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, Tuesday, January 7th, 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
  • Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 – Proposals due
  • Monday, January 13th, 2020 – Sessions selected
  • Friday, January 17th, 2020 – Sessions confirmed by presenters
  • Monday, January 27th, 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.

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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.

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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.

MLTI Bridge Year

The Maine Department of Education, through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI), has been providing 7th and 8th grade students and teachers access to, and support for, educational technology since 2002. While the goal has remained constant – provide State support for access to technology-enhanced education experiences for all students – the program has changed in many ways and will continue to grow and evolve in the future. The Department remains committed to this goal.  

As many school administrative units (SAUs) are aware, the final contracts for the existing MLTI program are set to expire on June 30, 2020. During the 2020-2021 academic year, the Department has designed a “bridge year,” to provide support for devices, infrastructure, and professional learning while we continue to work with stakeholders to design what is the next phase of the MLTI program. With the support of the 129th legislature, the Department has designed the bridge year to mitigate and minimize disruption to SAUs. The details of the bridge year are the following: 

  • The Department will purchase all of the MLTI devices at the end of the lease. 
  • The Department will transfer ownership to SAUs in cohort 4 (lease begun in 2016) for 7th & 8th grade and staff devices in July 2020. JAMF licenses on these devices will continue at no charge to SAUs through June 30, 2021. Systems Engineering will continue to support the WiFi infrastructure of 7th and 8th grade classrooms during the bridge year. 
  • SAUs who are currently leasing additional devices (elementary or high school student and staff devices) from the Department will have the option to buy out their devices from the Department at the 2015 rates, $28/ iPad and $48/ laptop in July 2020. JAMF licenses will be available on these devices for the cost of $6/ iOS device and $12/MacOS.
  • No new grants will be awarded during the 2020-2021 academic year. 
  • The Department will provide statewide and regional professional learning,  
  • The Department will host the MLTI student conference in May 2021.  

Over the past several months, the Department has hosted Think Tank conversations regionally around the state to reflect on the past 17 years of the MLTI program and envision innovative ideas about the possibilities for the next 20 years of the program. We will continue to use the additional time afforded by the “bridge year” to meet with stakeholders throughout the state. Discussions will include topics such as portable computer devices, device management and deployment, software, wireless networking, technical support, and professional development, as well as financial models to support these efforts. The Department will also convene a workgroup to synthesize this information and help to create a plan for the state. 

Below is the estimated timeline for MLTI through 2021. 

  • June 2019 – August 2020: The Department holds meetings with stakeholders regarding the future of MLTI (post SY 2020-2021) and convenes a workgroup to develop a State plan 
  • July 2020 – June 30, 2021: Bridge Year 
  • October 2020: The Department announces plan for MLTI post SY 2020-2021 (including the release of any necessary RFPs) 
  • July 2021: launch of MLTI 2.0 

For more information about the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, contact Beth Lambert, beth.lambert@maine.gov, 207-624-6642. 

Growth Celebrated and Knowledge Shared as MoMEntum Literacy Pilot Wraps Up

Kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers from across the state gathered this month for a final event that served as the culmination of two and a half years of work by 1500 students, 100 teachers, 9 schools, and 6 literacy coaches. Momentum, a K-3 literacy pilot program designed to improve the literacy achievement of students, came to a close with a professional learning event and an opportunity to reflect on the knowledge and growth experienced by its participants.

Deployed in January 2018, the MoMEntum pilot program provided 9 schools with iPad devices from Apple, Inc. and research-based curriculum resources along with targeted professional learning and coaching to help them improve not only the reading levels of their young students, but also to engage them in a meaningful integration of literacy across other content areas using technology. Additionally, and somewhat uniquely, the pilot also provided schools with the tools to measure how well students were responding to the new learning style.

Teachers received intensive professional learning on specific software applications that individualized student learning, and provided a platform to share student progress with their parents or guardians. Trained literacy coaches worked within each school along with locally grown professional learning communities (PLC) that met monthly (or more) to share practices, evaluate their work and progress, and seek ways to improve.

room of educators sitting at tables listening to speakerAt the closing event were an array of teacher-lead professional learning sessions about classroom management and curriculum practice. For example, Lindsey Davis, a 1st Grade Teacher from Leroy H. Smith School in RSU 22, lead a session about how to engage students in Close Reading lessons that utilize integrated and relevant content. Heather Gray and Danielle Afari, teachers from Dirigo Elementary School in RSU 56, lead an informative and entertaining session about ways to glean student progress based on data and assessment in the classroom.

Teachers and administrators also had the opportunity to work on sustainability plans to keep their work from the MoMEntum pilot going in their schools by establishing school level and individual goals to help continue their integrated literacy work.

Kathy Jacobs, a 1st grade teacher who is moving into a special education role at China Primary School, a participating school from the pilot, said that she has definitely, “seen growth in the students” during the pilot program and that no matter what happens now that the program has come to a close, she will apply some of the things she has learned into her teaching practices going forward.

Wonders & wows posterThere was also an opportunity for teachers and administrators to share their “Wonders & Wows” as a way to evaluate the work and progress and highlight areas for future collaborative work.

“I learned as much from the teachers as I hope they learned from me,” said Literacy Coach Heidi Goodwin, a Distinguished Educator on loan from MSAD 54 who worked directly with the Maine DOE on the pilot program. “They [teachers] were great thinking partners,” she reflected. There were 6 educators total that served as coaches for the program. Along with Heidi were, Kayanne Nadeau, on loan from MSAD 27; Liz Wakem, on loan from RSU 71; Lisa Sleight, a retired Maine educator; Li Gowell, a retired Maine educator; and Dee Saucier, a Maine DOE staff member.

“This was not just a great learning opportunity for the schools involved but for the Department as well,” said Lee Anne Larsen, Maine DOE Early Learning Team Coordinator who has been involved in the administration of the MoMEntum pilot from its inception.  Reflecting on the valuable lessons learned during the pilot, Lee Anne remarked that the most notable were about ways to effectively use technology in the classroom, and methods of meaningfully integrating literacy into other content areas. “It will definitely inform our future work at the Department,” she added.

While the full pilot program and everything that came along with it was only deployed in 9 schools initially, the professional learning resources are available, completely free, to all schools on the Maine DOE Website, along with help and support from Maine DOE staff members Lee Anne Larson and Dee Saucier who both helped administer the pilot program. For further information please reach out to them at Leeann.Larsen@maine.gov and/or Danielle.M.Saucier@maine.gov.

 

 

 

 

MSSM STEM Summer Camp Success Story

Submitted by Ryan McDonald, Summer Programs Director and Public Relations Coordinator at Maine School of Science and Mathematics.

The STEM Summer Camp at Maine School of Science & Mathematics ended the 2019 season on August 3rd. Over 550 middle school campers came to the small town of Limestone in beautiful Aroostook County to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math. The campers had three hands-on classes daily and then a non-STEM class called “Instructor’s Passion”. After that, they participated in traditional summer camp activities such as rock climbing, creating tie dye shirts, baking, capture the flag, swimming, and of course our special 100-foot mega slip-n-slide.

The camp started in 1997 as a camp for girls to get them interested in the STEM fields, but expanded to six weeks total with three for boys and three for girls. In 2018, the camp changed to five weeks with a co-ed week in the middle. We have found the new model to be very effective and plan to continue.

The classes are designed to keep kids academically stimulated through the summer and have no homework nor prerequisites. The only requirement is curiosity for how things work. Some of the classes this year and past years have included Real Life CSI, Model Rocketry, 3D Printing, You Can Do the Cube (Rubik’s Cube), The Science of Clay, Intro to Programming, LEGO Robotics, Catapults and Trebuchets, and many more. This year brought a new idea, Instructor’s Passion for the 4th class. It was a shorter class where each instructor taught a hobby or interest such as origami, Japanese language, drawing, creating your own game, appreciating Beethoven’s music, team building, etc.

The MSSM STEM Summer Camp brings educators, staff, and campers from all 16 counties, a few other states, and even a few foreign countries. Each year we strive to improve the camp based on feedback from the campers. We don’t make anyone an expert in each week of camp, but we do love when campers learn something and say, “Wow! This exists.”

For more information about the MSSM STEM Summer Camp and Maine School of Science and Mathematics, go to:  www.mssm.org.