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

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. sulliweb macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2011
    Don't kid yourself. The discount education gets is maybe 10%. Apple doesn't give educational discounts. Maybe when you're spending $1 billion, but for 500 iPads, they'll just look at the district and laugh. I've never seen any district in my area that got any kind of discount. They have educational pricing, but it's barely below retail at all. You want real educational pricing, go to another manufacturer.
  2. SpectatorHere, Jan 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015

    SpectatorHere macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2010
    I know of three districts that have deployed iPads to some extent. None of them had ANY group management software. Apps had to be downloaded one at a time, mail setup one at a time, etc for every single iPad. Updates? Hope your IT likes downloading iOS 8.1 one at a time, and they better because little Bobby won't keep his updated leading to incompatibilities. And you think IT can handle all of this? Much will be forced on to the teacher to become their own IT.

    I have to believe there is some sort of institutional remote management offered for these things...there just has to be. But I can tell you that from my little experiences, there has been none of that in three separate deployments. Mind blowing when you think of it.

    And iOS is NOT meant for content creation. So, for example, if a student is assigned to make a PowerPoint type of presentation, there is no file directory for a kid to save photos found on the web. Instead, he or she has to go through photos where all images are saved. Want to send that new presentation to someone via email? You better hope the native app can share it via email. Oh, your file is too big for email, then let's hope the app you created your presentation in can share to DropBox, etc. And Dropbox or Google Drive, belongs to whom exactly? Is it a class dropbox, or one setup for the individual user? And then, how do we allow the teacher access?...share it as a public folder with hyperlink? Ok, then how do I send that to the teacher?...and isn't that messy to get random emails interspersed with others? Assuming the teacher gets it and grades it, how does he or she make corrections or comments, how does the kid get the notified the corrections have been made?

    iOS and iPads are the LEAST appropriate OS out there at the moment for education, judging from my personal experience in three districts over past few years. Maybe I've just seen bad deployments, but these aren't bad districts. That's not saying iOS and iPads are not useful in other situations, but as they stand now, they're abysmal for anything but reading a digital textbook (which is really why they're being pushed).
  3. mabhatter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2009
    There really needed to be VP level hand-holding for this big of a project. Apple should have dedicated a "VP of education computing" to making this happen and running down speed bumps at facilities, support, software development, warranties. It has to be a boots-on-the-ground position reporting directly to Tim and the school district.... I've dealt with IBM to know you get a series of powerless armchair managers which is going to be really bad.
  4. LordVic macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2011
    this is how i feel. sure, they're suitable for textbook replacements for students.

    Thats about it.

    I'd prefer if my kids got an education using a real computer first. I'm not partial to Macbooks, Windows computers or Chrome. But get a damn computer in their hands before a limited use tablet.

    And if my tax money is going to technology? Apple iPads are not where I want it spent. Educating kids is one of the most important social safetynet programs that can be used. But its damn expensive. We should be aiming to get the absolute best bang for our buck so that ALL stupidents from all walks of life have equal access to the exact same education. You know that by going with a highly expensive option like an iPad, that eventually you hit the money wall. Who ends up getting them? Obviously the richer neighbourhood schools.
  5. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    Not exactly true.

    There are several ways to accoplish the task you laid out, but that being said, education lessons need to be non operating system specific.
  6. SpectatorHere macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2010
    I'm just relaying my own experience. As I say, there really must be group management software out there, but I haven't seen it. So, at least in these situations, you have iPads deployed without any real consideration given how they might be used.

    In the situations I've been involved personally, the task I described was true of EVERY use. You depended on the particular app to handle file saving and file sharing...and none of that was ever easy to accomplish, even assuming all the iPads had the current version of the particular app.
  7. Alphabetize macrumors 6502


    Oct 6, 2013
    I can see the iPads being used as like a paper replacement for books.
  8. Harmonious Zen macrumors 6502a

    May 18, 2013
    Amen to that. good teaching is done by good teachers, not good gadgets. We seriously ought to look to Finland for a good example and stop wasting resources.
  9. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    We're talking about putting this hardware into the hands of kids. Would you rather a kid damage a $150 Chromebook or a $500 iPad? To me, as a taxpayer, the Chromebook is a no-brainer as long as it gets the job done. I love the iPad for use at home. It's great hardware. But if the curriculum doesn't require great hardware in order to get the job done, why pay hundreds of dollars extra for it?

    It's not like the iPad won't become obsolete. It will. It's not like the iPad is indestructible -- it most certainly is not. I baby my iPad and I still managed to get a ding in the aluminum rear shell somehow just from regular use around the house. Imagine the damage a group of kids -- many of whom don't appreciate the value of an iPad like you or I would -- could do to the iPad. And when they do damage it, the school district is left with a $500 brick instead of a $150 brick.
  10. sulliweb macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2011
    I can't think of any Windows machine that any district in my area has paid more than $1,000 for in the past three years. Educational pricing you can get an i5 with plenty of RAM for pretty close to (if not below in some cases) $500. As for support, that's what IT staff is for, and we fix Apple products too. You can't write that all off to the PCs. Macs break too.

    Now, most of the laptops we're buying at this point for student use are running at a comparable price to an iPad, but saying that they were cheaper... That's a bit of a stretch to me. That they weren't more expensive is probably a better argument.
  11. jacket2012 macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2015
    When I was in high school, my district very nearly implemented a One-iBook-for-All program to the tune of $120 million. Mind you, this was a wealthy suburban school district. Turned out the superintendent was getting a kickback from a third-party vendor. He's now in prison.

    These programs always seem sketchy to me. Besides, call me naive, but I have a hard time believing that many children in this country (even in the poorest areas) lack adequate exposure to technology. If anything, we should start educating the next generation on how to live without smartphones and tablets.
  12. MisterK macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2006
    Ottawa, Canada
    I think a big part of all this is that Apple's really dropped the ball on keeping on with what they started in education. The announced iBooks author and the textbook stuff for schools and how important it was for them and then... Not a peep. Nothing. This is part of the failing of the iPad. The hardware is great. No one is pushing the software. Apple isn't really leading by example and the iOS marketplace is too risky to build much besides freemium games. If teachers and schools had felt good about their iPad purchases — really felt like they could do laptop style stuff and the tablet stuff was really compelling then it wouldn't be such an issue. They feel like they wasted their money on toys when they could spend less and get tools. I love the iPad, but from the productivity perspective, there are a handful of great apps and Apple isn't doing much to make up the slack.

    Apple's interest in this (and many other things) seems to drop after they make an ad and an uplifting video for a keynote.

    I get it. They public wants the next great story. Few people get as excited by a maintained product line as a new product line. But Apple is big. They can introduce watches and televisions AND act like they still care about maturing/maintaining things they've already released.
  13. LordVic macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2011
    When I was in highschool...

    We weren't even allowed using calculators... I was told "you can't be expected to be out and about and pull a calculator out of your pocket to figure out tax and change".... (not sure how that applied to algebra, but hey, teacher was a jerk).

    funny statement though looking back at it.. cause, thats exactly what you can expect now
  14. sulliweb macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2011
    That's the problem a lot of districts that have gone the iPad route have seen. Districts used to spend $700-$1,000 for a PC that lasted 7-10 years. Now, Apple wants us to pay almost $500 for a device that they'll at most truly support for about 2-3. It's not just the cost of the device, it's the recurring cost of maintaining the level of technology that needs to be considered as well.
  15. szw-mapple fan macrumors 68000

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    The iPads I had at my school had only the essential apps (Safari, pages, key note, and numbers) and some educational apps. The internet was well regulated so students cannot access FB or twitter. It's just how you set them up.
  16. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Now, where have i seen that pic before... .....
  17. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816


    Aug 2, 2008
    Southern California
    No argument on the bureaucratic bungling, but disagree on Android. My hardware of choice is Apple, but going through a Masters program, the Nexus 7 form factor and cost was perfect. Our documents were kept in the cloud (Dropbox), project management was via the cloud (Asana), books for class were via the Kindle. It didn't matter what platform we were using as long as the apps were the same.
  18. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    dont know, but basically it did no work out as intended and now they are cleaning up the mess.
  19. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    It is, but like a lot of these rules, they have applications outside their original intent.
  20. Poisonivy326 macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2012
    Whoa, chill there.
  21. mi7chy, Jan 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015

    mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    This whole thing was an expensive fraud against taxpayers and sadly it wouldn't have prepared students for the real world. When students and teachers are given a choice they choose more practical devices.


  22. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Yes, Apple has a educational group that sells solely to educational organizations. What's your point?

    Apple was to provide tech support, not curriculum sport. Apple provided generous financing terms, but it's still LA school's responsibility to pay for the goods. What happened here is that the school district bit off more than it could financially chew. Again, how the school districts bad decision Apple's fault?
  23. lawrencewinkler macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2005
    As though you weren't like them when you were young. But, given your comments, and assuming they were not meant as sarcasm (which given the general moronic nature of the American public including the highly compensated), I'd say you would still be among those schooled but uneducated.
  24. senseless macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    From what I read (if accurate) L.A. district spends $30,000 yearly per student. That could pay for college!
  25. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    Districts spend 700$ on a computer?

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