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Federal Review Blames Lack of Resources and Planning for L.A. Schools' Failed iPad Initiative

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A recent study by the U.S. Department of Education has found the Los Angeles Unified School District's $1.3 billion "iPad-for-all" education initiative, announced in the summer of 2013, had been "plagued by lack of resources and inadequate planning for how the devices would be used in classrooms," reports the Los Angeles Times.

The iPad initiative was officially canceled last month amidst an investigation by the FBI focusing on the relationship between Apple executives and former LAUSD superintendent John Deasy. The investigation was sparked by claims the bidding for the deal had been altered to favor Apple and Pearson, the higher-education company providing content for the iPads.

The troubled project led to the resignation, under threat of dismissal, of former head of technology for LAUSD, Ronald Chandler. Deasy also resigned under similar circumstances last October.

The new report deems the project too heavily focused on Apple's iPad as the centerpiece for the initiative, with no willingness to focus on a less-expensive alternative. It also found that the teachers who were supposed to incorporate the iPads into their classroom on a daily basis weren't provided nearly enough training in ways to successfully integrate the technology into an effective lesson plan.

The report further mentions that senior managers were "unable or unwilling" to voice concerns over these issues before they snowballed into bigger problems, with the Department of Education mainly looking at a lack of an immediate replacement for Chandler, as well as general mismanagement of the project, as main points of blame.

Attempts to fix the program before its eventual end were tried, but faced stonewalling at the hands of a few Deasy supporters, all believing the former superintendint did nothing unethical at any time before or during the intiative's lifespan.
"The Department of Education had a number of common-sense suggestions ... such as better planning, better testing and evaluation of technology, and better training," said school board member Monica Ratliff, who chaired a panel that reviewed the technology project last year. She produced a report that raised issues similar to those of the Education Department, but it was discounted by some Deasy allies as unfair to the superintendent.
The initial rollout of the program - in 47 schools and with $30 million spent on Apple products - in the fall of 2013 met immediate criticism amid ill-prepared teachers, spotty Internet connections, and crafty students bypassing security filters.

Following a suspension of the contract between the LAUSD and Apple back in August, the program initially begun over a year and a half earlier was officially canceled last December. The iPad-for-all program and its components currently remain under review by the FBI.

Article Link: Federal Review Blames Lack of Resources and Planning for L.A. Schools' Failed iPad Initiative
 

JVossos

macrumors newbie
Dec 22, 2014
3
0
Tablets ...

If you are going to have a tablet, you should have an iPad .... they are more expensive, but they are best quality .... no one ever regretted buying quality.

However, people should buy their own god damned gear. Most tax-payers cannot afford an iPad of their own ... why should they buy them for the less motivated? :apple: :cool:
 
Comment

bbplayer5

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2007
2,972
586
If you are going to have a tablet, you should have an iPad .... they are more expensive, but they are best quality .... no one ever regretted buying quality.

However, people should buy their own god damned gear. Most tax-payers cannot afford an iPad of their own ... why should they buy them for the less motivated? :apple: :cool:

This is not how school districts work. They don't strive to buy quality, they strive to buy affordable because money is becoming very difficult to obtain.

I know first hand. And no, not everyone owns an iPad. In fact I would wager half of this district does not.
 
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Tiger8

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2011
2,479
649
However, people should buy their own god damned gear. Most tax-payers cannot afford an iPad of their own ... why should they buy them for the less motivated? :apple: :cool:

I know man, why do we, taxpayers, even pay for education at all? I have never seen a group less motivated to learn like kids... My God! If it's up to them, they'll be playing all day, but our government FORCES them to go to school!
 
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samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,610
USA
The bigger issue is lack of planning.

It's great PR and warm fuzzies to talk about changing student lives and using technology. But you have to actually have a plan on how you're going to use it and not just dump computers, tablets or other equipment into the classroom.
 
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Old Muley

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2009
759
183
Titletown USA
Sounds like education

I've been an educator for well over 20 years and one thing I've observed is that we have always been easily distracted by shiny new toys and ideas. Many times we get enamored with the stuff without any real thought as to how it will be used. I remember when "SmartBoards" were supposed to be the big thing in the classroom. We got several, then they never got used. Palm Pilots were another so-called innovation than fizzled. Even now the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative has just turned into a way for kids to watch Pewdie Pie on YouTube during class and keep up on FaceBook.

In the end, it's not the stuff, it's the people.
 
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NMBob

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2007
1,257
1,063
New Mexico
I know 'lowest bidder' is the way to go for constructing nuclear power plants, but for education?
 
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ob81

macrumors 65816
Jun 11, 2007
1,406
356
Virginia Beach
If you are going to have a tablet, you should have an iPad .... they are more expensive, but they are best quality .... no one ever regretted buying quality.

However, people should buy their own god damned gear. Most tax-payers cannot afford an iPad of their own ... why should they buy them for the less motivated? :apple: :cool:

Hey fellow forum user. Please read the post. These are kids we are talking about.

The poor planning was not any fault of the Children.
 
Comment

JVossos

macrumors newbie
Dec 22, 2014
3
0
This is not how school districts work. They don't strive to buy quality, they strive to buy affordable because money is becoming very difficult to obtain.


That is my point .... people need to buy their own stuff. The idea that everyone live off the backs of everyone else is not sustainable .... there are other tablets that are inexpensive ... why not make sure the 'content' will work all more than one brand.

Good sense can find solutions to most problems, this is a case of fools trying to make it a perfect world at the expense of others.

Also consider used iPads ... lots of them around nowadays ....
 
Comment

FX120

macrumors 65816
May 18, 2007
1,173
233
The problem with the iPad as an "educational tool" is that iOS lacks any sort of group policy-esque control of the individual devices. Give em to the kids, but there is no way to control what they do with them.
 
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macintologist

macrumors 6502
May 3, 2004
472
569
I know someone who works in school IT. iPads are a nightmare to manage. Chromebooks on the other hand are super easy to administer and deploy.
 
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aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,271
1,374
Also consider used iPads ... lots of them around nowadays ....
It sounds like you're thinking they pay the normal retail price for these things. The discount my company got when deploying 500 iPads was nice. This LA deal was 5,200x larger than that.
 
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maflynn

Contributor
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,142
34,262
Boston
If you are going to have a tablet, you should have an iPad .... they are more expensive, but they are best quality .... no one ever regretted buying quality
Quantity is better then quality when it comes to kids and tablets. The cost of replacement is too high and their app needs are such that an inexpensive tablet makes more economic sense
 
Comment

Doomtomb

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
354
432
Austin, TX
I know man, why do we, taxpayers, even pay for education at all? I have never seen a group less motivated to learn like kids... My God! If it's up to them, they'll be playing all day, but our government FORCES them to go to school!
If that was sarcasm, poor attempt, because if you ask most kids that's exactly the story you hear.
 
Comment

hspace

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2011
145
85
The problem with the iPad as an "educational tool" is that iOS lacks any sort of group policy-esque control of the individual devices. Give em to the kids, but there is no way to control what they do with them.

THIS. Yes, iOS completely fails in this regard. You want to have control over iOS and limit functionality? Too bad... 5yr olds can hack it.

Apple just wants to provide a personal entertainment device, they care nothing about security. User accounts? Nah. Security? Who needs it.
 
Comment

avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,932
3,802
If you are going to have a tablet, you should have an iPad .... they are more expensive, but they are best quality .... no one ever regretted buying quality.

If I'm buying for myself, I'll choose quality over quantity every time because I'm only buying enough of a product for my household's needs. If we're talking about a school district, they have different needs -- namely to buy in larger quantities most of the time.

As a taxpayer, I'd much rather a kid damage a $150 tablet as opposed to a $500 tablet. Damage, loss, and theft are all going to happen when you put devices into the hands of thousands of kids. It's par for the course.
 
Comment

quackers82

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2014
340
168
I work in a school, and we have 200 iPads deployed. They work great for us, the teachers use them and like them and i cannot wait to get more.

But it is import you know what you are going to do with them. They have replaced our 1:1 Netbook program we have had since 2009.

Our students use Nearpod , Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Onenote with ClassNotes, safari plus a range of other subject specific apps its great, no more booking ICT rooms for a class.

You can use Profile Manager to lock down quite a few things, we disable the camera for example unless needed for a lesson, the kids cannot install Apps, we have to again, just a few clicks and its done. Compared to managing Windows based netbooks its a breeze and a lot less hassle.
 
Comment

bbplayer5

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2007
2,972
586
This is not how school districts work. They don't strive to buy quality, they strive to buy affordable because money is becoming very difficult to obtain.


That is my point .... people need to buy their own stuff. The idea that everyone live off the backs of everyone else is not sustainable .... there are other tablets that are inexpensive ... why not make sure the 'content' will work all more than one brand.

Good sense can find solutions to most problems, this is a case of fools trying to make it a perfect world at the expense of others.

Also consider used iPads ... lots of them around nowadays ....

So far their answer has been "chromebooks"... they are terrible pieces of hardware and a huge waste of money.
 
Comment

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,923
4,777
However, people should buy their own god damned gear. Most tax-payers cannot afford an iPad of their own ... why should they buy them for the less motivated? :apple: :cool:

If it's required gear for a public school course, the school should provide it.
 
Comment

bbplayer5

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2007
2,972
586
I work in a school, and we have 200 iPads deployed. They work great for us, the teachers use them and like them and i cannot wait to get more.

But it is import you know what you are going to do with them. They have replaced our 1:1 Netbook program we have had since 2009.

Our students use Nearpod , Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Onenote with ClassNotes, safari plus a range of other subject specific apps its great, no more booking ICT rooms for a class.

You can use Profile Manager to lock down quite a few things, we disable the camera for example unless needed for a lesson, the kids cannot install Apps, we have to again, just a few clicks and its done. Compared to managing Windows based netbooks its a breeze and a lot less hassle.


Are you actually having them type on a touch screen?
 
Comment
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