, please contact Deb Friedman, Learning through Technology Project Manager at Deborah.Friedman@maine.gov or 207-624-6834.

Learning Through Technology Update

The Learning Through Technology Team at the Maine Department of Education is committed to helping teachers integrate technology into their classrooms in a way that improves student learning outcomes and achievement. We have three new ways to engage with educators this year that are designed to gather input and build capacity.

Professional Learning Survey

We are looking for input from all Maine educators as we develop a schedule of offerings for professional learning during the 2017 – 2018 school year. We want to know which topics are of most interest to you and the format in which you’d like to see the professional learning offered. The survey should take 5 – 10 minutes to complete. We’ll begin reviewing responses on September 18th! Please complete the survey today and share the link with any other educators in Maine that you know!

Link to survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LTTPL2017

School Visits

We have a new model for school visits. The goal has shifted from looking at MLTI implementation to recognizing the positive efforts of educators who are integrating technology into their learning environments and providing support to schools as they continue to leverage their technology for better student outcomes. Please reach out to Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at the Maine Department of Education (Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov) if you’d like to schedule a school visit.

Link to school visit information: http://maine.gov/doe/mlti/schoolvisit/index.html

Learning Narratives Blog

We have a new blog that captures the stories of Maine educators who are leveraging technology for learning. Stories come from individual educators and also from our new school visits. The goal is to share models with other schools and educators. If you want to share your story, or recommend educators who we could contact to share their stories, please reach out to Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at the Maine Department of Education (Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov).

Link to Learning Narratives blog: https://learningnarratives.wordpress.com