The Maine Department of Education will be refreshing all seventh and eighth grade 2013 Apple Primary (iPads) and Apple Alternate (MacBook Air) school classrooms with not only new devices, but with increased services and professional learning opportunities for the upcoming school year.
“We are very excited about the program improvements offered in Apple’s 2016 Primary and Alternate solutions and have decided to refresh the middle school program now, rather than complete the fourth year of the lease,” says Mike Muir, Learning Through Technology Policy Director at the Maine Department of Education. “We have listened hard to Maine’s educators’ feedback on MLTI and how to make it better, and this refresh allows us to address those issues.”
There are considerable improvements in features and capabilities, so in addition to improved device and app management (including device-based app distribution, JAMF flexibility, and user account management) and some budget-friendly changes, the new solutions include returning to a Teacher Leader program (as MLTI offered in the early years) and offering a Principals Academy.
“We recently released the Maine Learning Technology Framework defining our commitment to student learning being at the center of education technology initiatives. These new offerings demonstrate a strengthened commitment from our vendor-partner to this Framework and to student learning.”
Schools that opted in to an Apple solution for grades K-6 or 9-12 in 2013 may choose either to finish the fourth year of their lease or to participate in the 2016 refresh. The MLTI team has identified strategies that should make the refresh affordable within a district’s planned 2016/2017 budget. Further, both Apple Primary and Apple Alternate solutions are now within the State funding threshold.
Schools that refresh grade levels this year are committing both to returning all 2013 cohort devices in good working condition and to selecting either the Apple Primary or the Apple Alternate solution (but do not need to select the same that they selected in 2013).