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.

Maine DOE seeking presentation proposals for Early Childhood Education Conference

The Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) conference team is seeking presentation proposals from PreK and Kindergarten teachers for the 2nd annual ECE Conference scheduled for August 14 at the Augusta Civic Center.

This year’s conference focus is “STEAM Starts Early”. The morning keynote address will be given by national speaker Doug Clements and the teacher presentations will run concurrently during the afternoon session.

Presentations will be 90-120 minutes and will present a unit or lesson plan created by the teacher team and grounded in core STEAM concepts. The audience for the sessions will be PreK, K teachers and instructional staff and administrators. Proposals are due by May 30 and should be inquiry, experiential and exploration based. The request for presentations is for a team of teachers consisting of:

  • PreK or K teacher and;
  • Art teacher and/or technology integrationist.

The ECE conference team will select three proposals, each of which will receive an XYZ da Vinci Mini 3D Printer with filament as an appreciation for their time.

For more information and to obtain a copy of the detail requirements for the presentation proposal, please contact one of the Maine DOE’s ECE conference team members listed below:

Deb Lajoie, Deborah.j.lajoie@maine.gov or 624-6613 or;

Shari Templeton, Shari.Templeton@maine.gov or 624-6880 or;

Beth Lambert, Beth.Lambert@maine.gov or 624-6642

Learning Technology Grants Program Announced

The Department is announcing an evolution to our support of technology in public middle schools and high schools. Beginning July 1, 2017, MLTI Grants will be available to public middle schools and high schools to fund technology and support for 7th and 8th grade students and staff, and for staff in high schools with locally-funded student programs.

The grants will support programs that use technology to enhance teaching and learning in eligible schools and grades. The grant program takes the place of an “opt-in” to the programs offered in the past 3 years by HP and Apple, under a contract with the State.

Schools will apply to the Department of Education with a brief description of their proposed education technology programs, and a budget for the period of the grant.

The amount of the grant is up to $200 per eligible student or staff seat, each year, for up to 3 years. The length of the grant and the amount per seat will be based on the school’s proposed program and budget.

The grants provide flexibility to schools, but maintain some requirements designed to continue the basic structure of the current MLTI program. Any program funded by a grant must provide a personal digital computing device for each student, and must include professional development to support teachers’ use of technology to enhance student learning.

Further details for the grant program, including the application and the deadline for application submittal, will be provided as they are developed and posted on the MLTI website at http://maine.gov/doe/mlti/participation/index.html . MLTI programs in schools that opted in to HP or Apple solutions in 2014, 2015 or 2016 will continue as is, and are not affected by the grant program.

For additional information, contact the MLTI Office at mlti.project@maine.gov or call Deb Friedman, MLTI Project Manager at 624-6834.

Maine STEM Summit and grant competition for educators

Maine DOE encourages educators to attend the upcoming Maine STEM Summit on Friday, Nov. 18 at Colby College in Waterville. This summit will provide an opportunity to foster discussion, engagement, and innovation across the education, workforce, and technology sectors of Maine. This year, K-12 educators are encouraged to apply for the first annual STEM Education Innovation Challenge Grant Competition to fund innovative projects in the classroom. Finalists of the challenge will present their pitches at the summit.

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2016 MLTI Summer Institute crosses globe, tells stories

Project-based learning, digital storytelling, tools for YouTube, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), app development, and coding are just some of the newfound skills educators acquired at the 2016 Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) Summer Institute last week.

Continue reading “2016 MLTI Summer Institute crosses globe, tells stories”

Refresh moving forward for MLTI devices

The following Priority Notice was sent on July 27

The Maine Department of Education is announcing that the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) Opt-in and Refresh contract has been finalized.

2016 Opt-in orders are being placed.

In the month ahead, the MLTI team will be providing details to the field defining procedures and next steps.

Delivery of new devices and collections of 2013 devices will be done on a modified schedule yet to be determined.

Your patience continues to be appreciated.

If you have any questions, contact Learning Through Technology Policy Director Mike Muir at mike.muir@maine.gov or call 624-6634.

Two summer institutes to be held next week

The Maine Department of Education is hosting two summer institutes next week. Both the 2016 Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) Summer Institute and the 2016 School Nurse Summer Institute will be held will be held July 26-28.

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MLTI student conference draws over one thousand

Armed with iPads and laptops, middle and high school students from more than 50 Maine schools descended on the UMaine campus in Orono last month. Joining them were their teachers, chaperones, and Maine’s Learning Through Technology Team with partners from Apple, Cisco, Network Maine, Husson University, and UMaine. In all, more than 1,200 joined together for the thirteenth annual MLTI Student Conference.

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Maine contracts with Edupoint to replace State-level student information data system

The Maine Department of Education has entered into a two year contract with Edupoint Educational Systems, LLC to provide a State Level Student Information and Reporting System (SSIRS), called EduPoint Synergy.

Continue reading “Maine contracts with Edupoint to replace State-level student information data system”

Digital, hands-on learning through storytelling is focus of student conference Thursday

AUGUSTA – Imagine! Learning by making and doing, storytelling, programming and coding; that’s what students love and there is a hands-on learning conference designed just for them. Maine’s Learning Technology Initiative is holding its 2016 MLTI Student Conference on Thursday, May 26 at the University of Maine, Orono. Students from over 50 schools across Maine will gather for experiential, hands-on sessions for students to learn with their MLTI devices.

Continue reading “Digital, hands-on learning through storytelling is focus of student conference Thursday”