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06/20/2017

Schools' Learning Technology plan for 2017-2020 emphasizes 'learning'

The School Board on June 13, 2017 adopted a revised technology plan for 2017-2020, this time calling it a "Learning Technology Plan."

The plan, required by the state Department of Education, focuses not so much on bits-and-bytes as on the learning they support. "It's more about curriculum," said Noel Harroff, technology coordinator for the school department.

School Board, systemwide staff and representatives from all three schools have been working on the plan since the 2015-16, Harroff said, coordinating with then-curriculum director RuthEllen Vaughn on a learning model that is still developing, Harroff said.

The revised plan draws on input from a variety of stakeholders, beginning with staff and student surveys, followed by committee meetings convened by assistant principals at each school.

The plan outlines five goals:

  1. Increasing staff professional development for technology
  2. Training teachers to use Common Sense Media and similar curriculum to teach cyber safety to all students.
  3. Utilizing Learning Management Systems (such as Google Classroom and eBackpack) to enhance collaboration among teachers, students, administrators and parents
  4. Repurposing our traditional computer labs and increasing the integration of technology in the classroom.
  5. And, maintaining and sustaining technology infrastructure and equipment for students and staff.

The vote for the plan was unanimous, but board member John Voltz suggested future versions say how goals will be tracked, and how often the plan will be updated.

The state requires local school districts to submit three-year technology plans as part of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative.