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


Workshops to support SAT

The Maine Department of Education and College Board are pleased to provide Maine educators with three opportunities to learn more about the updated SAT and tools available to inform instruction. College Board will present its annual Fall Counselor Workshop to share updates, tools, tips and resources to support students as they move along the college and career path.

Maine DOE and College Board will present half day workshops for administrators to explore tools that inform instruction and curriculum. Maine DOE and College Board will also present full day workshops for teachers to better understand SAT data, analysis tools, and instructional responses relative to implementing Maine’s ELA and math standards.

 Annual Fall Counselor Workshops, Presented by the College Board

The College Board will present Annual Fall Counselor Workshop in five locations. These sessions will focus on enhancements to programs and changes to protocols in ordering and administering the SAT Suite of Assessments. Sessions begin at 8:30 and will end at 11:00.

Date Site City Registration
Sept.12 University of Maine at Presque Isle Presque Isle UMPI
Sept. 13 University of Southern Maine Portland USM
Sept. 19 Husson University Bangor HUSSON
Sept. 20 University of Maine Farmington Farmington UMF
Sept. 26 Thomas College Waterville THOMAS

Do More With Your SAT Scores! Presented by The Maine Department of Education and College Board

Making meaning of assessment data is a critical component of providing support for teachers, for students, and for families. Perhaps the most powerful tool available to teachers is the Question Analysis tool. This digital tool includes every question on the annual common form and allows sorting by a variety of options. In this session, we will explore methods of making effective use of the College Board’s Assessment Reporting for K12 Educators.  Sessions will begin at noon and end at 2:30. Please plan lunch on your own as lunch will not be provided.

You will need a user name and password for the K12 Score Reports portal at College Board.

(Please note that you must register even if you have already registered for the morning session)

Date Site City Registration
Sept.12 University of Maine at Presque Isle Presque Isle UMPI
Sept. 13 University of Southern Maine Portland USM
Sept. 19 Husson University Bangor HUSSON
Sept. 26 Thomas College Waterville THOMAS

SAT: Standards, Instruction, and Responding to SAT Data

During full day workshops, teachers will take a deep dive into either ELA (Evidence-based Reading and Writing along with the essay) or math to better understand how the SAT measures our learning standards, how to use data from the SAT results to inform instruction, and what instructional moves reflect the deeper learning necessary to demonstrate achievement on the Updated SAT.  Participants in this day-long workshop will learn about the updated SAT and how to use the system of supports to benefit student learning and teacher instructional strategies.

  • The ELA (ERW) session will include strategies for identifying instructional priorities based on data, a deeper understanding of the standards and how they are assessed, and an exploration of essay data and instructional strategies for on-demand writing.
  • The participants in the math session will identify common errors and misconceptions in student responses and will experience instructional strategies to support student learning.

Participants will have to register for either ELA or math sessions for the full day.  Schools are encouraged to send teams consisting of content teacher leaders at grades 9/10 and 11/12 as well as a building administrator or curriculum coordinator.

Please note that you will have to enter each person separately.

Date Site City Registration
10/17/2017 University of Maine at Farmington Farmington UMF
10/18/2017 University of Southern Maine Portland USM
10/20/2017 Black Bear Inn & Conference Center Orono BLACK BEAR INN
11/14/2017 University of Maine at Presque Isle Presque Isle UMPI


For more information about these workshops, contact Michele.r.mailhot@maine.gov, math specialist, or morgan.dunton@maine.gov, ELA specialist.


Maine educators learn techniques in identifying and teaching children with dyslexia

IMG_0656 (2)Earlier this month, educators from around the state completed the six week graduate course, Introduction to Dyslexia. The course was offered through a partnership between the Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) Office of Special Services and the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF).

The online and in-class course introduced educators to current research in cognitive neuroscience and evidence- based teaching practices and how the two may interact to help children with dyslexia.

The class learned the benefits of early identification of students at-risk for reading failure. Through early screening, dyslexia can be predicted and the severity can be reduced using evidence-based intervention. Appropriate intervention brings the majority of at-risk children to grade-level reading levels. Presently, it cannot be predicted which children will respond to intervention. Additionally, early intervention reduces the risk of the difficult-to-remediate fluency deficit that often emerges in 4th grade.

After being introduced to concepts regarding the neuroscience of reading, the class took part in 3 full-day workshops to learn practical classroom techniques that work well for all learners.

The course was taught by Lisa Whitis, MEd, JD who serves as the Dyslexia Coordinator at the Maine DOE. Contact Ms. Whitis at Lisa.Whitis@Maine.Gov to discuss professional development opportunities for your district or technical assistance for issues regarding dyslexia.

Purposeful Integration of Technology in Mathematics workshop for educators

The Maine Department of Education is sponsoring a workshop addressing Purposeful Integration of Technology in Mathematics for new and experienced math educators at Keeley’s Banquet Center on 178 Warren Ave in Portland on September 21, 8:30am – 3:30pm and at Jeff’s Catering, located at 15 Littlefield Rd. in Brewer on September 22, 8:30am – 3:30pm.

The workshop will consist of two all-day sessions, grades K-5 and grades 6-12. Pam Buffington, PhD, and Peter Tierney-Fife from Education Development Center (EDC) will present sessions for K-5 with Jenn Vadnais, a representative from Desmos presenting for the 6-12.

Registration to attend the above sessions closes September 6th, 2017. Please note, due to limited capacity, each district has the opportunity to register only ONE representative to a K-5 session and ONE representative to a 6-12 session. Educators interested in registering should utilize the appropriate registration link below:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Keeley’s Banquet Center

178 Warren Ave,

Portland, ME 04103

Grades K-5 Registration

Grades 6-12Registration

Friday, September 22, 2017

Jeff’s Catering and Event Center

15 Littlefield Rd,

Brewer, ME 04401

Grades K-5 Registration

Grades 6-12 Registration

Further questions should be directed to Daniel Weeks, Title V Coordinator at Daniel.R.Weeks@maine.gov or (207) 624-6749.

Further information regarding session content and presenters is provided below.

Pam Buffington, PhD, is an education researcher and practitioner who specializes in technology integration in mathematics and science instruction. During a 35-year career, she has provided critical guidance to states, local education agencies, teachers, and administrators in investigating and implementing strategies to improve students’ learning outcomes.

Pam has been at the forefront of the classroom technology integration movement in New England and more broadly. She has led partnerships with both rural and urban school districts to improve student mathematics learning through the integration of interactive mobile technologies and has worked to expand access to high-quality virtual manipulatives and mathematics simulations. She also works to support researcher-practitioner partnerships, with an eye towards using evidence-based strategies to improve student outcomes in mathematics.

Peter Tierney-Fife works primarily on mathematics professional development and research projects. His expertise includes professional development materials creation and technical work such as applet and database development. He loves collaborating with teachers to improve student experiences with mathematics. His current projects focus on the areas of technology integration in mathematics and professional development for mathematics teachers with diverse student populations, including students who are English learners. Prior to working at EDC Peter taught middle school mathematics, was a Field Researcher for a technology-infused mathematics professional development research project, and was a carpenter and furniture maker.

Jenn Vadnais started out teaching in the Bath-Brunswick area. For her first year, she taught geometry at Morse High School in Bath and then spent 15 years teaching 8th grade at Brunswick Junior High School. In the summer of 2009, she relocated to Southern California with her family where she was hired as a 7th grade math teacher for Redlands Unified School District. In 2014, Jenn stepped out the classroom to become a Middle Level Math Coach for RedlandsUSD. During her time as a math coach, she was introduced to Desmos and was accepted into the first Desmos Fellow Cohort in 2016 and became a Desmos Certified Presenter in 2017. About the same time, Jenn switched positions to join her district’s brand new Instructional Technology Department as a k-12 Instructional Technology Coach.

K-5 Session Details:

During this session you will learn meaningful technology integration strategies and about digital tools for improving grades K-5 mathematics learning and teaching. Example tasks and related resources will concentrate on numeracy and the Standards for Mathematical Practices (particularly MP3, MP4, and MP5) aligned with the Maine’s College and Career Readiness Standards. We will focus on improving student mathematical communication and discourse while using digital devices in rich, open, problem-solving contexts. You will learn about interactive apps and Web sites with information and strategies, engage in the use of open tasks with the interactive apps, and reflect on and discuss the use of the digital tools and related resources. We will also discuss strategies and tools to manage student-created rich media artifacts such as screencasts and photos. You will leave with handouts and links to free digital resources suitable for use with students to enhance your classroom practice.

6-12 Session Details


Participants will experience how Desmos brings joy to vocabulary development through Polygraph. The focus of connecting informal and formal language will be discussed.

Level up your calculator skills

  1. Awesome Graphs. See what’s possible in the Desmos graphing calculator by exploring this collection of course-specific graphs for Grades 6-12.
  2. Desmos Calculator Scavenger Hunt. Level up your Desmos graphing skills by working through a series of beginner, intermediate, and advanced graphing challenges.

Activity Builder Lesson

The Activity Builder platform allows students to interact with, explore, reflect on and write about math. Participants will experience Desmos’ Activity Builder, including the Classroom Conversation Toolkit, as a student by diving into a rich mathematical situation. The Toolkit includes three features: Pause Activity, Anonymize and Teacher Pacing.


Participants will explore the connections between equations and graphs with Desmos’ Marbleslides activities.

Getting Started

Participants will set up a teacher.desmos.com account, turn on the lab feature which activates the Marbleslides and Card Sort options as well as, learn how to search, bookmark and edit premade activities.

Depending on time …

Introduction to Creating an Activity Builder

Participants will learn the basics of creating their own Activity Builder.

New School Nurse Orientation registration is open

If you hired a new nurse for your school over the summer be sure to encourage them to attend the New School Nurse Orientation on September 29th in Augusta.

New School Nurse Orientation is a specialized program designed to help nurses transition into the educational setting. Some of the topics included in day one will be: professional requirements, resources, overview of the School Health Manual, data reporting requirements for nurses, screening requirements and procedures as well as educational rules and laws. There will be two more days covering different topics for new School Nurses scheduled later in the school year.

When: September 29, 2017 8am – 3pm
Where: Augusta, ME Burton Cross Office Building
Cost: FREE
How to register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NewSchoolNurseOrientation1

If you have any questions please contact Emily Poland, RN, School Nurse Consultant for the Maine Department of Education at 207-624-6688 or Emily.poland@maine.gov.

Mentoring workshop for educators of gifted and talented program

The Maine Department of Education will sponsor a mentoring workshop for new and experienced gifted and talented (GT) educators at the Division of Transportation (DOT) Building on 66 Industrial Drive in Augusta on September 14, 9am-3pm.

Workshop topics include: reviewing this year’s renewal application process, exploring identification tools, discussing curriculum options aligned with regular education initiatives, organizing and managing GT programs, evaluating program effectiveness, and discussing budget concerns.

The morning will consist of a workshop designed for teachers and administrators who are looking for information regarding this year’s renewal application process. The workshop will also provide a forum to discuss GT programming.

Depending on the needs of the participants, in the afternoon, attendees will be broken into two groups. One group will be educators who are fairly new to the field. They will continue their in-depth discussions on the topics listed above. The second group will be educators who have been in the GT field for a longer period and may have farreaching concerns and challenges. The mediator of this group, Lee Worcester PhD, asks that the advanced GT educators suggest a topic for the afternoon session by September 7 at lee.worcester@yahoo.com or 943-8804.

To register by September 10th at: http://events.egov.com/eventreg/ME/event.htm?name=giftedtalentedmentoringworkshopfall2017. Due to the location, lunch and refreshments will not be provided.

For any questions regarding the workshop, contact Educational Consultants: Lee Worcester at lee.worcester@yahoo.com or Patti Drapeau at ptdrapeau@aol.com.

New Online Certification System Training for Superintendents and Support Chairs

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) will be offering training sessions for superintendents and support system chairs to learn the new online certification system this spring and summer (online training for educators will also be available later this summer).

At each training session participants can expect to learn how to log in, navigate the system, approve educator certifications, and manage their own certification. Participants will need to bring a lap top.

Training dates, times and locations are as follows:

June 19, 2017
8:30am – 12:00pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Jewett Hall, RM 190

June 20, 2017
1:00pm – 4:30pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Jewett Hall, RM 190

July 26, 2017
8:30am – 12:00pm
University of Maine at Orono, Donald P. Corbett Business Building, RM 100

July 27, 2017
1:00pm – 4:30pm
University of Maine at Orono, Donald P. Corbett Business Building, RM 100

Please RSVP to Brenda Vigue at brenda.vigue@maine.gov or (207) 624-6852.

Maine DOE Summer Training Dates and Registration for NEO and Synergy

The Maine Department of Education is offering five half-day sessions for NEO updates and training and one half-day for Synergy Training. An additional full-day session will also be held for districts who manually enter information into the State level Student Information System.

During the NEO session, Maine DOE Helpdesk members will review changes to NEO, which include Maine State Reports previously located in Infinite Campus State Edition. Other changes to NEO include the new Data Collection and Reporting (DC&R) module, access to NEO, changes to NEO staff, and clarification of Staff and District Roles. There will also be a short session on Student Data Privacy. Attendees should include those who currently complete NEO Reports, those who previously worked with student reports in Infinite Campus State Edition, and those who will be doing these activities in the coming school year. Student data certifications will now be done in NEO, so Superintendents who certify reports may also want to attend.

A light lunch will be provided, and during this time, Maine DOE and Synergy staff will be available for questions.

For the Synergy session, participants will learn how to use Synergy DOE to upload student data required by the State of Maine. In addition, participants will learn how to use Synergy DOE to enter and validate student data that is not included in the upload process.

Upon completion of this session, participants will understand how to perform uploads and will be able to:

* Log in to Synergy and navigate the interface
* Use and understand Synergy concepts and terminology
* Change Focus to view other years/schools
* Create personal Navigation Menus
* View existing student information
* Find a single student or multiple students
* Enter and modify student data
* Truancy
* Discipline
* Use a Matrix to print student information or export student information to other desktop programs
* Create student filters
* Create Graph information
* Preview and Print common reports
* Save report settings

The August 1st, Manual Entry Session will be an all-day in-depth look at how to enter student information directly into the system. (NEO topics will not be covered at this session).

Dates and Registration

July 25
Houlton High School
7 Bird Street
Houlton, ME 04730

July 26
Ellsworth Elementary School/Middle School
20 Forest Avenue
Ellsworth, ME 04605

July 27
Orion Performing Arts Center
50 Republic Avenue
Topsham, ME 04086

July 31
Cony School
60 Pierce Drive
Augusta, ME 04330

August 1
MANUAL UPLOAD Schools only please. NEO not presented
Cony School
60 Pierce Drive
Augusta, ME 04330

August 2
Portland Arts & Technology High School
196 Allen Avenue
Portland, ME 04103

If you have any questions please contact Maine’s Data Systems Helpdesk Manager Shannon Bartash at (207) 624-6799.


Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Education Conference

Registration is now open for the Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Education Conference. The conference will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on August 14-16, 2017 and is intended for PreK and Kindergarten early childhood staff and administrators.

There are two training tracks to choose from and space is limited:

1. Building Blocks PreK Curriculum Training Track ($250.00) 3 days – this training session is appropriate for PreK teachers and Ed Techs and also for Kindergarten teachers that may be interested in understanding the PreK math curriculum for building alignment.
2. STEAM Training Track ($50.00) 2 days – This track is appropriate for any PreK or Kindergarten teacher.

Continental breakfast and lunch are provided each day as part of the conference registration.

Financial Aid is available.

Register for Early Childhood Conference

For more information contact Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Specialist Sue Reed at susan.d.reed@maine.gov or 624-6632.

Webinar on ESEA equitable share participation of Maine’s SAUs and non-public schools

The Maine DOE will offer a WebEx session June 8, 2017 from 10 – 11 a.m. providing guidance to school administrative units (SAUs) and non-public schools in the delivery and agreement of equitable services under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The ESSA includes separate provisions governing equitable services for eligible private school students, teachers and other educational personnel, and families under Title I and programs covered under Title VIII, Part F, Subpart 1; as well as the Uniform Provisions Subpart 1—Private Schools: Equitable Services for Private School Students, Teachers, and Other Educational Personnel. Many of those requirements remain unchanged from requirements under the ESEA as amended by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The ESSA, however, made a number of significant changes. Some of those changes are common to the equitable services requirements under both Title I and Title VIII; others are different.

The webinar will be conducted by Maine DOE’s Title I Consultant and Title II Coordinator, Jackie Godbout and Charles Lomonte, respectively. If you have questions prior to the event, please contact Charles Lomonte at 624-6723 or Charles.lomonte@maine.gov or Jackie Godbout at 624-6712 or Jackie.godbout@maine.gov.

Topics covered during the webinar include:

  • Consultation requirements between SAU and non-public schools
  • Deriving the proportionate share calculation
  • Allocation of funds
  • Eligibility
  • Types of equitable services
  • Evaluation of assessments

To participate in the webinar, please click here.  The conference phone number is 1-877-455-0244, followed by conference code: 8223978943.

The Maine DOE offers ESEA equitable services training for those Maine SAUs and non-public school leaders who must consult about participating in non-public school equitable share resources.