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Rhode Island Looks To Jump Start Classroom Tech Initiative
- By Dian Schaffhauser
The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (RIDE) is delivering an "all-inclusive" solution to its districts for increasing student access to technology. RIDE chose CDW-G to make available technology to its schools, as well as professional development training and technical support. The goal of the program is to promote educational equity and improve student engagement. According to a statement from CDW-G, the deal has the potential to reach 140,000 students at 327 schools.
CDW-G sells technology and services to education and government. The master price agreement provides pre-negotiated contract pricing and leasing options of $308.89 and $275.32 respectively per seat per year for two years.
The offering, available through the "All-Inclusive Device Solution Master Price Agreement," covers several areas:
- On the device side, Lenovo X131e ThinkPads with a suite of software, netbook case, and stereo headphones;
- Device insurance and maintenance for two years;
- Help desk technical support; and
- Professional development opportunities for educators.
The laptops, which meet PARCC specifications for working for online assessment, will be outfitted with software from Microsoft and Dyknow, which develops classroom management applications.
Professional development includes extensive professional development from multiple providers delivering training in online and face-to-face modes, including peer-to-peer mentoring, technology exploration, and practice in integrating technology into lessons. Those providers include Educational Collaborators, Intel Teach, KeyStone Learning Systems, Edmodo, and Microsoft Professional Development.
Support will be provided by Avnet Integrated and Nexicore Services (an Avnet company) for up to four years and includes a site survey for placement of wireless networking gear, initial deployment, local field support (including spare equipment), and asset management.
"As we continue to explore opportunities to transform education in Rhode Island through the use of technology, we are committed to providing students and teachers with the tools and resources they need to use technology effectively in the classroom," said David Abbott, deputy commissioner of education for the state. "We look forward to helping innovation through technology take shape in schools and classrooms across the state."
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.