The following text is from the RFP issued by the State of Maine in January, 2006 for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative. As the Maine Department of Education considers its next solution, these requirements are likely to be altered to reflect the evolution of personal digital devices in the marketplace. In addition, some requirements may be out-dated and/or no longer relevant. Other requirements may need to be added.
3.3.2 Device Requirements
188.8.131.52 Device Connectivity
The device will be able to connect to the wireless network and also be able to also access the school’s pre-existing local network, and the Internet, either directly through MSLN or the local ISP, both 1) wirelessly and wired (Ethernet) within the school, and 2) via dial-up, wired, or wireless broadband from home or other area outside the school. The bidder must describe its connectivity solution in detail in Section 3.4, Network Connectivity and Infrastructure.
184.108.40.206 Device Portability
The device will be able to be carried conveniently and easily by students and teachers – either via a provided carrying case or some built-in carrying ability. The portable computing device shall be lightweight. While the Department will not mandate a specific maximum weight, as a guideline the Department would prefer to see a device and all its components that weighs six pounds or less. In general, the lighter the better.
220.127.116.11 Device Durability
The portable computing device must be highly durable and withstand reasonable and normal daily use by students. It is desirable that the device shall be durable enough to withstand occasional mishaps, and resist hazards such as dust, dirt and spills – and still function. It shall also have parts that cannot be easily removed, tampered with, or broken.
18.104.22.168 Device Power
The portable computing device will have a battery(s) that will allow the device to be used throughout a standard school day without being recharged. The battery will need to have the ability to be recharged by the student at home or elsewhere or through a type of multi-unit recharger at the school, and will need to be able to be recharged overnight or sooner. The device shall also be able to be powered by a standard electrical plug.
The bidder must specify the recharge time, electrical load, battery life, replacement costs, and other relevant electrical specifications of its solution. Although each local school unit that opts to participate in this program shall be responsible to ensure minimum building readiness for the installation of the bid solution based on specifications supplied by the Provider — including electrical wiring needs — the bid solution should be designed to minimize necessary costs of building preparation in terms of adding electrical receptacles or additional power to classrooms. The proposed solution should respect the limited electrical power capacity within the school and classroom environment.
The portable computing device will have an appropriately sized keyboard, integrated into the device, into the carrying case, or some other effective method. While an ideal solution would include a standard-size keyboard, it is recognized that a smaller size may be necessary. Nonetheless, the Department seeks a keyboard of sufficient size for students and teachers to be able to do their work effectively without discomfort.
The portable computing device will have a color screen of sufficient size with good resolution. A touchscreen may be desirable to supplement a keyboard. While the Department will not mandate a screen size, one of approximately 10 to 12 inches is desirable. In general, the higher the resolution the better. The Provider should keep in mind portability, size, and weight.
22.214.171.124 Mouse Function
The portable computing device will have a pointing device/capability that provides mouse functions and is easy to use.
The portable computing device will have built-in audio capabilities, including an audio-out capability, that can be used within the classroom setting such that it is not disruptive to others. It should also include built-in audio-in.
The portable computing device will fit on school desks in use in Maine and be easily carried by an adolescent-aged student.
The device may have additional ports but must have at least one integrated USB port and one integrated IEEE 1394 port for attachment of external devices. In addition, the device should be capable of connecting to standard video output devices such as digital projectors or television sets.
126.96.36.199 Boot Time
A device that starts and is ready for use quickly is highly desirable. The bidder must specify the boot/start time for its device.
Upgrades to the portable computing device during the term of the contract will be done within the per seat cost at a time that does not impact teaching and learning.
The system and design will be one which can be used efficiently and comfortably with a minimum amount of fatigue or adverse physical effects. The bidder must specify what ergonomic standards or guidelines it has adopted in its proposed design.
It is the intent to purchase hardware and software which provide the highest degree of accessibility to all users, including users who may have an impairment that interferes with the use of the device. The solution will have the capacity to interface with peripherals, software and assistive technologies used by students, teachers and others with visual, hearing, mobility, communication and/or cognitive impairments and will conform to the ISPB-approved Computer Application Program Accessibility Standard which can be found at:
There must not be a need for complex and expensive adaptation and/or specialized design later to meet the needs of users. The design should communicate necessary information in as many different forms as possible (e.g., verbal, auditory, tactile, pictorial) to accommodate needs. It should be of appropriate size and should be operable in at least one mode for those with limited hand, arm, leg or trunk strength, flexibility and range of motion. Space should be provided for approach, reach, manipulation and use regardless of a user’s body size, posture or mobility.
The bidder must describe to what extent its proposed solution satisfies this requirement. This should include a description of whether and how the device provides the functionality and/or the capability to interface with peripherals, software and assistive technologies for visual, hearing, mobility, communication and cognitive impairments.
The Provider will ensure that no devices or materials supplied by it are disposed of improperly in Maine. The Provider will ensure that associated hazardous constituents are kept out of solid waste and wastewater. Examples of possible hazardous constituents are: printed circuit boards, nickel cadmium batteries, and mercury-containing lamps for screen illumination.