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. lawrencewinkler macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2005
    As much as we highly compensated tech people like to believe -- that everyone has access to some kind of tablet, smart phone, or computer -- it ain't so. It's not most in the disadvantaged communities who don't have such access, it is almost none.

    Yes, some kids and adults come to the libraries to use computers and iPads, some for finding jobs, building resumes (adults and high school kids alike), but as users of the PC's and iPads, they are not knowledgeable at all. Further, the PCs in particular are so locked down that they are virtually impossible to use. Windows machines do not act like any windows machines you can pick up cheap at Best Buy because of the "Rube Goldberg" special security software on them. When I try to use these machines as I help the patrons navigate and get what they want done, done, I'm appalled. It would take me 3x longer to do tasks on these machines than if I did these tasks on my own machines. And for these naive users, make that 10x more difficult.

    No one using such computers could ever become facile or get a feel of how the rest of us computers and why they are useful to us.


    I wholly agree with you. Perhaps I'm even more opposed to use of computers in the classroom until at least late middle school. The use of calculators in schools is actually immensely damaging to children. They don't learn how to compute by hand, they get no feel for numbers or for sketching graphs by hand. The kids don't learn to see math as it's own language and learn the rules of manipulation.

    Certainly, it is a problem primarily because teachers, like most American's are "innumerate", to use John Paulos' term. Computers and calculators take away from learning what needs to be learned. Once the basics are understood, then computers become a useful tool and only then.
  2. peroddmund macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2012
    Profile manager

    If you have os x server you can use something called profile manager. You can enroll each device and push all sorts of settings wirelessly to them. We use it at work for our Mac, iPhones and iPads.
  3. a0me macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    Tokyo, Japan
    Complete nonsense. If you know how to use a Mac to do most of your work, it's almost trivial to get used to a Windows or Linux based PC.
    To use a car analogy, if you learned to drive with a BMW you'll still be able to drive around in a Pinto.


    Do you mean something like the kind of profile manager used by IT departments of companies using iOS devices?
  4. AlecZ, Jan 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015

    AlecZ macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2014
    Berkeley, CA
    True, but it really shouldn't be so. There are plenty of old (circa 2005) and working PCs that are thrown away, either by people or public schools with more money. I know because my brother collected a ton of Gateways from his high school.


    Yeah, it's a ridiculous amount. LOL, send the kids to UC Berkeley. Great education, and there's no "progressive" tech going on here. They just give us good wifi and let us use our PCs. I don't think I've seen any more than two iPads so far, especially since the entire student body seems to take Computer Science 61A.


    Yeah, exactly. I think they spend less than $700 on a PC, too.


    It works if the teacher makes it work. My high school had them, and they were never used. The thing is, the white board plus a projector was already better in many ways than even a properly used Smart Board.


    It's immoral to teach kids how to use devices if they don't have enough ports and such? OK, if they had Surface tablets in school, they'd someday buy an iPad anyway. I don't think they'll thank their school for liberating them – for a while – from Apple.

    Are you that guy who writes that message in Debian that tells me not to use closed-source wifi drivers?
  5. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
    You obviously don't get sarcasm, maybe you're not as educated as you think you are.
  6. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2010
    I'm sure these kids have other more pressing issues like getting a hot meal or even basic school supplies. In that case, the money that went to the iPad could have paid for months of hot meals or several sets of stationary for these kids.

    Alternatively, they should have evaluated iPads on a need basis - i.e. provide it to disadvantage kids instead of deploying it carte blanche across the system.
  7. Neepman macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2008
    Well when you factor in all the teachers pensions and free health care for life thats about right. The State of California is MANDATED to spend a minimum of 40 percent of the state budget on "education". A huge part of which is for Teachers pensions and salaries.
  8. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    If done right, this could've revolutionized -- or at least started it -- education in schools. It's quite a waste of money and time to give these kids textbooks printed on paper. I can't tell you how many times I would have a textbook for a history class and it stopped about a decade before the current year. It was that way at every level I can remember.

    Instead, what really should be done is to push Apple for a volume discount -- maybe $500 for 64GB iPad Air 2 models -- and to get a contract with textbook publishers to update the material every year. That's less important with your basic math and language arts, but it can make a huge difference in science and history.

    Maybe LAUSD wasn't the best place to start since it's not the richest place on the planet. But it would've been a great sample to try this with. Maybe Apple needs an education version of iOS or just education controls that would allow a lot more dictating of what students could do. They would basically be smart textbooks, not a totally open iPad. The younger kids really don't need open access to YouTube or Facebook during the day. Basically a teacher in a room would control access during a timeframe for his/her students, allowing the use of a textbook app, something like Pages, and something to research online. Maybe also open up Safari during this period.

    I'm back in college now, and even there education sucks at advancements. Not all the books are available digitally, and then some professors won't let you use devices in the classroom. One I have says they're a distraction to others. OK, but I also type a bazillion times faster than I write. UGH, I pay a couple thousand bucks for that.
  9. RobertMartens macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2002
    Tokyo, Japan
    First off, we are not getting little children 'ready for the real world'
    Second, teaching them how to use Windows in 2015 will not prepare them for the real business world when they enter it in 2025 or so.
    Third, they don't ever need to leave the Apple experience if they like it and are good at using it.

    Kind of like learning to use a stick shift was necessary for the real world.
  10. H2SO4 macrumors 601

    Nov 4, 2008
    Not really. They pretty much all use Windows, (Yes I know not all some are *Nix etc). On top of those layers they may each implement something proprietary but everybody knows the workings of the base that makes up the systems.
    Apple is different. Just because this is what they are doing doesn’t make it the best solution.
    The iPad is a terrible solution for learning. All it offers over a PC is portability. I’d rather have an ultrabook of some sort that I can actually do a few real things on.
  11. Cwrkr macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    Throwing money at it

    Why do many people think that throwing money at education (iPads) is going to solve the education issues with this country? It's the breakdown of the family and powerful teachers unions!
  12. sulliweb macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2011
    Spent... as in 7-10 years ago. Prices were still higher then for more basic machines. Like I said, now, most districts that I know of are averaging about $500, depending on the situation for PC's. Though in certain more specialized lab situations, TV Production, etc... You're gonna have more expensive equipment. Though, that won't all be PCs either.
  13. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    If you believe in free software you should not, and not a small number Debian users do emphatically. Give those people and Mr. Stallman some credit as they are due it if if you don't believe.

    On topic I cannot think of a good reason to give kids iPads, I can think of many good reasons for digitial text books though. The superintendent made a bad call and lost his job over it, it time now to regroup and figure out how to go forward with or without iPads.
  14. Macboy Pro macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2011
    No necessarily in California. They spend what they don't have all day long.
  15. barmann macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2010
    I agree .

    Giving a kid a tablet is like giving a man a fish to eat, instead of teaching him how to fish .
    You can't progress once you've learned the basics of using a tablet, but with a computer, the sky is the limit .
  16. Jon-Erich macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2014
    The way I see it, if a school chooses to use Apple's ecosystem, all you're teaching kids is that technology CAN work properly and it CAN make your life easier. The problem with more open systems in past is that kids weren't taught to like them. They were taught to accept them, to deal with them. But here's my solution to the whole problem. Wether a school chooses Macs, PC's or tablets, perhaps schools should be providing computer training courses where kids are introduced to Windows PC's, OS X and Linux as well as iOS and Android. I think it would be important for kids to at least learn the fundamentals of all the major operating systems and how they differ from one another. In the real world, there isn't one standard and if you're going into any creative field, the Mac is the standard. So maybe kids should learn all this before college, if they're able to go.

    Also, you're worried about brainwashing? What the hell do you think the schools have been doing to the kids over the last few decades? Schools don't teach kids to think. They're taught to obey. Schools don't teach kids to question anything. They're taught to accept what they're told. It's gotten worse. In a lot of these schools, kids are now told what they can and can't eat for lunch. They can't even express themselves. If some teenager has something he or she needs to get off of their chest, they're more likely to keep it bottled up inside because saying "the wrong thing" will get principles, guidance counselors, and parents hovering over them 24/7. It's also become harder for kids to accept failure. Thanks to programs like No Child Left Behind and the constant lowering of passing standards in places like Baltimore City, it has become harder to fail anybody.

    When it's all said and done, after 13 years, we end up graduating kids who can't think, who can't question, who are unable to openly express themselves, and who never had to experience failure. Now we want them to go to colleges that they can't afford where reality will give them a great bite in the ass because they'll finally have to deal with everything that years of public schooling never prepared them for. Is this where tomorrow's scientists are going to come from? Is this where tomorrow's doctors, lawyers, or even talented filmmakers will come from? No, everything I described above is where tomorrow's Walmart workers will come from. Our schools are training kids to work for Walmart because these kinds of people are exactly what Walmart needs.
  17. greenmeanie macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2005
    Preach on Brother :) I am with you.

  18. jsalda macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2008
    It's neither, it's the way the people USE the stuff.

    I spent a day at my kids elementary school and was impressed with the way that they used the technology they were given. Every teacher uses their smartboard, they don't sit there blank. In STEM, there are 2nd graders learning basic programming on desktops and 3rd graders learning video editing on the iPad.

    We live in a technological society, students AND teachers need to know how to use technology in order to advance the next generation.
  19. greenmeanie macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2005
    I am a SYS admin for a local school.
    When I was hired the place was a mess Teachers where torrenting music and illegal files along with the students.
    The Teachers started the push for IPADS and MacBooks and started getting them. I tracked what was going on with them and there were Teachers going to Gay dating websites, pirating software/music and most of the day during work Facebook. I even tracked one laptop to a Teachers daughter going to school in Maine and when confronted about it she said "what I thought we get to keep them". Once they found out they where not going to be able to keep them forever they lost interest in the whole project.
    Once they found out I could "SPY" on them that opened up another whole can of worms. Until people work in a School System you would not believe what goes on there. I had parents calling me to have youtube videos pulled down of their daughter drunk and to get their daughters pictures from phones because she was drunk at a party naked and kids where sharing the pictures.
    And to TOP it off you have kids trying to get around security every day and Teachers asking them how to do it.
    I have seen and heard so much at the three School Systems I worked I could write a book about it.
    You have the ADMINS of the School starting crap with the Teachers and vice versa like a bunch of little kids.

  20. bbplayer5 macrumors 68030

    Apr 13, 2007

    Is a gay dating website held to a different standard than straight dating websites? All that did was make you sound like a homophobe, no offense.
  21. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    It was definitely not fraud.

    Students do not choose more practical devices. Many go with the flow of what is popular. This project falling short is not surprising to me.
  22. compuguy1088 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2007
    In the Sub-Basement of Solitude
    What's funny is that most schools are still using some of those things. I remember them using that cassette tape projector in the 90's. People still use overhead projectors, and most of them have just been replaced with document projectors.


    There are still teacher even at the college/university level that do not allow use of technology in the classroom (obvious reasons).
  23. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    According to IDC, more Chromebooks were shipped to schools in Q3 2014 than iPads.

    Some schools are selling their iPads and switching over.

    Reasons cited include:

    • Lower price
    • Keyboard
    • Simpler management
    • Easier to share
    • Usable for Common Core testing

    (As an aside, our local small school district just got five portable carts of 25 Chromebooks each from the local PTA. )

    My wife just retired as a Kindergarten teacher and loved her iPad in her class, though.
  24. compuguy1088 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2007
    In the Sub-Basement of Solitude
    I remember the devices. They were neat but they had two issues: cost and calibration issues (for the ones lacking a built in screen). You had to line up a projector and do a calibration of the device *each* time you used it (because any slight jostle to the projector would throw off the calibration).
  25. AlecZ macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2014
    Berkeley, CA
    Most people can't afford a private school tuition, but a public school sometimes spends more than that.


    Yes! In my first semester of freshman year, two of my classes were technology-free (Amazon Kindle exempted). So in English class, I couldn't use electronic books, and in ancient Greek history class, I couldn't take digital notes. It was because they're afraid of some students distracting others, but that never happened in my other lectures that allowed laptops. I hope I never have that restriction again.

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