L.A. School District Halting Home Use of Issued iPads After Students Bypass Content Restrictions

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
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    Back in June, Apple announced that it had been awarded a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Unified School District to supply 35,000 iPads to students in the district. That program was announced as a pilot effort that was projected to lead to all 640,000 students in the district receiving iPads by the end of 2014.

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    However, a report from the Los Angeles Times indicates that the school district is experiencing difficulties with students bypassing content restrictions on the devices, thus forcing the school district to halt the home use of the tablets and jeopardizing the full rollout of the program.
    Specifically, the students simply deleted personal profiles from the district-issued iPads, which then enabled them to browse websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pandora, all of which had been blocked on the devices.

    Apple has long had a heavy focus on the educational market, entering a new phase with the introduction of the iPad in 2010. The company has also often discounted its product lineup for students with its yearly back-to-school program, and has pushed its initiative to bring iPads to classroom on an international scale, as evidenced by its efforts to land educational deal in Turkey that would see the country purchasing more than $4.5 billion worth of iPads.

    Article Link: L.A. School District Halting Home Use of Issued iPads After Students Bypass Content Restrictions
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

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    #2
    The iPad is a learning tool on multiple levels :D
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Or the title could be: "Big brother LA school district finds that kids are smarter than the geniuses who set this up".

    Why would the LA School District care what the kids do on the iPads? Get a clue, the kids can surf from other devices too, and blocking it is just stupid.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Rudy69

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    #4
    I don't see why they would halt the trial because the students are using the internet at home, from what I understand the school's network still blocks the content while they're at school.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Nyy8

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    #5
    I'm not surprised.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Maybe they missed the option where the user can't remove a profile, set up by Apple Configurator...
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    because kids are stupid, one of them will meet a child predator using the iPad browsing the web, and then sue the school.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    litmag01

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    #8
    The only disconcerting thing about this is if the school district was deploying using Configurator. Then that may be a larger issue. ...or maybe just poor implementation.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    So they put restrictions on their Wifi network and expected the iPads to be restricted when linked to every other network?

    How asinine.
     
  10. macrumors regular

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    #10
    If it was done right, this wouldn't have happened. This one is obviously on the IT department, not the students fault.
     
  11. ShiroiShimaTora, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013

    macrumors newbie

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    #11
    The problem is that they're just using an ActiveSync profile instead of a MobileConfig profile with a MDM server to lock down these iPads.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Kaibelf

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    #12
    Big brother LA school? They paid for the devices. They can slap whatever controls they want.

    ----------

    Read the article again and then submit a short paper to the class explaining all the ways your comment was incorrect.
     
  13. macrumors regular

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    #13
    Yes, but most rollouts this scale are managed via MDM. Unfortunately MDM profiles are never locked the same way AC profiles can be. On top of that if you delete your MDM profile that in return will remove all profiles installed by that MDM server. It's kinda a mess.
     
  14. macrumors regular

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    #14
    Not on the network, but profiles were installed on them so that the students were constrained by the specified configurations. The problem was that the students were able to remove these profiles and bypass the restrictions.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    oneMadRssn

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    #15
    I praise the students, keep hacking the system! The students will learn from this, and the system will get stronger. Win-win.

    I think the school should continue the roll-out as soon as they fix the security issue, and then set aside some reward for students who manage to break their system again. Maybe offer each student who comes up with a hack a $5000 scholarship to whatever college they get into, or something. Or some other kind of incentive.

    This way the hack is reported to the people who can address the issue right away, the students learn about security and systems, and the system gets even stronger.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    litmag01

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    #16
    Is this true?

    If so, extremely poor judgement on the school district's deployment!
     
  17. macrumors regular

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    #17
    I doubt the schools would be willing to divert that much cash to fund their IT infrastructure (to readily fix the problems the students find). Otherwise we probably wouldn't have had this situation in the first place :p
     
  18. macrumors member

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    #18
    hacked? really? let me guess, they forgot to require a pass code to remove the profile?
     
  19. notjustjay, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013

    macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    #19
    I imagine because of potential liability concerns.

    Little Johnny discovers porn using his computer or iPad that mom and dad bought for him: Uhhhhhhh, well, ain't our fault man.. boys will be boys!

    Little Johnny discovers porn on the iPad his school gave him: HOW DARE THEY CORRUPT MY INNOCENT SON'S VALUES! THIS IS THE SCHOOL'S FAULT! I WILL SUE! I DEMAND COMPENSATION!
     
  20. macrumors member

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    #20
    if they were smart, they would have searched for the most computer literate students and given then some perk for hacking it.

    not necessarily money, but maybe a letter of recommendation. something like that can go a long way for someone looking for their first tech job
     
  21. macrumors regular

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    #21
    They could use OpenDNS.
     
  22. JAT
    macrumors 603

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    #22
    Sounds like they weren't allowed to surf ANYthing. Bad move by IT. If a fun device like a tablet is allowed to be nothing more than a textbook, the kids will revolt, no doubt.

    My daughter's friend had a school-issued iPad last year, but she was allowed to use it for things. They Facetimed and other stuff when at home.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    #23
    Yup.

    If they don't want the kids reading Facebook, Twitter, etc... they should just do content filtering at the district level. Then once the students get home, let them be on those sites if they want.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

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    Slovenia
    #24
    The new version of Apple Configurator and iOS 7 enables web filtering for MDM solutions. So they can block social networking sites with that. Of course, first make sure the students can't remove a profile ;) Haha.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    guzhogi

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    #25
    Configurator can help. I use it at the school I work at. However, it still is not very good.

    However, I think the profile is just the tip of the iceberg of the the problem. The underlying problem is no one wants to teach the kids how to be responsible. It's just easier to block unsavory sites.
     

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