Two MLTI Student Conference Events Planned for 2024 – Registration Open and T-Shirt Design Contests Begins! 

The Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) Learning Through Technology Team is excited to open the registration and t-shift design contest for the 21stannual MLTI Student Conference events! 

Two separate events are being organized this year, each with a distinctive look and approach. We will be organizing another in-person event this year as well as a virtual event again this year, but we are shaking things up. And, for the first time ever, we are hosting two separate t-shirt design contests! See below for more information about these exciting updates. 

MLTI WinterMLTI Virtual Student Conference, March 7th, 2024 

The Learning Through Technology Team is shaking things up with our MLTI Virtual Student Conference this year! We are excited to announce the MLTI Winter Classic, our fifth Virtual Student Conference. This event will be hosted in March this year to provide a unique and innovative opportunity that is better tailored to school schedules and allows for more flexibility than ever before. Join us in a game-based day of fun! Register now to ensure your team can participate in the MLTI “Winter Classic”! 

This event is open to all school districts in the MLTI program. Registration is free and all materials will be provided. Register prior to January 8th to ensure that your team/classroom receives their materials and MLTI t-shirts before the big day! 

Click here for more information and to register for the MLTI Virtual Student Conference. 

MLTI SpringMLTI In-Person Student Conference, May 23rd, 2024 

Join us again this year for a day of learning through technology at the University of Maine in Orono. We are excited to invite you to “Camp MLTI” the 2024 MLTI In-Person Student Conference in May. This event brings together over a thousand students and educators from all across the state for a day of engaging sessions and activities at Maine’s largest university.  

This event is open to all educators and students, grade 5-10 school districts in the MLTI program. Registration is free and all materials will be provided. Register prior to March 29th, to ensure that your team/classroom receives their materials and MLTI t-shirts before the big day! 

Click here for more information and to register for the MLTI In-Person Student Conference (PDF). 

MLTI Student Conference T-Shirt Design Contests! 

For the first time ever, we are hosting two separate t-shirt design contests! This contest is open to all students in MLTI school districts, grades 5-10. Design the t-shirt that students around the state will wear during the MLTI Student Conferences! The winners will be recognized during the event they were selected for. Submissions for the Virtual Student Conference are due December 15th, and submissions for the In-Person Student Conference are due no later than February 1st. Winners will be announced within two weeks of submission. 

Click here for more information, including the submission guidelines and link to submit. 

For questions about the MLTI Student Conferences, please contact the MLTI Project Manager, Bethany Billinger, 

MLTI Podcast, Teaching with Tech, Returns for Season Two!

Teaching with Tech is back! The Maine Department of Education (DOE), Learning Through Technology team is excited for the second season of their MLTI (Maine Learning Technology Initiative) Ambassador podcast where they will highlight new faces and voices centered around supporting technology integration across Maine. In the first season of Teaching with Tech, episodes focused on a variety of topics ranging from digital citizenship, artificial intelligence, STEAM-based learning, and gamification in the classroom. The Ambassadors share exciting strategies and tools as well as interviews from the field which showcase how teachers and schools are using innovative educational strategies to provide students with the best experience possible.

The MLTI Ambassador team kicked off season two with an episode titled “What are the Ambassadors Working on?” This episode highlights projects that the team is looking forward to this year as well as gives examples of ways they can support districts, schools, and teachers all over Maine. October will be the first themed month, focusing both episodes around educational technology in the arts. Join the team as they interview educators about how they incorporate technology, tools, and strategies into their classrooms and schools. Be sure to look out for “Community Corner” bonus episodes which cover additional topics outside of the monthly theme. Last season saw bonus episodes dedicated to game-based learning in elementary physical education, the Educate Maine Symposium, and Student Leadership Ambassadors of Maine (SLAM) Clubs.

See a listing of 2023/3024 MLTI Ambassadors here.

Do you have a topic you want to hear on Teaching with Tech or know an educator doing exciting work with technology integration? The MLTI Ambassadors would love to hear from you! To join the conversation, email the team at Teaching with Tech is now streaming on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and YouTube Music.

For more information about the Teaching with Tech podcast or other MLTI Ambassador initiatives, contact the MLTI Ambassador Program Facilitator, Jonathan R. Werner,

Maine DOE MLTI Ambassador Program Welcomes Five New Distinguished Educators

The Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) Ambassador program is expanding to include five additional distinguished educators.

MLTI Ambassadors are distinguished educators, on loan from their school for two years, to bring their expertise and experience as a resource and partner with MLTI.

The Ambassador program is a signature program of MLTI 2.0. The full team of ten Ambassadors will deliver professional learning experiences and provide instructional coaching to MLTI-participating schools.

Chris Beckwith
Chris Beckwith

Chris Beckwith

Chris Beckwith comes to the MLTI Team from Reeds Brook Middle School, where he served as a technology integrator. A 30-year veteran with a Masters in Instructional Technology, Chris has taught technology, computer science, science, mathematics and health. Prior to his time in RSU22, Chris worked at the James Doughty School and Ellsworth Middle/High School. He has also run summer camp classes at the Maine School of Mathematics and Science (MSSM) for ten years. He is currently part of the DOE’s CSI program and has participated in both CS Ed Showcases. Chris is passionate about robotics, 3D design, drones, and AR/VR and has shared these topics and others at state and regional conferences. Chris is an avid Star Wars fan and lives in Hampden.

Jeff Ireland
Jeff Ireland

Jeff Ireland

Jeff Ireland comes to the MLTI Team from Oak Hill Middle School in Sabattus, where he served as a 5th/6th grade STEM teacher.  A 27-year veteran with a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Jeff worked for 10 years as a late elementary level teacher followed by 10 years as a building assistant principal and principal before returning the classroom to teach fifth grade. He has spent his entire career in the same school system, RSU4 (formerly School Union 44). Jeff is also a Registered Maine Guide and Professional Fly Casting Instructor. He is married to an elementary school teacher, is the proud grandfather of two, and lives in Wayne.

Gwyneth Maguire
Gwyneth Maguire

Gwyneth Maguire

Gwyneth Maguire comes to the MLTI Team from Old Orchard Beach High School, where she served as a library/media specialist and technology integrator.  She holds a Master of Education in Educational Technology from Boston College and a Library Media Endorsement from Central Washington University.  A 25-year veteran, Gwyneth has taught in both public schools, including Cape Elizabeth and MSAD60, as well as Department of Defense Schools. She was previously the ACTEM Conference Co-Chair and continues to serve on the Conference Committee. Gwyneth was called the district’s “MVP” by her superintendent for her ability to connect staff to appropriate tech, produce useful tutorials, and help with systematic organization of tech during COVID. She has worked with adults of all skill levels and backgrounds through positions at the Department of Defense, The Cape Courier, and the Portland Dioceses, as well as EdTech professional learning contractors. Gwyneth lives in Cape Elizabeth.

Donna Netzer
Donna Netzer

Donna Netzer

Donna Netzer comes to the MLTI Team from Princeton Elementary School, where she served as the math teacher for grades 6-8. A 15-year veteran, Donna holds a Masters of Education with focus on Special Populations (Trauma-informed). In her small school, Donna has worn many hats – math instructional coach, trauma coach, local teacher’s association president and running a PK-8 tech club. Princeton Elementary was the school she attended and it is where she has worked for her entire career and she is particularly proud of the national Pegasus Award for Princeton’s work on positive school culture. Donna is well respected in her school and in the Washington county region as someone who makes technology happen through writing grants, organizing training and building carts. She recently participated in the DOE’s CSI program. She lives in Princeton.

AJ Rog
AJ Rog

Aaron “AJ” Rog

Aaron “AJ” Rog comes to the MLTI Team from the Lyman Moore School in Portland, where he serves as Computer Science teacher and technology instructional coach. A 27-year veteran with a Masters of Education in Technology, AJ has spent most of his career working in Portland Schools. In addition to computer science and technology integration, AJ spearheaded an iPad initiative at elementary level.  Prior to teaching in Maine, AJ taught in Las Vegas for 12 years, working in grades 3-5 and later grades 6-8. He has done a lot of computer science training of other educators through CSTA Maine and Project>Login. Outside of school, AJ is a longtime swimming coach and is currently the Head Coach of Seacoast Swim Club in Cumberland. AJ lives in Cumberland with his wife Alexis.

The Maine DOE’s Learning Through Technology Team works hand-in-hand with the MLTI Ambassadors to support the MLTI professional learning plan in addition to the many other components of MLTI. For more information about MLTI 2.0, please contact Project Manager Bethany Billinger (  To work with the MLTI Ambassadors, please contact MLTI Ambassador Program Facilitator Jonathan R. Werner (


Maine DOE’s Second Annual Computer Science Showcase Features Innovative Student and Educator Projects

Students and educators from 40 school administrative units (SAUs) across Maine recently participated in the Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) Second Annual Computer Science Education Showcase at the Collins Center at the University of Maine. The Showcase highlighted innovative computer science education programs and projects in schools across Maine, with hands on, interactive exhibits.

Exhibits featured a variety of computer science education projects, including robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), 3D design, coding, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), data science, cybersecurity, and more. Robotics students participated in a live demonstration on stage where they had to work together to move objects and overcome structural barriers, requiring teamwork and problem solving.

The Showcase also included a panel discussion with educators, a student, industry representatives, and experts highlighting the importance of computer science education, opportunities for students and educators, and where the field is headed.

“If you can just simply show them and introduce students to these [computer science] concepts, then it opens up a whole world to them. You can be a kid from Maine and do really amazing things in the computer science field,” said Allison Braley, a teacher from RSU 25.

“These are foundational skills we are talking about, and they are across every sector. These are critical 21st century skills that everyone needs regardless of what pathway you choose in life. Kids can stay in Maine, they don’t have to go to Boston or California for these jobs. Employers are here. It doesn’t matter what background you’re from or what zipcode you’re from, this is for every student,” said Angela Oechslie from Project Login.

“If computing is an elective and only for some, you mostly get those students who set out to do that because they see themselves as who society says should do it. The beauty of looking at computer science from pre-k through 12 is that it can be universal, and you can make those opportunities for anybody to stumble across them—it’s young women, it’s those who are the first generation in their family to go to college, it’s kids in rural areas, it’s kids from underrepresented groups. We can diversify the field and we can make the field richer by giving everyone a chance to say that’s the thing I love,” said Penny Rheingans from UMaine.

“Most of the really difficult problems we need to solve over the next 30 years are going to be solved using computer science,” said Judson McIntosh, an Engineering Manager at Tyler Technologies.

Maine continues to lead on computer science education and is the only state to provide interdisciplinary computer science education to all pre-K through grade 12 students in the state. Earlier this year, more than a thousand students from across the state participated in the Maine DOE’s Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) Student Conference. Students had access to more than 40 sessions that engaged them in essential computer science skills and knowledge, including animation, AI/machine learning, AR/VR, audio editing, CAD/3D Design, robotics, coding, and video game design. More than a dozen of the sessions were led or co-led by students.

Nearly 100 educators from across the state attended a multi-day institute in July, focused around computer science education. Educators spent two and a half days engaging in sessions and collaborating to integrate computer science into their classrooms and upcoming school year activities. Topics included Robotics & Programming, Coding & Hardware, Augmented & Virtual Reality, and much more. The more than 600 participants at this year’s Maine Educator Summit also had access to multiple workshops and sessions related to computer science and technology skills and integration.

Last year, the Mills administration launched a new Maine DOE initiative to provide every Maine school with a free mobile computer science lab. Schools were able to order one of three mobile lab options: Robotics and Programming, Augmented and Virtual Reality, and Coding and Hardware. Each lab contains computer science equipment valued at $5,000 and is designed to be integrated into any content area and skill level. Additionally, the initiative made available professional learning opportunities for educators tailored to each computer science topic area.

New Super Story Podcast Takes Listeners Inside Schools

A new podcast launched this month to highlight the voices of those who teach in, learn in, work in, and lead public schools in one coastal Maine school community. Five Town CSD and Camden-Rockport Schools Superintendent Maria Libby created Super Story to bring the public into the inner-workings of public schools and help them gain a deeper understanding of the “challenges and triumphs” within public education today.

“My goal in starting the podcast, which has been a dream for nearly 5 years, is most broadly to help change the narrative about public schools,” said Libby. “The podcast shines a light on the human element of education because we have deep, genuine conversations about various aspects of the work. I hope the public is able to connect with and gain greater respect for educators by listening to Super Story.”

The inaugural episode of Super Story featured a conversation with Will Eggena, a Camden Hills Regional High School senior and valedictorian of his class. The two discuss Will’s educational journey, his views on the strengths of his education and where the school community can improve, the future of education, and his advice for others.

You can listen and subscribe to Super Story on Apple and Spotify.

Looking for more education podcasts? Be sure to listen and subscribe to the Maine DOE MLTI Team’s podcast Teaching with Tech which you can access here.

Want us to share your podcast? If you have a podcast at your Maine school or school administrative unit (SAU), please share it with us and we’d be happy to highlight it and increase your audience! Email