2020 MLTI Student Conference Cancelled

Due to the rapidly evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the State of Maine and across the U.S., the Maine Department of Education has decided to cancel the 2020 MLTI Student Conference, which was scheduled for May 21, 2020.

The large conference is attended by more than 1000 students and educators.  Based on evaluation of evolving circumstances, and in coordination with the Commissioner’s office, it is clear that it is in the best interest of all to make the cancellation decision now.

The Department’s decision was made in consideration of the health and well-being of attendees and an understanding of the challenges district staff and students will encounter upon their return to school after a significant disruption in their lives and school year.

MLTI Student Conference 2020 Musical Performance Applications Due February 24th, 2020

The MLTI Student Conference has included live musical performances over the past several years, and this year, we would like to feature students from our PK-12 schools or local universities. There are several potential opportunities which could be filled by students from one school or from a two schools. A tentative schedule is below.

  • 8am – 9:40am – Musical performances as schools arrive, National Anthem, and performances as schools depart for sessions.
  • 12:45pm – 3:00pm – Musical performances as schools return from lunch, at some point during the UBER session, and as schools depart.

We are looking for musical performances that fit this year’s conference theme: “Celebrating 200 Years in Maine” or “Maine’s Bicentennial” and will judge applications based on how well the musical selections fit the theme, as well as how creative ideas are for the performance itself.

Ready to apply? View the application or copy and paste this link into your browser: http://bit.ly/MLTI-music-entry2020


  • Application Due: Monday, February 24th, 2020
  • Selection Process: February 24th – March 13th, 2020

Please note that we only have limited funding available to help reduce the cost of attendance or of travel. Because of this, invitations to perform will happen over the course of three weeks. Thank you for understanding!

Additionally, the school is responsible for ensuring students and families are okay with the students performing at an event where they will be recorded (video and photograph). These videos and photos may be shared on the local news and on social media. Families will also be asked to sign a media release form for the Department of Education and to understand that we are unable to prevent their student from being photographed or video recorded during the event if they are performing on stage. 

For answers to questions or for more information, please contact MLTI.Project@maine.gov

MLTI T-shirt Design Competition Accepting Entries Until February 24th, 2020!

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) is hosting a T-shirt Design Competition again this year. The theme for the T-shirt design is “Celebrating 200 Years in Maine” or “Maine’s Bicentennial”.

A panel of judges will narrow the submissions down to three designs, and then we will ask Maine students and educators to vote for their top choice as they register for the MLTI Student Conference. The winning T-shirt will be printed for the 1000+ attendees of the 17th Annual MLTI Student Conference, which will be held on Thursday, May 21st, 2020 at the University of Maine in Orono. The three students whose designs become the finalists will be given a free registration to the conference.


  • Any student who attends an elementary, middle, or high school in Maine during the 2019-2020 school year is eligible to enter the competition may enter the competition.
  • Any student or teacher/chaperone who is registering for the MLTI Student Conference may vote on the final design.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Submissions must only have ONE ink color and ONE background color. The inclusion of shading or gradients of colors will lead to disqualification.
  • 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 may only submit one entry AND the entry must be created by ONE student only.
  • 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 “2020” or “’20”.
  • Students must incorporate the MLTI logo into their design: downloadable filesor by copying and pasting this link: http://bit.ly/MLTI_logos.
  • The design should reflect this year’s conference theme and should include some reference to “Celebrating 200 Years in Maine” or “Maine’s Bicentennial”.
  • Students are asked to 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: https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/ltt/conference/tshirt/release

Judging Criteria

  • Guidelines: Work clearly adheres to the submission guidelines (color, size, file type, etc.)
  • Theme: “Celebrating 200 Years in Maine” or “Maine’s Bicentennial”.
  • Principles of Design:Work incorporated the following elements of art: balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, and unity.

Important Dates

  • Monday, November 4th, 2019 – Competition begins
  • Monday, February 24th, 2020 – T-shirt designs due
  • Monday, March 2nd, 2020 – T-shirt voting begins (with registration)
  • Friday, April 10th, 2020 – T-shirt winner announced

Ready to enter the competition? Submit your entry with this form or copy and paste this link: http://bit.ly/MLTI-2020-tshirt-entry

For more information or answers to questions, please contact MLTI.Project@maine.gov

Revised Proposal Submission Dates: Call for Student and Educator Team Proposals: MLTI Student Conference

The MLTI Student Conference Planning Committee is issuing the call for student and educator team proposals for the 17th Annual MLTI Student Conference, to be held on Thursday, May 21, 2020 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.

You can view examples of sessions from the 2019 MLTI Student Conference here.

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

Conference Theme:  Maine’s Bicentennial Celebration

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

Important notes:

  • The $18 registration cost will be waived for up to two presenters. If you choose to have more presenters, you will need to pay the registration fee. Note that the Department has made every effort over the years to keep the cost of the conference low, however, as costs continue to rise, we have increased the registration fee by $3 this year and will raise it by $4 next year.
  • If your proposal is accepted, we ask that you register all presenters in a timely manner. The presenters do not count toward the school limit of 40 students during the registration process.
  1. 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?
  2. Materials to share in the conference registration form:
    • Short video advertisement of the session (less than a minute) Please submit Media Release forms for any student in the video.
    • Short description of the session (less than 200 words)
  1. 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?
  2. Session requirements:
    • Level of expertise needed to participate fully (beginner, intermediate, expert)
    • The maximum number of participants you can accommodate (room sizes vary from 30-200)
    • Space set up requests (auditorium, tables/chairs, projector, speakers, etc.)
  3. 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)
  4. The name of the educator to be contacted about this proposal, and their email and phone number

Submit Proposals by 5 pm, Monday, January 27th, 2020 to this online form or copy and paste this URL into your browser http://bit.ly/MLTI-2020-session-entry. 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.

Important Dates

  • Monday, November 4th, 2019 – Call for Proposals open and theme announced
  • Monday, January 27th, 2020 – Proposals due
  • Monday, February 10th, 2020 – Sessions selected
  • Friday, February 28th, 2020 – Sessions confirmed by presenters
  • Monday, March 2nd, 2020 – Sessions posted on DOE website
  • March 2nd, 2020: Registration open

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 MLTI.Project@maine.gov!

For more information or answers to questions, please visit the MLTI Student Conference page or contact the MLTI Student Conference Planning Committee at MLTI.Project@maine.gov.

Maine Schools Celebrate & Share Technology Integration at 32nd Annual ACTEM Conference

The 32-year tradition lives on as once again this year educators from around the State attended the much anticipated ACTEM (Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine) conference earlier this month. The two-day, action-packed conference is planned, coordinated, and administered solely by Maine educators, and features Maine educators and students as presenters. The conference represents and celebrates the robust technology innovation and integration happening in Maine schools, in addition to serving as a place for schools to share strategies and tools including computer science education, coding, 3D printing and design thinking, and to learn about various technology-based curriculum and classroom management tools that are being used in Maine schools, nationally, and globally. The well-planned conference featured close to 150 sessions, the vast majority of which were delivered by Maine educators.

This year’s keynote speaker was Michael Cohen. Also known as The Tech Rabbi, Cohen is a “designer, educator and creativity instigator” who serves as the director of innovation for Yeshiva University of Los Angeles Boys School (YULA). In addition to serving as keynote, Cohen also led a session about exploring apps on the iPad.

On the first day of the conference, which hosted close to 400 people, among the events was a session led by Middle School Students from Sacopee Valley who did a student panel about “Kids Teaching Kids Tech Day”. Session participants had the chance to hear from teachers, Kelly Goodfield, Library Media Specialist and Luanne Mudgett, 7th Grade Math Teacher both from Sacopee Valley Middle School along with a group of 6 of their students who talked about their first annual Kids Teaching Kids Day which featured students presenting to their peers and their teachers about technology related topics they are both knowledgeable and passionate about, including photography, robotics, and coding to name a few examples. Educators in attendance were clearly impressed at the idea, some eager to try something similar at their school. At the end of the session, Maine DOE representatives had the honor of witnessing a group of students from the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) approach the student panelists to ask them to do the same presentation in one of their education classes. Beaming with pride, the students were happy to accept the offer and engage future educators in this successful practice of student-led teaching.

Kelly Goodfield, Luanne Mudgett, and 6 student panelists/presenters from Sacopee Valley Middle School

Day one of the conference ended with an awards presentation that honored educators for their commitment to quality technology integration in Maine schools. This year’s ACTEM ACHIEVE (ACTEM Commends Highly Innovative Educators that Value Excellence) Award was awarded to Sarah Irish a Technology Integrator at Lewiston Middle School and this year’s John Lunt Friend of Technology award, established as a way to recognize individuals that have made a significant contribution to education and technology in Maine, was awarded to Jim Moulton, a well-known Professional Development Consultant working in many Maine schools over the years.

Day two saw upwards of 700 people attending sessions throughout the day, highlights, among many, included a “Tech Tales in PreK and K” presentation by Juana Rodriguez-Vazquez, Migrant Education Regional Coordinator at Mano en Mano/Hand in Hand and Bonnie Blagojevic Education Consultant at Morningtown Consulting who shared stories of young children using technology in a variety of early learning and community settings as digital storytellers, scientists, engineers and artists. In addition, First Grade Teacher and Co-Technology Liaison Nicole Lesperance and Kindergarten Teacher and Co-Technology Liaison Stacey Augustine, both from from W.G. Mallett School in RSU 9 held an interactive “Tech for All” workshop showcasing ready-to-use materials for the classroom including instructional video tutorials, templates, interactive sorts, worksheets, and other activities using Pages.

Along with the robust variety of break-out sessions were several display booths featuring local, national, and internationally known companies that offer technology products and tools available to schools. Representatives from the Maine DOE were also on-hand both days of the conference to offer the latest information about the Maine Learning Through Technology Initiative (MLTI) and the recently developed Maine’s Computer Science Plan that was drafted by local educators.

As the conference ended, educators left on their way back home with new technology tips, tricks, resources, and ideas to share with students and colleagues in all corners of Maine. Conference planning co-chair and retired teacher Cheryl Oakes, along with planning co-chair Stephanie Cheney from Lincoln Academy and ACTEM Executive Director and retired educator Gary Lanoie took a satisfied sigh of relief as another 9 months of planning for the 32nd annual conference went off without a hitch providing Maine Educators with a place to connect with other educators, to deliver, and to collect quality, meaningful and useful technology tools that impact classroom instruction all over Maine.

Cheryl Oakes, Gary Lanoie, and Stephanie Cheney

“I think its been another successful year,” said Gary in the days following the event. As the host of the largest education technology in the state, he is honored to be part of ACTEM, an organization that is able to host this annual professional development opportunity for Maine educators.

For more information about ACTEM, its conference, awards process, committee members, and membership visit their website at http://www.actem.org.

This article was written by Maine DOE staff member Rachel Paling as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success campaign. If you would like more information about the campaign, contact Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.