Online Learning Communities for Educators

Maine educators are invited to join online learning communities led by other Maine educators who will offer guidance and support for completing recognized online learning programs that are designed to develop various skills related to teaching and learning with technology. Educators can learn on their own time and at their own pace while still being a part of community of educators that are all working toward a common goal.

All of the online learning communities are free to join, though some have materials that need to be purchased in order to participate more fully.

  • Apple Teacher – iPad Badges (free)
  • Apple Teacher – Mac Badges (free)
  • Code.org Express Course (free)
  • Common Sense Educators (free)
  • Google Level 1 Certification ($10 exam fee paid to Google directly)
  • Wonder Workshop ($125 for robot and course bundle purchased with ACTEM discount)

Learn more about each of the offerings (PDF) » 

To register, please complete this online form »

Note: Most offerings start on or around Oct. 1st and have a limit on the number of participants.

All educators who earn their badge or certificate by midnight on December 2nd will be invited to join a daylong celebration and professional learning opportunity. The celebration will likely be held on Thursday, December 13th or Friday, December 14th in the central Maine area. More details will be sent directly to participants later in the fall

For more information contact, Maine DOE Digital Learning Specialist, Amanda Nguyen at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov

Reminder: Computer Science Day is Monday, August 13th

Please plan to join us in Augusta for Computer Science Day at the State House and Maine State Library on August 13th from 9am to 4pm. All ages are welcome! Note that educators can earn up to seven contact hours.

There will be engaging activities, panels, and presentations led by students, educators, and businesses, such as:

Apple, Baxter Academy of Technology and Science, CashStar, Code.org, Eastern Maine Community College, Esri, Falmouth High School, Gizmo Gardens, Henry L. Cottrell Elementary, Husson University, Learn to Mod, Maine Department of Labor, Maine Office of Information Technology, Maine Central Institute, Maine CSTA, Microsoft, Monmouth Academy, Pi-Top, Project Lead The Way, RSU 19, South Portland High School, Sphero Edu, Texas Instruments, Thomas College, Tyler Technologies, University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4H, University of Maine, Unlimited Technology, University of Southern Maine, and Wonder Workshop.

You’re also encouraged to participate in a scavenger hunt throughout the day. Light refreshments will be provided. More information can be found below!

 

For more information or questions, contact any of the following event organizers:

Schedule for Computer Science Day Now Available

Please plan to join us in Augusta for Computer Science Day at the Capital on August 13th from 9am to 4pm, hosted by Maine DOE, the Maine State Library, Project Login, and Maine Math and Science Alliance. Students, educators and businesses can all benefit from exploring how computer science skills can be learned in formal and informal learning settings, and how those skills can be applied in current and future jobs in Maine.

The day will include presentations and booths with hands-on learning activities. More information can be found below and will continue to be updated over the next few weeks!

For more information or questions, contact any of the following event organizers:

 

Register Now for Computer Science Day on August 13

The Maine Department of Education, Maine State Library, Project Login, and Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance are partnering to host Computer Science Day this summer. We’ll explore how computer science skills can be learned in formal and informal learning settings, and how those skills can be applied in current and future jobs in Maine. We hope to create more connections, partnerships, collaboration, and access to resources between educators, students, non-profits and businesses.

Participants can join presentations, hear from panelists from multiple industries, and visit booths with hands-on learning opportunities. Here are some of the organizations who will be presenting:

Apple, Microsoft, CashStar, Sphero Edu, Pi-Top, Thomas College, University of Southern Maine, University of Maine RiSE Center, Husson University, Wonder Workshop, Tyler Technologies… and many more!

  • Date: Monday, August 13th from 9am – 4pm
  • Location: Maine State House (Hall of Flags), Maine State Library (Atrium), and Various Committee Rooms in the Maine State House
  • Attendees: Open to the public. Educators have the opportunity to earn up to 7 contact hours for attending.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Computer Science Day Registration Link

For continued updates visit the Computer Science Event page.

For more information or questions, contact any of the following event organizers:

CS Day Handout

Guidance on District Technology Plan Development for 2017 – 2018 and 2018 – 2019

Over the past few months, there have been a number of questions about expectations for completing and submitting to the Department district technology plans. This correspondence is designed to answer those questions for district and school administrators, in particular, those who are responsible for developing technology plans.

Has the Technology Plan Requirement Changed?

Yes, there are three main points here:

  1. The federal technology plan requirement for E-rate eligibility no longer exists.
    • Districts still need to maintain copies of approved plans and approval letters for the time specified to your district under federal requirements at the time you last submitted a plan.
  2. Districts should include their technology plan in their Comprehensive Education Plan.
    • This is not submitted to the Department, however, superintendents certify this is complete on their School Approval Application, which is submitted to the DOE.
  3. The MLTI Participation Agreement includes additional guidance.
    • Superintendents signed participation agreements when their schools opted into an MLTI solution.
    • A sample participation packet can be found at the link below: http://www.maine.gov/doe/mlti/policy/responsibility_sau/index.html
    • Two parts are relevant to the new technology plan expectations:
      • “#3. SAU agrees to address how MLTI will support its school and district goals in its Board-approved technology plan.”
        • This does not mean that the DOE needs to review or approve your plan.
      • “#11. SAU agrees to take part in studies, surveys, etc. related to the MLTI (e.g. Bright Bytes).
        • This part enables us to have state-wide insight on the impact of MLTI and the use of the technology for better teaching and learning outcomes.

What Does This Change Mean for My District?

  • In 2017 – 2018, we’ve asked districts that receive state support for participation in MLTI and whose current approval expires in June 2018, to share their technology plan with us. This can be accomplished using the short form provided to districts earlier this year (see below).
  • In 2018 – 2019, only the schools that are participating in the MLTI Apple and HP opt-ins (have those solutions or packages) will be asked to provide information to the Department. Districts will be asked to have students and staff complete the BrightBytes survey in the fall of 2018, no later than November 30, 2018, and may be asked a few additional questions by the Department.
  • For those districts that want technical support as they review their data or create action plans related to technology use, the Department will still provide support and will be continuing to work with BrightBytes to offer online and in-person learning opportunities.

Form for 2017 – 2018:

  • The form to be submited to the DOE is substantially shorter. A number of districts have gathered a small group of stakeholders and completed this task in a matter of hours.
  • The form can be found here: http://www.maine.gov/doe/mlti/techplan/2018DistrictTechPlanForm.docx
  • The goal of the new form is to encourage:
    • Purposeful and intentional use of technology for teaching and learning
    • Planning for technology use with multiple stakeholders
    • Alignment of technology use to your schools/districts’ mission or priorities
  • The form requires you to pick five data points from BrightBytes and create an action plan to improve each.
    • This means that you need to administer the BrightBytes survey to your students and staff.
    • Advice: Pick a unifying theme or overarching goal, and then think of the data points as five indicators of progress toward that goal.
    • Rationale: Doing so allows you to align your technology plan to existing school and district priorities and allows you to talk with teachers and students about using technology in a way that already supports the teaching and learning that is happening (instead of thinking of it as one more thing to do).
  • For districts that want feedback on this form, please submit it to Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov by June 30th. You will receive feedback over the summer.

If you have any questions about this, you can reach out to Amanda Nguyen Digital Learning Specialist for the Maine Department of Education at  Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov or 207-624-6656.