L.A. Unified School District to Expand iPad Initiative to 38 Additional Campuses

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The Los Angeles Board of Education announced on Tuesday that it will continue on with its plan to equip all students, teachers, and administrators in the district with a computer, distributing iPads to 38 additional campuses ahead of state tests in the spring, reports The Los Angeles Times. The school district will also purchase laptops for seven high schools.

    The newly approved $115-million proposal does not cap the number of iPads the district is able to purchase for students during testing, but the L.A. Board of Education expects the number to be under 67,500. The iPads will be shared by different classes over the course of six weeks of testing.

    Each iPad typically costs the L.A. Unified School District $768, which includes curriculum, but the district is aiming to negotiate a fee of $200 to $300 less for iPads used exclusively for testing. Initially, the school district's contract locked it into purchasing older iPads, but Apple has now agreed to provide newer models at no additional cost.

    Back in June, the Los Angeles Unified School District voted to spend a total of $30 million on Apple's iPads, equipping every student in 47 of the district's schools with a tablet preloaded with digital textbooks. The initiative, which saw approximately 35,000 iPads handed out to students in the district, is part of a larger effort to equip all 640,000 students in the district with iPads by the end of 2014.

    Though the L.A. School District has seen success with the iPads, it did encounter some difficulties with students bypassing the content restrictions on the devices. As a result, home use of the tablets has been halted.

    Article Link: L.A. Unified School District to Expand iPad Initiative to 38 Additional Campuses
  2. macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2013
    Here's a little tidbit from an interview with Steve Jobs about this very issue.


    Scroll down to "Could technology help by improving education?"

  3. scaredpoet, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014

    macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    There are a LOT of problems that the tech won't solve. Everything from poor teaching methods (some acquired, some foisted), to over-reliance and over-weighting on standardized test performance, to some teachers not being as up to snuff as others, to politics and litigation interfering with sound teaching methods. All of these need to be addressed, and all of the stakeholders (teachers, administrators, politicians, parents AND students) must share responsibility.

    But, this doesn't mean we should revert to slate chalkboards and quill pens and ink. Computer and technology skills are needed, and students need to be exposed to technology to be comfortable with it. There are also compelling reasons for using tablets if they can replace paper textbooks and eliminate the costs required to purchase, store, and update them.

    The technology just can't be used as a crutch, is all.

    A common technology platform must also be developed, one that is not OS-dependent. If a student's family has to move from an iOS-committed district to a Windows Tablet-committed one, the student's performance impact involved in catching up to the new students (or waiting for them to catch up) could be amplified by having to learn a whole new workflow.
  4. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    That goal assumes that pure web-based creative tools and learning materials (or apps which are the same on iOS and Windows tablets) are just as good as native iOS apps.

    Unfortunately we don't live in anything close to that ideal world. "Lowest common denominator" may be an appealing idea, but other goals must come first.

    Telling iPad-using students they can't learn from any tools that aren't available on Windows tablets would not best serve the goal of education.
  5. macrumors 68030


  6. macrumors 601


    Mar 2, 2012
    Not to mention that interview was from 1996, and the iMac +the Internet made a big difference in schools.
  7. macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Three of the biggest issues education has right now are (in no particular order)

    ****** teachers
    ****** materials, especially out dated ones
    ****** students that just aren't interested

    Tech can deal with all of them in various ways. Ebooks and apps can be updated way faster than books can, students are interested in tech and for that alone they might perk up and try. And apps etc can allow for constant testing methods that can better rate how teachers are doing rather than the current games of passing kids that should be failed to keep quotas up and tests that are easy to thwart via cheating or simply teaching the test right before it takes place

    Now tech isn't the only way to deal but at least they are trying something cause the status quo is not cutting it. And it is the taxpayers in LA covering the bill, per them voting to do so
  8. macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Forgive me if I am misreading your quote but it sounds like your concern is more about iOS and not the student's education. I agree with scaredpoet regarding the need for programs that are platform agnostic. That agnostic nature doesn't mean "lowest common denominator".

    The converse to the portion of your comment that I bolded is equally true. Telling Windows using students they can't learn from any tools that aren't available on iOS tablets would not best serve the goal of education.

    This isn't an argument about iOS/Windows/Chrome. The OS should be immaterial. The important thing is to take advantage of technology to further the education of our children.

    Again, if I misinterpreted the meaning of your quote I apologize.
  9. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Maybe you're reading it almost right :) No, it's not about serving iOS, it's about serving kids. 100% agreed.

    But there's no doubt that iPad apps far exceed the capability of native apps on any other tablet platform, including web apps, and there's no sign of that changing: it's rooted in real reasons that matter to users and developers alike.

    GarageBand, Codea and Procreate come to mind off the top of my head, for educational purposes--but I'm sure many child- and learning-oriented apps exist too, that I just don't use personally. (Not to mention some OS-level things like AirDrop and the absolutely unmatched accessibility support.)

    Therefore, it's not possible to create a non-OS-dependent tablet education curriculum without giving those things up.

    And those things are far more valuable--to students--than the general idea that they might one day end up at a Windows tablet school (very rare to begin with) and having to learn new apps. Especially since basic touch interaction on ANY device has a lower learning curve than conventional PCs of the past.

    In short: choosing iOS-only apps isn't much of a problem. And carries huge benefits.

    Note: this all assumes the children are doing far more than just reading static e-textbooks. As they should be. For old-style non-interactive textbooks alone--not using the advantages of iBooks author--yes, cross-platform is a worthy goal. I'd recommend Kindles (cheap and light) in that case, unless their longevity turns out to be poor. But it would be a lost opportunity.
  10. macrumors 68020

    Jan 22, 2009
    It takes a sea change to truly take advantage of what technology can offer.

    A few (mostly private) schools have been spectacularly successful because they put a huge amount of effort, not just money, behind it.

    Unfortunately the majority (mostly public) have not really shown much benefit, and a few (Fort Bend, Tx) have totally failed.



    Major studies should have nothing to do with the OS, as it is simply the delivery method to the subject taught.

    Heck, one should be able to learn MS Office on an iPad. :D
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 7, 2007
    It was supposed to be fixed in 7.0.3.

    At work I tried it on a couple of spare iPads we have and it seemed like it was still wiping the Supervising profiles on 7.0.4.
  12. macrumors 68040


    Oct 17, 2013
    Central California
    This is the single largest waste of money spent in the State of California. I find it amazing that a State with the largest deficit in the country can afford this. I find it ironic that the State can afford to give the LA county schools 38,000 iPads, yet can't afford to have buses pick up students in elementary and high school, in school districts outside of LA. I find it ironic that children in this State are now forced to pay $100 per month to eat lunch, because the State can no longer provide this meal, but they can afford iPads for LA schools. Gotta love how lockers have been taken away from the school kids, so they have no safe place to put their stuff, because of drug issues and maintenance costs, but thank god the LA schools have iPads.

    While I appreciate the idea of moving to electronics to assist in education, fixing basic issues like 'actually getting the child to school!' via safe buses should be the priority. Right now, I see kids aged 11 or younger being forced to pay for the regular city bus, just to get to school.

    I gotta wonder where exactly the LA county board of education got this money from, while the rest of the State's school kids suffer. Priorities in this State are all fu#$ed up.
  13. LuigiWeegee, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014

    macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2014
    They're buying these things with bonds or at least with money that could have been used to pay off bonds. The bonds pay their holders with interest. What pigs! I'm half-expecting that the bond-holders lobbied for this BS. By the way, the kids getting the superior educations in private schools do NOT have iPads, and the kids in public schools who have already gotten iPads are using them about 1% for education.

    In the end, they manage to make it cost the same as or more than private education.


    Because paying for things the kids actually need (also, good teachers) doesn't look good. Being all "cutting-edge" with iPads does. I know how LAUSD and most of LA works. They toss money at a problem until it looks like it's being fixed.


    … I think you did. He's just saying that there's no need to worry about using cross-platform apps on iPads as long as every student is using iPads. EDIT: He also brought up a good point about native iPad apps being better than native apps on other tablets.
  14. macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Nah, I didn't. The original poster wasn't discussing LA District specifically, but education nationally. If everyone has an iPad, you're right, cross-platform apps aren't necessary. Everyone is not using iPads though.

    As for native iPad apps being better that apps on other tablets, that is a completely subjective opinion. Better how? Ease of use, power/performance, user interface? There are apps I like on my iPad, apps I like on my WinPC, and apps I like on Android. I am platform agnostic so the iPad doesn't stand as the "be all/end all".

    More on topic: IMO the bigger focus should have been designing a curriculum and training the teachers. It seems everyone was sort of shooting from the hip. Maybe they've gotten their act together a little more. I don't know, I think you said in your post that money could have been used on more basic things to improve the education. I am 100% behind that idea. But tech gets the headlines these days.
  15. macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    No it doesn't. Microsoft Office isn't a web app, and yet it manages to be cross platform (it would even be on the iPad if the execs at Microsoft would allow its release). Plenty of other apps also manage to be on multiple platforms, desktop and Mobile, without being web apps.

    The only person assuming anything here... would be you, I'm afraid. Making assumptions that "cross platform" automatically means a poorly-created web app is not only an insult to innovation, but it's the same mentality that make the school system suffer as it does currently.
  16. macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2013
    Part of the problem is they have no way to fire anyone. As Steve Jobs said in the article I quoted above, unions make it impossible to get rid of the bad teachers, and reward the good ones. Our problem is quite simple to fix, really.

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