Here are notes and useful links related to the DOE MLTI Update for Fall 2016.
New Staff Members
We are excited to have added Amanda Nguyen and Sean Malone to the Learning Through Technology Team. Each is a Maine native, a veteran educator, and a leader in learning technology. As Digital Learning Specialists Amanda and Sean will be involved with designing and implementing our programs, with tech support to schools, and with professional development. Contact Amanda at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov and Sean at email@example.com.
2016 Apple Refresh and Collection Update
The 2016 Opt In deliveries are nearly complete. The collected devices have been received by the remarketer and the audit process is now underway. Audit results will be sent to schools at the conclusion of the audit process.
Wifi Support Update
It’s time to change how the DOE provides wifi support to classrooms. The MLTI approach isn’t as helpful as it used to be. Many districts are running multiple wifi networks. And we want districts to be able to effectively leverage eRate reimbursements that now apply to classroom coverage.
Toward that end, LTTT has established a Wifi Support Design Team of 23 stakeholders from across Maine. Most are Tech Leads, but Networkmaine, the DOE, and MLTI are all represented, as well.
The Design Team is making good progress, but we still have several unanswered critical questions, so can provide few details at the moment. The goal remains, however, to have information for budgets by November.
District Tech Plans, the Maine Learning Technology Framework, and BrightBytes
For several years, we’ve borrowed Marc Prensky’s phrase “More Verbs, Fewer Nouns” to reinforce the need for Maine educators to talk more about what we want to do with our devices than about the devices and tools themselves.
To help operationalize the More Verbs rhetoric, last March, we released the Maine Learning Technology Framework to reinforce the importance of putting the kinds of learning experiences we want for students at the center of our technology initiatives, including MLTI. This learning focus is supported by critical pillars including learner-focused access, professional development, and leadership.
We went on to align the Framework with other aspects of our work, including MLTI, MLTI AEV, non-MLTI professional development, iLearnMaine Educator Micro-credentials, and with the Maine Digital Learning Plan that we’re currently drafting.
The very first thing we aligned the Framework to was the District Learning Technology Plans. We also asked districts to participate in the BrightBytes survey for grades 7-12. BrightBytes has created for us 4 custom reports reflecting the Framework. Districts can copy and paste these reports into the appropriate section then work with their Tech Plan Team to outline the implications and action steps.
Superintendents are starting to report that despite their initial frustration with a new tech plan format and having to participate in a survey, that now that they have completed their tech plan, the appreciate how practical and helpful the process was. We’re hoping that that continues to be districts’ experience as they do their tech plans.
Districts will be notified by early November if their tech plans are due by June of 2017.
The DOE will pay for BrightBytes in grades 7-12 again this year, and we are hoping all districts will participate (if you are a 6-8 school, contact us about the possibility of your 6th grade participating. Survey participation will be scheduled for January and February (although districts wanting to get an early start can collect in November or December). Look for communication about BrightBytes in the coming weeks.
The Future of MLTI – What Can We Do?
There is the perception (by some) that MLTI has not impacted student learning, has become a commodity buy, and focuses disproportionately on devices.
We have a clear charge from the Governor: Stop focusing so much on devices and make sure that we are impacting student learning. The MLTI team is working hard to redouble efforts and supports for schools to help them be successful with this charge.
The MLTI program is under close review in order to determine both future funding and what the next iteration of MLTI might look like: what grade level should MLTI focus on; should it focus on teacher practice or a specific content area rather than an age-range; what are the possibilities with other types of devices? Results and outcomes from the next several years will guide those decisions.
Districts who want to help ensure the future of MLTI can focus on 3 areas:
- Taking better care of our devices
- Focusing on using technology for purposeful learning experiences (not on the tools and devices themselves)
- Have your educators and school leaders participate in professional learning opportunities, including Apple’s new Teacher Leader program (MARTL), and the school visit program.
Take Better Care of Devices – Resources
- Practical suggestions for Taking Better Care of Our Devices
Focus on Learning – Resources
- Let’s get tech leads and curriculum leads working more closely together. We must do a better job of leveraging technology to improve student outcomes.
- Let’s Focus on the Learning
- The Need to Refocus (Vigorously!) on Learning
- Ed Tech Research is Clear: Owning a Device Does Not Improve Learning
- Maine Announces Learning Technology Framework
- Are We Talking Technology or Are We Talking Learning?
- Taking Classroom Tech Use to the Next Level: Specific Traits to Look For – the article that includes Alan November’s 6 questions to decide if technology adds value.
Participate in Professional Learning – Resources
- Any teacher or school leader can request MLTI PD. We will even come and work shoulder to shoulder with teachers, in their classroom, during the school day.
- Doesn’t this MLTI Plain English Instructional Model show we can be a (no cost) resource for your Proficiency-based Learning work and your Teacher Effectiveness work? Request PD.
- The Advantages of a Plain English Instructional Model for moving all educators forward with instructional improvements
- 12 Professional Learning Curriculum Buckets for Teaching and Learning with Tech
MLTI Technical Update Resources