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  • Los Angeles Unified School District Announces Official Termination of iPad Contract


    The superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Ramon Cortines, recently announced the official termination of a plan to equip local schools with $1.3 billion worth of Apple iPads, a project which was fostered by his predecessor just last year. The LAUSD has ended up officially scrapping a landmark iPad in education initiative which was meant to provide Apple’s tablets to students and educators within the district’s schools.

    Cortines had the following to say regarding the matter:

    We're not going to use the original iPad contract anymore. I think there have been too many innuendos, rumors, etc., and based on my reading of a great deal of material over Thanksgiving, I came to this conclusion. As CEO and steward of a billion-dollar operation, I have to make sure things are done properly so they are not questioned.
    For those of you unfamiliar with the whole ordeal, the LAUSD with uncontested Board of Education approval previously inked a $30 million agreement with Apple last June in a phase that would become an ambitious $1.3 billion rollout. The district ended up earmarking $115 million for additional supply s the project grew beyond 47 seed campuses. The whole deal was controversial from the start and management issues along with the devised funding plan were all confusing as well. The bidding process and ongoing budget issues all played a role in the misunderstanding, forcing previous Supertintendent John Deasy to resign in October.

    Other issues with the program included security breaches where students found ways to bypass the school-imposed content filters prompting LAUSD to stop the use of the tablets. As noted in the recent report, Cortines’ decision will delay 27 schools from receiving iPads which had already been approved last year. The school was given an option to swap out the iPads for Google's Chromebooks under a separate deal which was authorized by the board.

    How do you feel about the whole issue? It seems to have attracted quite a bit of attention given the many implications of the decision.

    Source; LA Times
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Los Angeles Unified School District Announces Official Termination of iPad Contract started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. HovikGas's Avatar
      HovikGas -
      Yea, I've done some research on iPads in education and if you base your reasoning on increased grades or test scores, you're doomed. Because it costs so much money, people are only willing to do it if there are significant gains in achievement outcomes, which is unfortunate because in the meantime our education system is still stuck in the 19th century...

      Yes, kids still do learn in the current system, despite it being outdated, but the million dollar question is whether what they are learning relevant. For example, memorizing facts about some historical figure or event is pointless when you can look it up virtually anytime, anywhere in a few seconds... We need a drastic update to our curricula, in addition to the technology that delivers it.
    1. holyshnikes's Avatar
      holyshnikes -
      I work for my county's school districts Technology department and they are pushing for Dell Venue tablets. They can get iPads too, but they have to have specific reasons for wanting then over the other tablets. It's sad, but the reason for a lit of it is because the iPad doesn't play as good with the school system as the Dell tablets. Ipads can't have User logins, can't print on the network, can't access the student drives to save files, etc. There would have to be to much of a infrastructure upgrade needed for the ipads to work better. And that's a lot of money.
    1. dmoore210's Avatar
      dmoore210 -
      Quote Originally Posted by HovikGas View Post
      Yes, kids still do learn in the current system, despite it being outdated, but the million dollar question is whether what they are learning relevant. For example, memorizing facts about some historical figure or event is pointless when you can look it up virtually anytime, anywhere in a few seconds... We need a drastic update to our curricula, in addition to the technology that delivers it.
      I've heard this before, but when you're giving a speech or just talking in a professional setting and the conversation leads to historical facts, you can't just say 'excuse me' and stop, grab your iphone and find out who Thomas Edison is and if he lived before or after world war II, etc. We still need to teach the kids facts and it's all still relevant, whether or not it's from a book or a digital device.
    1. Raptor2213's Avatar
      Raptor2213 -
      I think that the fact that the kids learned how to bypass the security system proves their use. Half the reason I know so much about IT is from my parents trying to lock me out of things and me circumventing it.
    1. PCYoda's Avatar
      PCYoda -
      The school was given an option to swap out the iPads for Google's Chromebooks under a separate deal which was authorized by the board.
      I'm sure someone at Google or elsewise greased a political wheel. I doubt that this decision was completely above board to stop working with Apple.
    1. HovikGas's Avatar
      HovikGas -
      Quote Originally Posted by dmoore210 View Post
      I've heard this before, but when you're giving a speech or just talking in a professional setting and the conversation leads to historical facts, you can't just say 'excuse me' and stop, grab your iphone and find out who Thomas Edison is and if he lived before or after world war II, etc. We still need to teach the kids facts and it's all still relevant, whether or not it's from a book or a digital device.
      No, that's precisely the point. They can easily teach themselves about Thomas Edison. That doesn't require someone standing in front of a classroom and teaching. Plus, who gets to decide which facts to teach and which ones to omit? Parents? Teachers? Legislators? All we have been doing for the past century is adding to the list of facts that kids need to learn. We're requiring more and more, but schools days are getting shorter and shorter...

      I agree with you that it doesn't matter whether it's from a book or a digital device, but it's a lot harder to imagine Thomas Edison inventing the motion picture camera from a book, not to mention slower, than it is from seeing a video, or animation of it on your digital device.
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      I went to a virtual school a few years and loved things like being able to listen to the first recording Thomas Edison made on a phonograph and watching the first moving image. It really stuck in my mind.
    1. H4CK3R's Avatar
      H4CK3R -
      Quote Originally Posted by dmoore210 View Post
      I've heard this before, but when you're giving a speech or just talking in a professional setting and the conversation leads to historical facts, you can't just say 'excuse me' and stop, grab your iphone and find out who Thomas Edison is and if he lived before or after world war II, etc. We still need to teach the kids facts and it's all still relevant, whether or not it's from a book or a digital device.
      I disagree on his point of history, since I do see the need for it, but let's take a subject like math. Will most students ever use calculus in their lifetime? No, unless you're going to be an engineer, which in that case, that should be taught to you if you're planning to become an engineer. Will the student ever need to know what AXB˛ x AXB4 + √7000 equals? No. I have friends who's dads are engineers, and even they don't see the point of a lot of the stuff we learn in school.

      Now let's jump to science. Is there a chance that I will need to know what a Lysosomes are? Sure! In a year - 30 years, am I going to remember it? Probably not.

      We should be learning things in school, but instead of learning how to do taxes and things we'll actually use, we're learning lots of pointless information that we'll remember for the test and forget about within a few weeks or months. Math is the biggest offender of this, IMO, and it's why so many people hate it and have difficulty doing it, because it really is never applied. You can argue that it helps make you a "critical thinker", but that can be done in other ways. Our curriculum is really outdated.
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      My biggest offender was historical literature. I love reading. Heck, I was the guy who snuck books into class instead of a DS, but I hated historical literature so much. Why can't we just appreciate the book? Why does it freaking matter what material his pants were made of? Why do we need to read to chapter 7 and God forbid you think it's interesting and you read chapter 8. I learned more reading Asimov and just digesting the info in that book than I ever have and ever will analyzing miniscule details like lit teachers force you to.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by PCYoda View Post
      I'm sure someone at Google or elsewise greased a political wheel. I doubt that this decision was completely above board to stop working with Apple.
      Actually it is the other way around.
      Lots of document was subpoena from Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), they are looking into corruption in this deal with Apple and the contract to the company that supplies software to go with iPad. So the wheel was greased already that is why LAUSD went with extremely more expensive iPads. There is no way Google greases a wheel when everything is being scrutinized.
    1. H4CK3R's Avatar
      H4CK3R -
      Quote Originally Posted by unison999 View Post
      Actually it is the other way around.
      Lots of document was subpoena from Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), they are looking into corruption in this deal with Apple and the contract to the company that supplies software to go with iPad. So the wheel was greased already that is why LAUSD went with extremely more expensive iPads. There is no way Google greases a wheel when everything is being scrutinized.
      I'm pretty sure that in their pilot schools, they also had an issue with the iPads being stolen or just not being returned, and students finding ways to remove the restrictions.
    1. DanielNichesite's Avatar
      DanielNichesite -
      The students get benefit for this activity but seem some of them a bad thinking : stole the Ipads. School should have some rules to prevent this.