Posts Tagged ‘Thomas College’

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Education Innovators Series

October 8, 2020

You’re invited to join Educate Maine virtually for a NEW speaker series addressing innovation in education. The series will bring together national thought leaders and leading Maine educators to share their best ideas and deep wisdom on the topic of how education can adapt and evolve to meet the unique demands of our time. 

Educate Maine is partnering with the Education Action Forum of Maine and Thomas College’s Center for Innovation in Education to host this timely series. Join them Thursday, October 15 from 3:30-4:30pm for the first of several engaging conversations among national thought leaders and Maine’s top educators as they discuss and explore what is next for the field.

REGISTRATION

SPEAKERS

At the first event, the presenter is Jason Swanson who is the Director of Strategic Foresight at KnowledgeWorks, where he helps lead the organization’s research into the future of learning. An award-winning futurist, Jason develops forecasts, sensemaking guides, artifacts from the future, and immersive experiences. Jason is a frequent public speaker and workshop facilitator and holds a BA in Public Policy from West Chester University and an MS in Foresight from the University of Houston. He is a fellow with the Royal Society of Arts and is a member of the Remake Learning Council and Learn Life Alliance.

In addition, we will engage two Maine educators to discuss the research and explore how educators can partner with government officials to explore these options for Maine’s families.

Matt Drewette-Card is the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for MSAD #46, a small, rural school district in central Maine. Matt is also the President of Maine ASCD, the Maine CSTA Penobscot/Piscataquis County regional representative, a Future Ready Schools mentor, and host of the “Maine Education Matters” podcast. Matt has been in education for over 20 years, has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon, and has taught in Maine, Oregon, New Mexico, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Heather Whitaker is the Alternative Education Teacher at Gorham Middle School and the 2020 Maine Teacher of the Year. During her 18-year teaching career at Gorham Middle School, Heather has been a true advocate for combining learning opportunities with the needs of the community. She started her school’s garden, which donates over 800 pounds of produce for the local food pantry each year. She also was a founding member of the Gorham BackPack Program, which provides students in her community, experiencing chronic hunger, with food over the weekend. Her alternative education students are active volunteers for both programs. Heather is passionate about and experienced in using restorative practices and experiential learning. She believes in the power of relationships and that learning should be meaningful to students. Whenever possible, Heather takes students out of the classroom and has them engaged in the community. Heather graduated from Boston College in 2000, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with Moderate Special Needs. She later earned her Master of Science in Literacy Education at the University of Southern Maine.

Schedule for the event

3:30-3:50pm: Jason Swanson

3:50-4:10pm: Matt Drewette-Card and Heather Whitaker

4:10-4:30pm: Q & A 

The zoom link will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the event.

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Samantha Smith Challenge

June 16, 2018

300 students attend event

Thomas College was the location for the annual Samantha Smith Challenge where 300 middle school students gathered to share the artwork and civic engagement projects they’ve been doing. Artist Rob Shetterly’s latest subject of his portraits – Americans Who Tell the Truth Series was Kelsey Juliana. Kelsey is a 22 year old who has a landmark public trust case, Juliana v. US. She spoke with the students attending about civic engagement: “We have everything to gain from taking action and everything to lose from not.” Kelsey’s portrait was unveiled and added to the Americans Who Tell the Truth exhibit.

Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT), an organization that promotes civic engagement through its “Models of Courageous Citizenship”, a series of 240 portrait by Robert Shetterly, and the Maine Association for Middle Level Education (MAMLE) hosted the fourth annual Samantha Smith Challenge, an art, education, and civic engagement conference for Maine middle school students, at Thomas College on Monday, June 4.

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Thomas College Summer Institute

March 24, 2018

Innovating in Education for Maine’s diverse population of students

Calling all Maine educators PK-12! Thomas College’s Center for Innovation in Education is holding its annual Summer Institute on June 26-28 at Thomas College in Waterville. This year’s topic: Innovating in Education for Maine’s Diverse Population of Students. This theme speaks to the need to talk about diversity in relation to STEAM, proficiency-based education, and digital learning. Registration is now open.

Open to Maine educators PK-12, the Summer Institute 2018 will provide networking opportunities, ample team-time with personal coaching, and breakout sessions focused on hands-on deliverables rather than direct instruction.

“This conference is research driven and practice focused,” said assistant professor of education and co-chair of the institute Dr. Katie Rybakova. “Our focus is to help you bring back inspiration and ideas that you can use on Monday morning.”

Registration can be completed online. Early bird pricing is $175 per person. After March 1, $195 per person. Special group discounts for teams of four or more are available.

Event speakers include Mara Tieken, associate professor at Bates College and author of “Why Rural Schools Matter”, Richard Biffle, professor of education at Thomas College, author, former teacher and principal, and Moira Kelly & Explo Associates, Mobile Makerspaces.

About Thomas College: Founded in 1894, Thomas College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in programs ranging from business, entrepreneurship, and technology, to education, criminal justice, and psychology. Its Guaranteed Job Program, the first of its kind in the nation, is built on student’s academic, career, and leadership preparation. Thomas is also home to the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation and the Center for Innovation in Education. Money Magazinerecently ranked Thomas 23rd in the Country for adding the most value to their degrees, and data reported by the New York Times ranks Thomas in the top 15 percent of all college and universities in the U.S. for upward mobility of its graduates. For more information, visit www.thomas.edu or contact MacKenzie Riley at rileym@thomas.edu or 207-859-1313.

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3-D Printing Expo

March 17, 2018

Fueling the STEAM Engine with 3D printing

April 27, 2018 – 8:00-3:00 – Thomas College

To keep up with the changing global economy, and satisfy Maine’s urgent need to create a technically capable workforce, we need to offer new approaches to hands-on STEAM learning.  An effective way to accomplish this objective is to continue to expand the use of three-dimensional (3D) printing and design in Maine’s K-12 schools, which has grown rapidly over the past several years.

Come learn how 3D printing and design can help to meet STEAM learning targets at the first annual 3D Printing Expo to be held on April 27 at Thomas College. This event, sponsored by the Thomas College Center for Innovation in Education, is open to Maine teachers, technical directors, school librarians and administrators engaged in or interested in expanding the use of 3D printing and design.

The goals of the STEAM Expo are:

  • To create a network of teachers and students engaged in three-dimensional printing and design.
  • To document and share success stories and challenges related to three-dimensional printing and design in K-12 settings.
  • To publicize resources and ideas for teachers and schools interested in adopting three-dimensional printing and design.
  • To engage teachers and students in the professional work for publicly sharing their practice.

REGISTRATION

Conference Structure

Presentations by teachers describing innovative K-12 projects and cutting-edge STEAM curriculum, specifically related to 3D printing

Dialogue and networking between educators

Light breakfast and lunch will be provided

Agenda

Session Time Title Presenter Abstract/Slides
Arrival and Refreshments 8:00-8:30 Registration and Light Breakfast
Expo Kick-Off 8:30-9:00 Expo Overview Laurie LaChance, Thomas College

Dr. Kate Cook Whitt, Thomas College

 

David Perloff, Perloff Family Foundation

 

Amanda Nguyen, MDOE

Session A 9:00-10:20  Session 1 Maggie Boemmels, Line Elementary School and Shapleigh Memorial School
 Session 2 John McKechnie, Ellsworth High School
 Session 3
 Session 4  Richard Reichenbach, Carrabec Community School
Networking Break 10:20-10:40 Conversation and Refreshments
Session B 10:40-12:00  Session 5
 Session 6 Mat Brown and Karen Fream, East End Community School
 Session 7
 Session 8 Terri Dawson, Gorham Middle School
Networking Lunch 12:00-1:00 Structured Networking Lunch
Session C 1:00-2:20  Session 9 Gina Jandreau, Madawaska Elementary School
 Session 10
 Session 11 David Trask, Vassalboro Community School
 Session 12
Team Time 2:20-2:40
Expo Wrap-Up 2:40-3:00 Expo Wrap-Up Dr. Kate Cook WhittThomas College
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Thomas College

December 8, 2017

Center for Innovation in Education

Thomas College is in the midst of gearing up for the 2018 CIE Summer Institute scheduled for June 26 – 28, 2018. The theme  is “Innovating In Education for Maine’s Diverse Population of Students,” with a focus on Digital Learning, STEAM, and PBE.

You can learn more at the CIE Summer Institute website and on the Thomas College CIE homepage. More information will be added as it becomes available.

Early bird registration costs $175.00, and ends February 1st, 2018. The regular event ticket price will be $195.00, and this cost takes effect starting on Feb 1st, and will run through June 1st, 2018. Registration is available at Eventbrite.

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Through the Intern’s Eyes

August 9, 2017

MALI: Enriching Arts Education in Maine

Hello there! My name’s Alex and this summer I’m working as an intern for the Maine Arts Commission. So far, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the state-run cultural agency, what they stand for, the projects they support, and the events that they sponsor.

A typical week for me usually involves photographing public art, writing blog posts, compiling monthly arts events, and working on some graphic design. But last week, I took a break from my standard routine and joined nearly 70 arts educators at Thomas College where the Arts Commission hosted the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI).

Being the non-Maine native that I am, at first I had absolutely no idea what the institute was about. All I knew was that Thomas College’s quiet summer campus was all of a sudden bustling with crowds of energetic art teachers. Armed with my camera and my Nalgene water bottle, I set out to figure out what exactly was going on.

Luckily, I had the chance to sit down with Catherine Ring, one of the founders of MALI. She explained to me that the institute’s mission is to enrich arts education in Maine by enriching the skills of teachers themselves. In the 7 years since its creation, MALI’s professional development training has created an army of veteran “Teacher Leaders” who have shared their creative knowledge with over 1500 educators around Maine. At MALI, Teacher Leaders turn their experiences into lessons, sharing their creative methods with other arts educators through workshops, presentations, and webinars.

Catherine also said that a large part of being a Teacher Leader is acting as a liaison with their respective school districts, functioning as a representative voice for art teachers and students in their region.

It’s during these three action-packed days that the MALI summer institute aims to enhance arts educators’ skills, which in turn leads to empowered students who enjoy stronger ownership over their creative learning processes.

And what’s even more exciting is that by the end of the three days, each teaching artist and teacher leader will create and outline an individual action plan for the upcoming school year. The project could be anything from leading a workshop for an entire school’s faculty, to using grant money to create a new gallery space for a school community.It was inspiring to see the level of care the teachers have for bettering themselves and their lesson plans for their students. There’s so much that goes into prepping for the school year, and these arts teachers are dedicated, passionate, and itching to inspire.

During the institute, I crept into classrooms filled with teachers taking part in workshops, attending lectures, and sharing ideas for the sake of creative collaboration. Leaders spoke about assessments of creativity, the importance of problem-solving, and the values of media in the classroom, amongst many other topics. There was laughter, there were snacks, and there was something in the air that made Thomas College’s Admissions building come to life.

What I observed over the three days is that MALI works to better student’s education by strengthening the roots of creativity and learning. MALI’s intentions are so admirable that the feeling of personal and community enrichment was palpable. As much as MALI is a teaching space, it also functions as a meaningful point of community for visual and performing arts teachers and teaching artists who may feel isolated in less populated school districts. Just sitting in on the events for a few minutes offered me a glimpse into the importance of arts education on every level, from leader to teacher, teacher to teacher, teacher to student. I have no doubts that MALI has made a significant impact on arts education in Maine, and I’m sure the students feel that as well.

 

Alexandra Moreno is an intern at the Maine Arts Commission, a rising senior at Bowdoin College, and a happy human. She enjoys writing, collaging, and fun.

 

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MALI Summer Institute: Day 3

August 5, 2017

The learning continues

Our theatre folks, teaching artists leaders Dana Legawiec, Nicole Cardano, and teacher leader Jean Phillips

On the third day of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) summer institute ideas fell into place and the teacher leaders had multiple opportunities to come together to share their ideas and follow up plans. Traditionally the third day is stressful but also the most exciting since everything comes together.

The day started with the opportunity to learn about each other. We grouped and regrouped – how many years have you taught, what discipline, etc.? And, moving around the room doing so, mixed up the groups continuously and was a lot of fun!

We continued the day with an opportunity for new and returning teacher leaders to act as “critical friends”. In MALI the critical friend role is a leader who assists and supports another leader. This is done in a constructive way to help the teacher move forward with their ideas. Critical friends often continue the supportive beyond the summer institute.

Lindsay Pinchbeck, Design Team member, Kris Bisson, music teacher leader and Lynda Leonas, visual art teacher leader

Teacher leaders generated a list of topics/questions that were of interest. They selected a topic to discuss in small groups. The format is similar to an un-conference or Edcamp. Some went away with more questions and ideas that were new to them.

The rush was on to complete plans that describe actions for the next year. The day ended with participants sharing their plans in a Gallery Walk. Plans were filled with comments written on stickie notes to help each teacher leader continue working on their individual plans.

As we ended the day exhausted participants went away filled with the energy and ideas that everyone freely shared. We look forward to seeing the final plans in a couple of weeks!

WABI TV 5 visited during the day and featured the institute on the evening news.

The dancer stands alone, John Morris!

Critical friends: Samantha Armstrong and Hope Lord – visual art teachers

Critical friends – Jen Nash, music teacher leader and Laura Manchester, visual art teacher leader

 

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MALI Summer Institute: Day 2

August 4, 2017

Wowzer!

Kate Cook Whitt

Day 2 kicked off with an amazing STEAM presentation from Kate Cook-Whitt. The opening was titled This is your Brain on Art: Neuroscience and the Arts  – “Examining the World Through Different Lenses: Art and Science”. Kate is an Assistant Professor of Education at the Center for Innovation in Education (CIE) at Thomas College. Participants agreed that Kate’s presentation was outstanding!

Teacher Leaders participated in several great mini-sessions, some led by teacher leaders and teaching artists leaders themselves including:

  • Nancy Frolich, Social Justice mini-lesson

    Social Justice and the Power of the Arts with Nancy Frohlich from Leaps of Imagination

  • 7 Strategies of Assessment with Jeff Beaudry from USM and visual art teacher leaders Holly Leighton and Samantha Armstrong

  • National Board Certification with visual art teacher leader Danette Kerrigan

  • Connecting the STUDIO HABITS of MIND to the NATIONAL STANDARDS in the Visual Arts classroom with visual art teacher leader Jane Snider

  • Things Into Poetry session with Brian Evans-Jones

    Things Into Poetry with poet teaching artist leader Brian Evans-Jones

In addition Bronwyn Sale and John Morris provided a session called Teaching for Creativity. The afternoon brought all three strands together (teaching artist leaders, new PK-12 teacher leaders and returning PK-12 teacher leaders) for a session with teaching artist leader and potter Tim Christensen. We engaged with a small medallion of clay using the process Tim is so in tune with: sgraffito.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on leadership, advocacy, and putting it into action on the follow up plans for the next year. Strand 1, the Teaching Artist Leaders met with Jeff Poulin, electronically, from the Americans for the Arts.

Day turned into night and educators gathered around the Thomas College fire pit for drumming and a chance for Tim to fire the clay pieces created earlier in the day in the propane fire pit. This provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the state. What a great way to end an outstanding day!

Strand 1 with Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Kate Smith, Design Team member, holds the computer during the question and answer period

Jennie Driscoll, Elise Bothel visual art teacher leaders

Jen Etter, music teacher leader

New teacher leaders David Coffey – music and Amy Donovan-Nucci – visual art

Tim Christensen firing the clay pieces

Fun around the fire pit!

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Bags Are Packed and Ready to Go!

August 1, 2017

MALI Summer Institute

The Maine Arts Leadership Institute (MALI) gets underway today at Thomas College in Waterville. Almost 80 educators will come together to learn and share in a collaborative environment. PK-12 Teacher Leaders, Teaching Artists, and Teaching Artist Leaders will have the opportunity to build on their knowledge and consider how they will share the information during the next year. This is the 7th year that the initiative has offered summer learning and the schedule is chock full of rich sessions being delivered by teacher leaders as well as other educators who have much to offer.

The focus on teacher choices and teacher-centered learning will foster opportunities to consider how we do our important work of educating young people in visual and performing arts. The sessions include: standards and assessment, communication, networking, visual storytelling, drumming, creativity and much more.

As Karen MacDonald said recently as she prepares for the ECET2 conference coming up next week at Colby: “My basement is starting to look like a conference staging area”. I couldn’t agree with you more Karen! My bags are packed and I’m ready to go!

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CIE Summer Institute

June 30, 2017

Superb learning opportunity

I just returned from Thomas College where Catherine Ring and I worked as a team to create a resource for STEAM at the Center for Innovation in Education Summer Institute. The conversation on STEAM appears to be happening across the state in a small way but after three days of talking STEAM, proficiency-based education and digital learning I am sensing that we are at the edge of a giant leap forward. The most interesting part is that the conversations were not just with visual and performing arts teachers but with teachers of all grade levels and content representing all regions of the state.

From a participant: STEAM is important because it engages the whole brain in learning.

Tim McNamara

The summer institute opening keynote was provided by Tim McNamara, director of High Tech High School in Chula Vista, California. He works in a true student-centered environment where students are not only surviving but flourishing, as they find and explore and learn through their passions. His stories were so inspiring!

The inspiration continued throughout the three days with a very moving performance by Brook Haycock. Her docudramas encourage questioning and thinking.

The final engaging activity was facilitated by Explo. Yes, they brought 35 moose into the room. Teams collaborated to create anything you can imagine for the moose to transport all kinds of goods.

In between participants chose from a variety of workshops. Some of them: Innovative Learning Experiences, Interdisciplinary Unit and Course Design, STEAM Power – Why it Works, How it Looks, Flipping’ Fake News, and A=Arts. All teAms cAn steAm with Music.

Hope Lord “playing” a note on a bottle.

In between attending workshops each team continued work on their project. Catherine and I will continue our STEAM resource work and provide it for you in the future when it is ready to be launched. It will be a living document so if you have any STEAM resources that you’d be kind enough to share please email the link or the resource at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Providing feedback to each other on plans.

From a participant: The arts breathe life into everything that they touch – STEM is no different. The A in STEAM makes practical solutions beautiful – a chair becomes a sculpture, sound becomes music. When the arts are in the mix, it elevates the process and the product. A deeper, almost emotional connection seems to be made – kids get excited, I get excited. ~Chip Schwehm, Boothbay Region High School

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