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K-12Lead of the Week

Online Education Providers: The Good Old Days are Here and Now.

From the November 5 issue of K-12Leads And Youth Service Markets Report.

Announcement: E-Learning Pilot Program Due December 14 (Nov 1) Arizona Department of Education

Their Description: The State of Arizona wishes to implement an elearning pilot program to deliver digital middle school mathematics content aligned to Arizona State Academic Standards. The program will provide the digital content with assessments for math grades 6 through 9 and use laptop computers. Professional development is a critical component of success for the project.... elearning is defined as: The use of electronic technologies or Information, Communication, Technology in education. ELearning may occur both in distance and conventional education and may involve electronic media that do not use online delivery....

The scope of the pilot will be limited to three full academic years for up to a maximum of 10 sites and 10,000 or fewer students. However, vendors must be able to provide a delivery system with the digital math content capable of scaling up to 50,000 students at over 225 districts and 450 charter schools at school and home....

Schools will be selected through an application process developed by the eLearning Taskforce in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Education. The selection process will ensure a representative sample of students reflecting, as close as possible, the state’s student population profile.

The number of participating sites and students will depend on the project’s cost per student and the available funds.

Laptops provided for the pilot must include wireless cards, meet the Arizona Government Information Technology Agency platform standards and match the platform standard (PCs or Mac) of the pilot schools.

The award will be based on the system that provides the highest quality digital content and professional development that focuses on effective teacher/student interaction.

My Thoughts: To quote 70’s singer-songwriter Carly Simon, I’m betting the anticipation is over. “These are the good old days” for providers of online k-12 products and services. Consider some of the relevant new and current RFPs in this week's issue:

• Online Integrated Formative and Benchmarking Assessment System Due December 1
• Online High School Due November 12
• Portable Media Player and Accessories Due December 4
• Reviewing Virtual Learning Opportunities Program Due November 12
• Content for an Online Biology Course Due November 15
• Environmental Literacy Scope and Sequence (inc. Sharing Environmental Education Knowledge website) Due November 26
• Instructional Data Management System Solution Due November 7
• Interactive Whiteboards And Installation Due November 13
• Web Hosting/web Site Design And Maintenance For District Due November 13
• Maintenance of PASS (Practice Assessment/Strengthen Skills) and Development of Content-Specific Online Tutorials Due November 15
• Content for an Online English 2 Course Due November 9
• Editing of Online Courses (High School Assessments) Due November 6
• Distance Learning Provider Due Open

If you sell anything in virtual learning, now is the time to seek and take on as much business as possible. Virgin clients are starting to enter the market in great numbers. If you don’t sell anything for online, you should be thinking about how to partner with those that do.

In either case, run as fast as you can while maintaining quality. Be sure your focus “stays right here,” because in three years all this territory will be claimed and defended fiercely. ••••

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