MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE Hosts Students Statewide for Virtual MLTI Student Conference

Maine students and teachers came together yesterday for a day of learning, collaboration, and innovative thinking at the 18th Annual Maine Learning Through Technology (MLTI) Student Conference.

Student Project: Maine Moose
Student Project: Maine Moose

Hosted by the Maine Department of Education (DOE) in partnership with CATES, the Conference was one of the largest synchronous student learning tech conference in the history of the world, with students from across Maine tuning in virtually to gain insights into the challenges facing Mainers during remote learning, how to develop innovations through peer collaboration to solve complex problems, and begin to develop the mindset of the social entrepreneur.

Student Project: You are important
Student Project: You are important

In addition to participating in a number of innovative synchronous Block Sessions and asynchronous activities using Gathertown as a virtual conference platform to learn new skills and deepen knowledge, conference participants also had the opportunity to work in teams to develop a product or innovation that addresses their chosen challenge (Mental Health Support; Equity in Education; Peer Collaboration; New Ways to Learn).

“Get ready to be REALLY creative today! Be bold with your ideas and be guided by your wildest imagination,” said Education Commissioner Pender Makin in her opening remarks. “Design and innovate as if the future depends upon in. Because in so many ways, it truly does.”

“[The pandemic] has given you a front row seat that will inform your experience with this year’s innovation challenge,” added Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah in his remarks during the conference.

Students’ groups “pitched” their product to conference participants, who voted for their favorite in each challenge category – 38 hours of innovative pitches were created on flipgrid!

“Your pitches demonstrate what amazing thinkers, problem solvers, designers, and engineers, you all are,” said Maine DOE Director of Innovative Teaching and Learning Beth Lambert. “Your work today and in the innovation challenge will lead the way for our state and the entire nation when it comes to redesigning remote learning and the shape of our public education system!”

Pre-Conference students got the opportunity to learn about the different challenges related to remote learning during the pandemic and their implications for Maine DECD’s 2030 Vision + Goals so they could research interesting reports, design frameworks, innovation protocols, videos, and other information related to their challenge.

After the Conference each team of students that wishes to continue on to Part II of the $10,000 Challenge is matched with a mentor to further develop their innovation or venture and submit “a demo”, “pitch deck”, and/or executive summary for their product. Challenge Grand Prize winners will be announced at special online awards ceremony featuring UMaine innovation leaders, and invited to continue developing their innovation through the CATES Center for Social Innovation Summer Incubator program in prep for a fall launch.

For more information about the conference and the Innovation Challenge visit the MLTI website:

Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) 2.0 Seeks Distinguished Educators

Are you passionate about professional growth and technology? Do you want to make a difference in Maine schools? Are you currently teaching in a Maine public school?

The Maine Department of Education is hiring five distinguished educators to join our team in supporting MLTI 2.0 professional learning. These are full-time, two-year, contracted, remote positions. The MLTI 2.0 distinguished educators will provide instructional technology coaching directly to MLTI 2.0 participating educators and work closely with the MLTI 2.0 team to implement the MLTI 2.0 program.

Ideal candidates will be excited about instructional coaching and innovative technology practices in education, eager to work with other teachers, have outstanding communication skills, and experience with middle and/or high school pedagogy.

Distinguished educator positions are set up as an exchange agreement between the Department of Education and your local school district. Through the agreement, the Department pays your local school for the duration of your contract as a distinguished educator, allowing your school to temporarily fill your vacant position and continue to pay you your current rate while you work as a distinguished educator. Once the two-year contract is complete, you will be able to return to your position within that district.

To learn more about the MLTI distinguished educator position, click here to access the full job description.

If you’re interested in applying to be an MLTI 2.0 distinguished educator, click here to access the application form. The application closes April 30th.

If you have questions about the position or the exchange process, check out the FAQ.

Still have questions? Contact the Digital Learning Specialists at the Maine Department of Education to learn more.

Jonathan Graham, Elementary, Digital Learning Specialist,

Emma-Marie Banks, Computer Science and Secondary Digital Learning Specialist,

Registration is Now Open for the 18th Annual MLTI Student Conference

The Maine Department of Education is excited to share that registration for the 18th Annual MLTI student conference is open!

The conference will be held on May 20th, in virtual format, and it is FREE to Maine students in grades 4-12! The virtual student conference will be online on Thursday, May 20th from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM. The morning will be filled with interactive workshop sessions where students will be able to explore, engage, and create with exciting educational technology. The afternoon UBER session will be a collaborative design experience.

Since this is during a school day student registration must be coordinated by a teacher. Teachers are encouraged to organize student groups to attend the conference. Registration forms must include a teacher’s contact information, school, and student names.
For more information or to register please visit:

Registrations completed by Friday, May 7th will receive an early registration conference gift.

For questions please reach out Jordan Dean,

Call for Breakout Session Proposals for 2021 MLTI Virtual Student Conference

The Maine Department of Education invites you to submit a breakout session proposal for the 18th Annual MLTI Student Conference to be held virtually on Thursday, May 20, 2021.

If you or someone you know is doing fantastic work involving technology and engaging students, we encourage you to submit a proposal for a breakout session at this year’s conference.

Breakout session requirements:

  • Presented by a Maine educator, student(s) as co-presenter(s) is encouraged;
  • One hour;
  • Involve some form of students creating, making, or doing so that students leave excited about what they learned and eager to share their experiences with others; and
  • Be “platform-agnostic” and feature only free apps and tools that are accessible to all and appropriate for 4th–12th grade students.

To submit a proposal please complete this online form. Completed proposals are due by Friday, April 30, 2021.

If you would like to submit a session proposal but need some assistance developing your idea please reach out to our digital learning specialists, Emma-Marie Banks,; or Jonathan Graham,

For more information about the student conference visit: or check out this flyer with additional information.


SAVE THE DATE: 18th Annual MLTI Student Conference

SAVE THE DATE for the 18th Annual Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) Student Conference on May 20th, 2021! This year’s conference will be held virtually and free of charge to all 4th through 12th grade students.

Registration opens on April 5th.  

For more information please check out our website:

Designed in collaboration with the students and educators of the MLTI Student Conference Advisory Board.