February 2021

RSU #57 Family Tech News

The world has been thrust into a situation where technology moved from a tool that added speed and convenience to a requirement in order to function in our new normal. In the past year, I have written about many initiatives that RSU 57 has taken on to improve technology within our walls that make learning more stable and reliable for staff and students.  

In November, we asked parents to share their questions and concerns about technology.  Topics included connectivity, how devices function, learning suggestions, connection, website authorization, and more. Responses showed how much parents are invested in their children’s learning and many questions and frustrations. The responses also begged for answers and that is the main reason for this new resource for parents. Beginning with this article, we will:

  • Continue to use the responses from the family survey to be better.

  • Keep the family survey open to give parents and students a continuous opportunity to be heard.

  • Share resources and news to assist families.

  • Continue publishing Family Tech News each month throughout the school year to inform the school community of answers to your questions and concerns.

On To Business…

The overwhelming majority of responses from November 2020 were about connectivity.  Words and phrases such as glitchy, spotty Internet, wifi struggles, and difficulty maintaining connection were scattered through the responses.

We have worked with the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) to offer help to families on two fronts.  A smaller scale solution that we have been providing are hot spots with a prepaid short-term wireless plan from the State that can be used by students to access their learning.  There is a link below that allows families to request a hot spot.  

On a much larger scale, the State and MDOE have begun addressing connectivity across Maine.  If your home has a spotty and unreliable internet connection, this information is for you! Please read this MDOE article outlining the effort of the Maine Broadband Initiative that is focused on bringing high speed Internet to every home.

Their work is called “Get up to Speed” and begins with creating a map of the State showing Internet speeds in homes from Kittery to Madawaska and all points in between.  They are asking all households in the State to go online to take a speed test.  This data will be used to create a map of internet connectivity in Maine. To get more information and help by taking the speed test at your home, please read the Maine Broadband Coalition news release.

Thank you for your time, support, and kind words.

Kevin Perkins

Director of Technology

Share your thoughts: RSU 57 Family Technology Survey

Request a hotspot: Hotspot Request Email