Author: Andrew Steinman

MDE is Offering Free Minecraft Licenses for up to 300,000 Students

MDE is Offering Free Minecraft Licenses for up to 300,000 Students

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is excited to announce a partnership with Microsoft EDU to provide 150,000 to 300,000 free student licenses for the Minecraft Education Edition (M:EE) for one year. This version of the popular open world game, Minecraft, is specifically designed for education, containing features that make Minecraft more accessible and effective in a classroom or after-school program setting. This program aligns to the MDE’s Top 10 in 10 Strategic Plan by enhancing access to effective technology tools that support deeper and personalized learning. The free licenses can be deployed in both Microsoft enabled districts, as well as Google classroom districts.

A competitive application process has been developed to identify the greatest impact of the program, as well as to support the distribution and deployment of these licenses. The application can be found at

The grant application is due no later than January 8, 2018. All local education agencies, intermediate school districts, public school academies, and career tech centers are eligible to apply for the M:EE licenses.

For more information regarding the application process please see If you have any questions please email or call Amanda Stoel (, Department Analyst in the Educational Technology Unit with the Office of P-20 Data and Information Management at (517) 241-3629.

Source: MDE Memorandum – Minecraft Licensing Application 

Student Technology Showcase @ The Capitol

Student Technology Showcase @ The Capitol

We are looking forward to you and your students joining us again for the 2017 Student Technology Showcase (STS) at the Capitol on December 6, 2017. Each year, the STS affords students the opportunity to demonstrate innovative uses of technology for learning.  The STS is consistently attended by legislators, guests, media members, and for the first time ever the Governor of Michigan attended last years showcase.

This year’s STS at the Capitol is supported by MACUL, AT&T, and Michigan Virtual. This support has allowed the showcase to remain one of the premier student showcase events in the U.S.

You are invited to bring a team of up to four students to demonstrate how they are applying technology in their learning.  Students are expected to prepare professional presentations that will be on display during one of three sessions. While each session lasts roughly 90 minutes, these sessions are arranged around capitol logistics. We will do our best to accommodate requests for specific sessions.

In an effort to provide the opportunity for more schools to participate, only up to one team per school and two teams per district will be accepted.

Deadline for registration is November 4, 2017.

When you register your team you MUST provide a description of the project. A team from MACUL will review your project description and determine whether your team is accepted for the showcase. Team acceptance will no longer be based on a first come/first served basis.  Therefore we strongly suggest that you take time to create a project description that clearly explains how technology impacts your students’ learning.

Each team will be provided an eight-foot table for presentations and will have access to wireless internet. Also, teams will be provided with commemorative t-shirts, snacks, parking passes, and a certificate of participation.

In previous years students have demonstrated everything from the use of KidPix (an elementary drawing program) to students who are creating computer apps for school use.

Visit to register, more information and pictures from last year’s showcase.


Kent ISD is Hosting the West Michigan Education Leadership Conference on December 11

Kent ISD is Hosting the West Michigan Education Leadership Conference on December 11

On December 11, the West Michigan Education Leadership Conference is back at Kent ISD! This year’s conference will be kicking off with national speaker and author, Dr. Anthony Muhammad.  Everyone that attends will receive a free copy of Anthony’s latest book, “Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division (Leading the Four Types of Teachers) 2nd Edition” that was published in July 2017.

In addition to Anthony, we will also have another up and coming national speaker, Benjamin Gilpin. Ben is “The Colorful Principal.” He is relationship driven, student-centered, and believes that ALL kids can succeed. Ben will present our afternoon keynote as well as a few breakout sessions.

Our theme for the conference this year is “Leaders in Action!” Every presentation will not only give you great information that you can apply to your practice, but it will also highlight leaders that are currently using the strategies presented to impact their students learning.

Do not miss this incredible opportunity to connect with other leaders and learn from their successes.

Visit for more information and to enroll today.


Join Us for the 2017 Curriculum and Technology Leaders Collaborative Summit

Join Us for the 2017 Curriculum and Technology Leaders Collaborative Summit

You are invited to attend the annual Curriculum and Technology Leaders Collaborative Summit (CTLCS). The Summit will be held at Lansing Community College-West on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.

The year’s theme, “Breaking Barriers to Achieve the Top 10 in 10” will provide a thoughtful day of learning where together we will seek to answer, “What action can Michigan’s curriculum and technology leaders take to address equity, access, and diversity within their districts?”  We will address this question by:

  • engaging with equity experts;
  • examining practices that are breaking down barriers for students, families, and the community to ensure equity; and
  • exploring equity and access strategies in both the MI Roadmap and Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 Strategic Plan.

The summit will emphasize the importance of authentic collaboration between two key district experts: the curriculum and technology leaders.  By working together innovative practices will emerge to move Michigan to becoming a Top 10 education state.

We look forward to seeing you this year!

Register at:

Questions can be directed to Amanda Stoel, Department Analyst, Michigan Department of Education, Office of P-20 Data and Information Management at

The Kent ISD STEM Network is Here!

The Kent ISD STEM Network is Here!

If you’re curious about STEM education, what it means, and what you should know; you may be interested in Kent ISD’s upcoming STEM Network.

Connect. Explore. Achieve. This two-day, interactive experience will give classroom teachers the opportunity to explore how area businesses use your content areas in industry. Draw connections between what you’ve seen and how you can teach your standards. Develop relevant, real world lessons you can use with your students to help them achieve success. Use group dynamics with like-minded teachers to build engaging content tied to the world of work. Come see what other districts are doing in STEM and imagine what the future can hold for your students. A portion of each event will involve a trip to a local business to observe and glean inspiration from current business practices. Sign up at the Kent ISD PD Hub (search for course number 17CR1101).

Two meetings (2 days each) are planned for the 17-18 School Year:
November 1-2; March 21-22
8am-3pm each day

Outcomes will include:

  • Educators will discover resources that can be used in their classroom(s)
  • Educators are part of a support system that encourages use of discovered resources
  • Educators consistently connect their classroom content to the world of work; answering the question, “When am I ever going to use this?”

Start School Right with  FREE Professional Learning!

Start School Right with FREE Professional Learning!

Start off the school year with free professional learning opportunities from TRIG!

Below is a list of the free online PD available this September. These opportunities are available to educators in all districts and are eligible for 6-9 SCECH credits. Each course is 3 weeks long, with two live webinars (in the evening).

Click on the course titles below to get course details and to register: