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Training, Curriculum Integration, and Consultation

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 changing needs of teachers, technicians, and administrators. In addition, some requirements may be out-dated and/or no longer relevant. Other requirements may need to be added.

3.7     Training, Curriculum Integration, and Consultation

As part of the bid solution, the vendor will provide Technical Training.  The vendor may provide additional resources for Curriculum Integration and Consultation as part of the bid solution.  Additional training may be offered outside of the bid solution and cost.

3.7.1     Technical Training

The Provider will provide an appropriate level of technical training on the solution, its local support requirements, and its applications for all teachers, school administrative staff, and technical support personnel.  Note that the State has no authority to require school personnel to participate in training; however, it is projected that the vast majority of personnel would do so on a voluntary basis. This training would include basic use of the device and software, use of the device in a network environment, both wirelessly and wired ethernet, use of the device in standalone mode, and use and access of the server(s). Training should be done in the context of how to use the device in an educational setting. While the Department of Education will continue to provide regional training, the Provider’s training needs to be contextually relevant and not just a “computer skills” class. In addition, the Provider will include specific training on trouble-shooting, maintenance, repair procedures, etc. for technical support personnel. The bidder must describe its proposed program to accomplish this including a preliminary training plan, content and method, recommended duration, recommended location(s), materials included, instructor to student ratio, and qualifications of each instructor.  The bidder must separately and specifically address its first year program that will make available sufficient teacher training prior to the start of school year 2006-2007.  Training times and locations should be convenient to the participating personnel, and school personnel should have multiple options to signup for training in their region.

3.7.2     Curriculum Integration and Professional Development

The Provider will become a partner, providing ongoing consultation, advice, and assistance to the Director of Special Projects and the Maine Project team in the ongoing effort to increase the purposeful integration of learning technology into teaching, learning, and leadership.

3.7.2.1     Design and Oversight

The Maine Department of Education, under the direction of the Commissioner and the Department’s Director of Special Projects, developed a statewide strategy to support the leadership and professional development of teachers in the integration of learning technology into teaching and learning.  This statewide strategy is based on the recommendations of an integration design team comprised of Maine’s leading innovators, thinkers, and practitioners of professional development and school change in the middle school context.  The strategy includes a building level needs assessment to determine leadership capacity, preconditions for change, and specific preparation and support needs.

Based on this strategy and assessed needs, the Department designed and provides a comprehensive framework for teacher leadership and development in integrating technology.  Delivery may utilize an array of existing resources and relationships in Maine, including higher education institutions, the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, the Maine Digital Media Group, and other content leaders, regional professional development alliances, and more.  Delivery may utilize additional contracted entities.  Beyond the scope of this Request for Proposal, a variety of resources will be utilized to meet the identified needs, which include state funds, additional federal funds, and grants received by the State for this purpose. The Department, with the advice and assistance of the integration design team, has responsibility and oversight for implementing this statewide professional development strategy

3.7.2.2     Services by Provider

The bidder may in its proposal provide a full description of the vendor’s interest in, capacity for, and approach to providing resources, consultation, or support to the professional development of teachers to integrate fully and successfully personal, portable computer technology in instructional practice.  These services would be evaluated in determining the overall quality of the bidder’s Technical Services Proposal.  Any proposed services must be consistent with the principles articulated in the report of the Task Force on the Maine Learning Technology Endowment.  All resources must be aligned or adaptable to Maine statewide standards; the Learning Results; such standards for educator training and development as may be adopted by the Department; and with Maine’s approach to locally-developed curricula and assessment.  The bidder may include a variety of curriculum integration resources or appropriate content, and assistance with the integration of these tools. These resources might include experts in the field of educational technology and access to research data and results in educational technology. The bidder may also provide consultation services and assistance to the Department or to the integration design team in the development of the statewide curriculum integration strategy.  The bidder should describe the full potential for curriculum integration and system capabilities within the application of the proposed wireless network in the educational setting; describe how it would assist schools in identifying and achieving their desired level of curriculum integration and system capabilities; and describe the bidder’s experience in maximizing student achievement with wireless networks in educational settings.

Any resources, consultation, or other services described by the bidder must be fully adaptable and customizable to the statewide plan to be developed by the Department, must be coordinated with the delivery of other professional development opportunities contemplated in the plan, and must be deployed or utilized only as directed by the Department.

3.1.3     Additional Training and Development Resources

The bidder may describe optional, additional training, professional development, or consulting resources that could be provided beyond the scope of this RFP to the Department or to local school units, with an appropriate additional, optional cost schedule.

3.1.4     Coordination with Initiatives on Parent Involvement and Home Use

Students spend only a limited amount of time in school, but have the opportunity to learn all day long. By utilizing portable computer devices that can travel home with students, the MLTI helps those who would otherwise be without home access to have the same opportunities to enhance work product and further research subject matter of particular interest as their peers with home access already enjoy. Further, parents may benefit from having the device at home as a way to check on a student’s progress, support and coach students’ achievement, and interact with teachers via E-mail and other means. Although the computer devices would have portability to allow home access, home use policies will be determined by each school unit.

Under these circumstances, the level of understanding and involvement in the project by the family will have considerable importance in determining the success of this innovative educational development.

The Department intends to develop strategies to support parent involvement, and to identify or seek additional resources for the task of preparing parents for the arrival of the computers and supporting them in their involvement when the project is in operation. These resources are beyond the scope of this RFP.

The successful bidder must be prepared to coordinate contract activities in a manner conducive to the success of any such parent involvement initiatives that may be developed by the Department.  In addition, the bidder may describe any relevant experience or resources that the bidder could provide, whether as part of the bid or on an optional cost schedule, that are related to the success of a parent involvement initiative that will be developed.

 

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