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Are We Talking Technology or Are We Talking Learning

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More and more, educators are recognizing that the true value of technology isn’t learning how to use the tools and devices, but rather using the tools and devices to learn (see here , here , here , and here ). Yet, when a study focused on how the devices were used, certain types of use (those focused on effective instructional practices), there was a real improvement in learning.

MLTI is a Massive Failure: What We Can Do

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On Friday, October 14, 2016, Maine’s Governor Paul LePage announced that he believes the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) has been a massive failure. So instead, let’s do things in our classrooms and schools to show that MLTI isn’t a failure. Send us your stories! ). Some schools have already figured out strategies that successfully do that. We can’t do it alone.

Would This Help With Proficiency-based Learning and Teacher Effectiveness?

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Would it help your school with your proficiency-based diploma work and your PEPG/teacher effectiveness work if you could bring in professional development in any or all of these six areas? If so, we may be able to help you. We hope it equally applies to proficiency-based diploma and teacher effectiveness work. Also, you don’t have to wait for a workshop day or early release day.

MLTI Fall 2016 Update Notes

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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. Contact Amanda at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov and Sean at sean.malone@maine.gov. 2016 Apple Refresh and Collection Update.

5 Costly Inventory Management Mistakes Schools Should Avoid

If your school is like most, inventory and/or asset management plays a critical role in daily operations.

Taking Better Care of Our Devices

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Laptops and tablets can be a terrific asset in the classroom. But repairs and maintenance can be expensive. Every school has those crazy stories about how that one time that one kid did that one thing and you can’t believe what damage it did to their device! Not Closing Cases. Traveling and Moving Between Classes, and to and from School. Carelessness at Home. Strategy: Student Ownership.

Selecting a Learning Device: Maine’s Recommendation

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As states or districts look at device options, please don’t stop with looking at the cost of the device. I have talked to a couple districts recently who made a device choice within the last year or two, based on device cost only, who are now running into challenges that they wouldn’t necessarily be having now if they had made the considerations we recommend below.

Please Stop Calling It “Digital Content”!

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As they should, educators are searching for online courses, apps, programs and software that will help them teach their students. But educators and vendors alike too often refer to these as “digital curriculum” or “digital content.” ” But content or curriculum is the “what” of what you want students to learn. They are the learning targets.

Ed Tech Research is Clear: Owning a Device Does Not Improve Learning

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Scanning the media on education technology could easily lead one to believe we are wasting our money when putting devices into the hands of students. So what’s different between these two groups? It is ludicrous to look inside a classroom and decide if technology is a waste of investment or a distraction without also investigating how we are using them for learning.

Join SETDA: Affiliate Memberships Now Accepted

SETDA's Affiliate program connects non-profit education membership organizations with state leaders. SETDA's mission is to build the capacity of education leaders to improve learning through technology policy & practice. Benefits include: SETDA conferences, webinars and news feeds.

Ed Tech Research is Clear: Owning a Device Does Not Improve Learning

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Scanning the media on education technology could easily lead one to believe we are wasting our money when putting devices into the hands of students. So what’s different between these two groups? It is ludicrous to look inside a classroom and decide if technology is a waste of investment or a distraction without also investigating how we are using them for learning.

Moving Beyond Word Processing, Presenting, and Online Research

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Maine is lucky in that we have both the Maine Learning Technology Initiative ( MLTI ) and NetworkMaine. Both have helped close the Digital Access Divide for Maine’s schools. And yet, with all this access, our data show that students are stuck at using their devices for word processing, presenting and online research. Edited with BlogPad Pro.

Moving Beyond Word Processing, Presenting, and Online Research

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Maine is lucky in that we have both the Maine Learning Technology Initiative ( MLTI ) and NetworkMaine. Both have helped close the Digital Access Divide for Maine’s schools. And yet, with all this access, our data show that students are stuck at using their devices for word processing, presenting and online research. Edited with BlogPad Pro.

Is MLTI Impacting Student Learning?

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When a district (or a state) expends large sums of money on education technology, it is fair to expect that there would be a return on the investment, especially in improved student learning. There are those that think, for example, that Maine should stop paying for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) since, after 15 years, there has been no improvement in test scores. There is , however, evidence that MLTI is positively impacting learning. In some places. Under certain circumstances. And the scores of those that do are balanced out by those that choose not to.

The Need to Refocus (Vigorously!) on Learning

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The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) was not designed to be primarily an equity of access to technology program (although that was part of it). And it wasn’t designed to be primarily a program by which students could develop technology skills (although that was part of it). MLTI was designed to be primarily a learning initiative. At this time, we must renew (vigorously!)

Maine Announces Learning Technology Framework

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The true value of laptops and tablets in schools is not learning to use the technology, but rather using the technology to learn. The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI ) have been in place since 2002 and has certainly helped close the Digital Access Divide in Maine. We need to help close the Digital Learning Divide. Click here for more information.

Tricks for Teaching Tech Quickly

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There is an old quote that the true value to learning isn’t learning to use the technology, but rather using the technology to learn. To leverage the power of learning through technology, for focusing more on “verbs” than on “nouns,” the technology needs to be treated as a tool, and most of the instructional time needs to be allocated for the learning activity.

Kids Teaching Kids: Tricks to Teach Tech Quickly (4 of 4)

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This is the fourth in a series of posts on teaching technology quickly so technology-based learning activities can be focused more on the learning than on the technology. Kids Teaching Kids. Another effective strategy is “Kids Teaching Kids.” This strategy is important because many teachers still don’t feel they know as much about technology as their students do (whether they actually do, or not).

Shared Leadership Teams – The Series

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The multiple perspectives, the buy-in from diverse stakeholders, shared leadership teams are a powerful tool in your arsenal for making large-scale school change stick. Shared leadership teams focus on the strategic work of the school. They focus on school change and improvement. They are not simply an advisory group. They are the decision making body.

Cheat Sheets: Tricks for Teaching Tech Quickly (3 of 4)

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Below, is the third of four posts highlighting techniques that will help insure that teachers are helping students succeed with their work by teaching them the technology skills they need, but doing it quickly, so that most of the time could be spent focusing on content from the curriculum. Cheat Sheets. The teacher prompting, “Where do we start? What’s the first step?” can go a long way….

How to Avoid Unintentionally Sabotaging Your Shared Leadership Teams

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So, if you are forming shared leadership teams for your initiative, you clearly want to reap the benefits that come from them: increased buy-in, soliciting stakeholder voice and choice, designing and planning strengthened by the power of multiple perspectives. So guess the most common cause of unintentional leadership team sabotage … You are! They never intend to. It just happens naturally.

Shared Leadership Teams: What They Are and Aren’t

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Schools already have lots of groups that they call leadership teams. But many of them are not what I would refer to as “shared leadership teams,” not in the sense we were talking about in the previous post. I would probably call them “management teams.” I am not implying that these management tasks are unimportant, because they are. Other folks call them “Work Groups.”

Tricks to Teaching Technology Quickly: Mini Lessons (1 of 4)

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Yesterday, I suggested that teachers sometimes make one of two mistakes when designing technology-based learning activities for students: either spending too much or too little time teaching the technology skills necessary for the activity. But those kinds of lessons only work when you can figure out how to teach the technology quickly. Mini Lessons. Focus on the Learning

Shared Leadership Teams: The Power of Diverse Perspectives

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If many hands make light work, many minds make smart work. Bette Manchester taught me long ago, at the beginning of MLTI , not only that leadership was everything, but that shared leadership teams performed better for an initiative than single leaders did. Years later, I worked for a small, private, educational development organization. There were four of us. And there was me.

Shared Visioning in Action

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I recently started a new job: Policy Director of the Learning Through Technology Team (LTTT) at the Maine Department of Education. It’s essentially the state tech director position, and its largest responsibility is managing the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI – 1to1 in 7th & 8th statewide – since 2002! I have a small (but awesome!) Building a Preferred Future.

Building a Shared Vision Part 3: How Will We Get There?

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If you are reading this, I suspect you want to help move your school or district forward, and recognize that a critical first step is developing a shared vision with stakeholders, including your staff and community. This is the third post describing a process to quickly build an effective vision. The first post set up the activity. The Student Plan. ” Record everything that they call out.

Motivating Students: Focus on 6 Strategies

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There are many children who seem undermotivated, disengaged, and underachieving. Many educators are frustrated by such students; some educators as they struggle with finding ways to engage those students, and some because they believe it is up to those students to be motivated or not. Great teachers have always struggled with the persistent question, “How do I motivate all children to learn?”

Building a Shared Vision Part 2: Where Will They Be?

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Creating a shared vision is a critical step in school improvement efforts. This post is the continuation of an effective process for creating such a shared vision. In the previous post, we discussed the background of the process, who to invite, and some of the set up. This portion focuses on how to arrive at the preferred future we have for students we care about. Think of a Student You Care About.

Building a Shared Vision Part 1: Where To Begin?

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Destination Matters. This is true with schools, too. Our destination should be more than just the work we do: taking attendance, direct instruction, providing practice, reviewing and assessing work, providing feedback, etc. Why are we bothering to do this work? For that matter, how do we know this is the right work to do? A Vision Building Process That Works. Who To Invite. Parents?

What Makes for Good Learning Experiences?

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The more we try to to help build the talents of every student and help every learner succeed in school, the more we have to be deliberate about creating good learning experiences in our classrooms. I have certainly added to the conversation about what I believe gives students good learning experiences. Think of a good learning experience,” the script for the activity begins. “It

The Need For a Shared Vision

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Destination matters. What if you were a sailboat captain. Let’s even say you’ve got a great boat and a wonderful crew. Together you’ve done a lot of sailing. Maybe you even work well together and know how to collaboratively operate the boat to maneuver well and go really fast, coaxing its peak performance. But what does all this mean if you have no destination? What would the outcome be then?

Join Maine’s Learning Through Technology Team!

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The Learning Through Technology Team at the Maine Department of Education is looking for a high energy, entrepreneurial-thinking, collaborative educator who would like to work with us. Are you making great things happen in your classroom, school, district, or region? Consider joining us and make great things happen across Maine! Increasing access with a focus on learning. Regardless! then apply.

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MLTI Fall 2016 Update Notes

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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 sean.malone@maine.gov. 2016 Apple Refresh and Collection Update. Wifi Support Update.

Micro-credentials 101 – Workshop Resources

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What’s all the fuss about micro-credentials and digital badging? What are they and how do I earn them? What do they have to do with professional development? What’s this new iLearnMaine Educator Micro-credentials program from ACTEM and the DOE? Attend this session and not only discover answers to these questions, but get a head start on figuring out which micro-credentials you might like to earn! iLearnMaine Educator Micro-credentals. Project Home. All About Micro-credentials. Nellie Mae White Paper – Digital Badging and Micro-Credentialing. Digital Promise Home. Mentor.

Rethinking Professional Development to be Proficiency-Based

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It is interesting to collaborate with other districts and education initiatives, and hear frustrations about how much they have invested in professional development – how many sessions they have provided – and how it has resulted in very little change in practice. Perhaps it is because our thinking about professional development has been incomplete. A Professional Learning Curriculum.

12 Professional Learning Curriculum Buckets for Teaching and Learning with Tech

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As we think about our teachers becoming highly skilled at using technology in the classroom, we could certainly generate a very long list of skills, approaches, tools, apps, strategies, and other competences we’d like them to get good at. These become our 12 buckets that would make up our professional learning curriculum for teachers. How can students use their knowledge?

Let’s Focus on the Learning

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As you move through the state and talk with educators about the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, too often the conversations have focused on laptops and tablets and folks wondering if we could find devices that were less expensive. Is it possible that in their thinking, all laptops and devices were created equal, in such a way that the only variable is cost? You want a hole.”

What is an Adequate Learning Device?

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We have seen it happen too often. Too many schools are selecting a device for their students based mostly on either the ease of management by the tech lead or the one-time purchase price or both. We don’t believe that ease of management or one-time cost are the right prime criteria for selecting a device in schools, especially if your goal shifts from ensuring that every child has access to a device to ensuring that every child has quality learning experiences. But should those criteria be? We have started asking Maine’s educators this question: What is an adequate learning device?

“Just in Time” Lessons: Tricks to Teaching Tech Quickly (2 of 4)

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This is the second in a series of posts on teaching technology quickly so the focus of technology-based learning activities can be on learning through technology rather than the technology itself. Just in Time,” not “Just In Case”. The mistake the Health teacher from the recent post made wasn’t doing the mini lessons before letting students start their project. Her mistake was doing too many mini lessons. Teachers, simply because they want students to succeed, often try to show students everything they might need in order to complete a project. This is “Just in Case” education.