Partner with Other Schools to Create a Remote Plan as Part of RREV Responsive Pilot Accelerator

In an ongoing effort to meet the clear and present needs of the educators across our state, Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures (RREV) in partnership with several School Administrative Units (SAUs) across Maine have created the “Responsive Pilot Accelerator.”

The Responsive Pilot Accelerator is a hyper focused pilot design class that will enable participants to develop a pilot based on a prototype designed by RREV educators. The prototype serves the needs of remote students while maintaining a personal connection with in-school opportunities to participate in extra curriculars or unified arts courses. Its unique online-hybrid features support the individualized needs of students while increasing capacity by using a shared approach to staffing and resources.

Participant who successfully complete the eligibility requirements of the Responsive Pilot Accelerator will leave with:

  • A remote pilot blueprint and;
  • $100K in seed money for staffing, supplies, and administrative expenses.

Awards are available as earlier as January of 2022 for eligible teams.  Please contact Martin Mackey, RREV Director to begin your team’s course as early as Mid-October or Click here to book an appointment directly with the RREV team today.

For additional information, check out our Responsive Pilot Fact Sheet (here) or contact Martin Mackey, RREV Director.

Apply for Federal Funds to Support Remote Learning – Application Window 9/28-10/13

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is a $7.17 billion program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to help schools and libraries support remote learning. The Program provides funding to schools and libraries for the reasonable costs of eligible equipment and services that can be provided to students, teachers, and library patrons who lack connected devices, such as laptop or tablet computers, and/or lack broadband access during the pandemic.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Funds Through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program?

  • Schools, libraries, and consortia of schools and libraries that are eligible for support under the FCC’s E-Rate program, are eligible to request and receive support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.
  • In addition, the Order clarifies that Tribal libraries, which are eligible for support under the Library Services and Technology Act, are also eligible for the Emergency Connectivity Fund.
  • Schools and libraries eligible for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program do not need to be current E-Rate participants. Eligible entities that have not applied for E-Rate support should be prepared to demonstrate eligibility as a school or library under the Program rules during USAC’s application review.

What Equipment and Services Are Covered by the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program?

  • The following types of equipment purchased for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons who would otherwise lack sufficient connectivity to engage in remote learning are eligible for support:
    • Laptop and tablet computers
    • Wi-Fi hotspots
    • Modems (including air cards)
    • Routers
    • Devices that combine a modem and router.
  • Schools and libraries can also receive funding for commercially available broadband internet service that provides a fixed or mobile broadband connection for off-campus use by students, school staff, or library patrons who would otherwise lack access to connectivity sufficient to engage in remote learning.
  • In limited circumstances where a school or library can demonstrate that there are no available service options sufficient to support remote learning for its students, school staff, or library patrons, the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program may support the construction of new networks and the equipment needed for datacasting services.
  • Review the Eligible Services List for additional guidance on the equipment and services eligible for funding under the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

How Can Schools or Libraries Apply?

  • second ECF application filing window will open on September 28, 2021 and close on October 13, 2021. During this second filing window, eligible schools, libraries, and consortia of eligible schools and libraries can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
  • The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is the administrator of the ECF Program and will review applications.
  • Interested schools and libraries can find more information and apply at emergencyconnectivityfund.org
  • The initial ECF Program application filing window opened on June 29 and closed on August 13.

Apply Now

 

Seeking Maine Educators to Create Content for MOOSE

After a successful first year, MOOSE, Maine’s Online Opportunities for Sustained Education, platform continues to grow as the Maine Department of Education (DOE) looks to hire educators to create new content during the upcoming school year. Nearly 300 teacher-created, student-driven modules were created showcasing an interdisciplinary, project-based model of education. MOOSE provides students, families, and educators with learning experiences that are accessible, inclusive, and available free online.    

While maintaining an interdisciplinary and project-based approach, this year the content created on MOOSE will focus on creating PreK-12 learning progressions of specific topics. The year will be broken into two, six-month creation sessions. The learning progression topics for the first six-month session will be STEAM, Career Development, Climate Education, History of Genocide and the Holocaust, and Computer Science.  

We are looking for Maine educators, including but not limited to teachers, curriculum leaders and representatives from Maine educational community organizations such as museums, libraries, and educational centers, interested in creating content for one of the topic areas mentioned above. The module creation work begins September 20th and concludes on March 18th. Each topic will have a full-time team leader who will support participants in the creation of these learning progressions. Topic are content specialists will work with content creators to curate and create resources for the learning progressions. FinallyMaine DOE digital learning specialists will support content creators in developing their skills in digital lesson design and tools. Content creators will earn a stipend of $3000 for successful completion of the work. 

You can access the application here. 

If you are interested in applying but still have questions, the MOOSE team will be holding Q&A sessions via zoom on Wednesday, 9/1 and 9/9, from 3-4pmPlease select the date you are interested in attending to register. 

To learn about the work completed in MOOSE’s first year, view our video here. 

For more information about MOOSE please contact Beth Lambert, beth.lambert@maine.gov or Page Nichols, page.nichols@maine.gov. 

Remote Instruction Observation Tool

This spring, Maine Department of Education (DOE) Adult Education Professional Development Coordinator Amy Poland worked with the EdTech Center at World Education to develop an observation tool for remote instruction (specific for adult learners).

As a member of the Innovating Distance Education in Adult Learning (IDEAL) IDEAL Consortium, Maine is part of a consortium of states dedicated to increasing access to high-quality distance and blended education opportunities for adult learners, and this work was an extension of our work with IDEAL.

Here is a blog post about the remote instruction observation tool, why the Maine Department of Education wanted to engage in this important work.

For further information, reach out to Maine DOE Adult Education Professional Development Coordinator Amy Poland at amy.poland@maine.gov.

Brighter Days Story: Lillian from LearningWorks Afterschool

When the pandemic hit, a lot changed for 7 year old Lillian and her family. School, which she loved more than anything, all of the sudden meant learning on a screen at home. It also meant that her mom, a single parent, would be away at work each day, while Lillian and her older sister stayed at home to study. Lillian struggled to get used to this. One of her teachers could tell she needed some extra support and connection and recommended her family to the LearningWorks Afterschool program.

When she first signed in to Zoom, she kept her video turned off. “Mommy, I’m nervous! I don’t want them to see me!” she’d say over the phone when her Mom called to check on her. The program started with lots of fun games, and soon Lillian was laughing, had turned on her camera, and changed her Zoom name to “Lillian Rocks!” A few weeks into the program, her Mom said she noticed a new maturity in Lillian. She’d call home from work to make sure she was ready, and Lillian would be sitting at the table, eager to sign into Zoom early.

Her LearningWorks teachers, Ms. Molly and Mr. Matt, have become household names. Each week, Ms. Molly delivers a STEAM kit to Lillian’s doorstep. Oftentimes Lillian is waiting. The kit has art supplies as well as materials she’ll need for activities such as Wacky Science Wednesdays. Lillian features her favorite items from these kits on her desk in her room. She loves reading the instructions and knowing the plan for the week ahead of time. She has a special lab coat for her LW science experiments (such as making homemade slime) and her Mom says Lillian often wears the lab coat around the house, while teasing her older sister who is studying to become a doctor. She tells her, “You’re just studying with your books all the time, but I’m already a doctor, look at my coat!”

Her interest in science and math has skyrocketed this year through her lessons with LearningWorks. She’s begun to develop a critical and process-oriented mind — often very focused on the steps it takes to solve a math problem or discover a truth. “Some people just believe things right away — I want to understand how it actually works,” she says. Lillian’s mom has noticed how this way of thinking has translated to her experience of the pandemic and the rules around mask wearing and social distancing. Because Lillian genuinely understands the thinking behind these health & safety measures, she wholeheartedly follows them. LearningWorks has become a fun place for her to experiment, to connect with others, and to nurture her inquisitiveness. She’s begun to find the language and confidence to express her clear and discerning mind. “This program is special to me,” she says. She thinks it could be for other kids too. Her message to them: “Take a deep breath and tell yourself that you can do it. Then…do it!”

Information for this article was provided by LearningWorks Afterschool, a 21st Century Community Learning Center Program. Photos and story by Molly Haley.