COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 33
March 16, 2001
INFORMATIONAL
 
 
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: K-12 Educational Software Contracts

School divisions may purchase K-12 educational software at reduced prices from a list of more than 500 titles. The educational software state-pricing list may be accessed online from the Department of Educationís Web page: "K-12 Educational/Instructional Software Contracts"

http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Technology/techinithandbook/k12swcontracts.html

To proceed to the contracts, click on "EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE CONTRACTS," located near the bottom of the informational page.

Prices are based on the Department of Information Technologyís (DIT) competitive bid process. Virginia school divisions may use the list to purchase software at the stated prices for the time period indicated. Users can compare product prices on the state list with prices on the software publisher/producerís Web pages (links available on state contract pages). Contract number and contact information for individual products are available on the state contract pages.

The purpose of the list is to offer Virginia school divisions reduced pricing on selected computer-based K-12 educational materials. Products included in the list have been reviewed by either the EvaluTech (Southern Regional Education Board - SREB) service, or the Educational Software Preview Guide (International Society for Technology in Education - ISTE). Both are nationally recognized sources for quality educational software reviews. EvaluTech is a searchable online system. A link to this site is available on the Department of Educationís Web page - "K-12 Educational/Instructional Software Contracts." Currently, the Educational Software Preview Guide is available for purchase in print format. The 2001 version is soon to be released online over the departmentís website. When available, a link to this will be added to the departmentís "EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE CONTRACTS" page.

The list is a pricing guide; it is not a recommended or an approved state purchase list. Prior to purchasing, a school divisionís educational software selection committee should refer to EvaluTech or Educational Software Preview Guide product reviews. The school committee should, if possible, conduct hands-on examination of each product being considered for purchase. The degree of product correlation with the Standards of Learning and local instructional needs is another major factor to consider before purchasing.

The Department of Education has developed an online handbook of procedures and resources to assist school divisions in the software selection and academic correlation process. The handbook may be viewed at:

Web-based Standards of Learning Technology Initiative: Handbook for the Evaluation and Selection of Software for Instruction and Remediation

http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Technology/techinithandbook/#initoverview .

The Department of Education will offer hands-on training workshops in May 2001. The workshops will focus on software selection and correlation. Dates and times for the workshops will be announced through our online schedule of training.

http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Technology/traindev.html .

For additional information, contact Ms. Joyce Faye White, instructional media and training specialist,

(mailto:Jfwhite@pen.k12.va.us) or at (804)225-2958.

JLD/JFW/jsg