Big news in Maine on January 17th was the Commissioner of Education’s announcement of his new strategic plan. The plan promise’s to put “learners first” and promote customized, standards-based learning. Access the plan here.
In Auburn, we’re excited about the plan, because it promises support to the kinds of initiatives we (and other Maine Cohort for Customized Learning member districts) are involved in. We recognize that students learn in different ways and in different time frames, and are working hard to create systems that honor these two principles: our long history with MLTI; Advantage 2014, our primary grades literacy and math initiative that includes 1to1 iPads in kindergarten; Expeditionary Learning and projects at the middle grades; and multiple pathways and customized learning at the high school. Auburn is also a funding partner of Projects4ME, Maine’s virtual project-based program for at-risk and drop-out youth.
But Auburn is also excited about the plan because we were invited to participate in the roll out. Commissioner Stephen Bowen invited 5 students to speak at the announcement. Each was asked to talk about how the innovative work at their schools was helping them learn and succeed. We brought Gareth Robinson, an Auburn Middle School 8th grader, who spoke about the role technology has played in his learning. Gareth has used technology for learning going back to elementary school, both at school and personally for hobbies, like playing guitar. Among other things, he related how, for a recent social studies project, he and his group used iMovie to make a newscast of the battle of Bunker Hill.
You can read Gareth’s comments and watch a video of his talk here. Or watch this WCSH Channel 6 news coverage of the Commissioner’s strategic plan, featuring Gareth. Scroll to the bottom of this page to find links to the talks of each of the 5 students who presented, or go here for photos from the event.
It’s Your Turn:
What does the Commissioner’s strategic plan mean to you, your school, or your district?