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  • LA School District Shifting Away from Apple's iPad to Windows

    A recent report confirmed the Los Angeles Unified School District is planning to switch up a $1 billion technology in education project. The change allows certain high schools in its jurisdiction to choose from six different Windows and Chromebook laptops instead of Apple’s iPad. According to the Los Angeles Times, LAUSD officials recently signed off on a plan that will let 27 high schools in the district choose from one of six laptop and hybrid computer designs, none of which are Apple products.

    The new direction is a drastic shift from LA Unified’s previous path to equip every student in the district with Apple’s tablet. LA Unified school board member and chair of the panel that reviewed the educational technology initiative Monica Ratliff and said the following:

    The benefit of the new approach is clear. Why would we treat all our students — whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman — as if they all had the same technology needs? They don't...To have a one-device-fits-all approach does not make sense.
    School administrators will be able to select from the Lenovo Yoga Touch, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2, the Dell Latitude E7240 and two Chromebook models. The total cost for the Windows machines are thought to run higher than Apple’s iPad, while the Chromebooks will most likely cost less. In addition to diversifying the platform base, some teachers said the iPad doesn’t fit the needs of all of the students taking standardized tests, citing insufficient screen size and the lack of a built-in keyboard as major deficiencies.

    The board also failed to address the additional cost likely associated with making a major platform switch halfway through the tech rollout and it didn’t offer any details on how schools plan to merge three distinct operating systems into a cohesive learning experience. Curriculum from Pearson, McGraw-Hill/StudySync and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are currently under review for deployment on the Windows and Chromebook machines.

    The Cupertino California company brokered a deal in June 2013 to supply iPads preloaded with specialized educational software to LAUSD schools. The original contract was expected to grow to at least $500 million.

    Previously, in January, the district earmarked another $115 million for additional iPads, though problems with the rollout put a hold on the program earlier this year. The district halted after students found a way to circumvent built-in security features denying them access to certain websites like Facebook and YouTube. Many critics also noted that the project is running well over the budget due to confusion regarding the bulk purchase discount Apple agreed to supply with the iPad buy. Ironically, LA Unified will only be eligible for special pricing after $400 million worth of iPads, about 520,000 units, are purchased.

    For those of you who didn’t know, LAUSD is injecting more than $1 billion into the technology initiative, with the first round of funding coming from voter-approved bonds. Sources of future funding are unknown and officials didn’t make clear whether any of that money will be put toward additional Apple products. As of right now, Apple is still scheduled to deliver what could be its last batch of iPads to select LAUSD schools this fall.

    Source: LA Times
    This article was originally published in forum thread: LA School District Shifting Away from Apple's iPad to Windows started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. edwilk55's Avatar
      edwilk55 -
      That's the problem with people in power who are too stupid to understand real needs/benefits (gov't at it's best). But I'm sure there's a kickback here too. Do you allow your students to pick which text book to read from? Or what chapter to study in a given week. Having the same tech means everyone is on the same page (no pun). You aren't wasting cycles in the day trying to solve one person's problems with "their" device over another's that's working fine. Or finding that something doesn't run on this, that or the other. Guess they'll be creating some additional IT jobs as well, or the teacher will be bogged down trying to fix them. And we all know that Windows anything won't work as expected for long. Oh well....they'll live and learn.
    1. davshirley's Avatar
      davshirley -
      Quote Originally Posted by edwilk55 View Post
      Oh well....they'll live and learn.
      Unfortunately, they won't. When people in school administrative positions screw up, they get promoted, not fired. In that environment, no one will ever learn anything. There is no incentive to learn. If you do well, you get the same as those that do poorly. Why try?
    1. mwhite67's Avatar
      mwhite67 -
      Ipads are insanely overpriced. They could probably find a tablet at half the price that would perform all of the educational tasks they want it for easily.
    1. brab's Avatar
      brab -
      Quote Originally Posted by mwhite67 View Post
      Ipads are insanely overpriced. They could probably find a tablet at half the price that would perform all of the educational tasks they want it for easily.
      You are wasting your breath my man...this is fanboi land...just look at these two above and their thinking, if it's Apple it's perfect, no matter how much it costs or the reasons against it...