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Apple is trying to rope 'em in early

Los Angeles students will receive iPads for their studies thanks to a recent $30 million contract with Apple.

Apple scored the $30 million contract from the L.A. Unified School District this week, which will deploy iPads to all students throughout 47 campuses. 

The Board of Education voted 6 to 0 on Tuesday to approve the contract after receiving positive input about iPad use from teachers and students. The iPad was also the least expensive device. 

The L.A. Unified School District is paying $678 per iPad, which will come pre-loaded with educational software, but won't include a keyboard. 

The school district also committed to spending "hundreds of millions of dollars" with Apple over the next two years, since they chose the company as their only tablet vendor. 

The iPads have a three-year warranty that includes free replacement devices up to 5 percent of the value of the purchase price. 

The $30 million for Apple's iPads is a steep contract price, but the L.A. district insisted on the measure because new state and national tests will be taken on computers, and it doesn't want its students falling behind on computer skills. Also, the software will help students in the classroom and after school for studying. 


 
However, there are many concerns floating around the new agreement with Apple. Chief Strategy Officer Matt Hill complained that the funding came from facility bonds, which could have been used for construction instead. The teachers union wanted the money to be used for the hiring of new teachers. 

Aside from school staff and officials, Microsoft has a beef to pick with the L.A. Unified School District too, and I bet you can guess why. That's right -- it wants its Surface tablets to be adopted by school districts so that students start using the Windows operating system early, and this will hopefully lead to loyalty to the OS as they upgrade over the years. 

Robyn Hines, senior director of state government affairs for Microsoft, said that using only one platform throughout the district would limit options, such as innovations/price cuts from other companies and students' ability to learn platforms they'd find in the workplace (such as Windows). 

Last week, Microsoft announced that it was giving away 10,000 Surface RT tablets to teachers at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). The idea was to spread RT adoption in schools by supplying teachers with the devices and even training them how to use it. Microsoft is also expected to announce its "Microsoft Surface for education limited time offer" this month, which will offer $199 Surface RTs (normally retails for $499) to schools and colleges interested in adopting the tablets. If the schools want a touch keyboard with their Surface RT, the total price is $249 (retail $599) and with a type keyboard, the cost is $289 (retail $629). 
 
The offer will reportedly run until August 31, 2013.

Microsoft is also trying to expand Surface RT's capabilities by employing Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors for the next generation. 

Apple has been making its way into classrooms around the U.S. for years now. In 2011, Maine spent $200,000 to supply its kindergarteners with iPads. Later that year, the iPad entered other elementary schools, such as a third-grade classroom in Millstone, New Jersey. 

Aside from the $30,000 L.A. Unified School District contract, Apple is using other ways to pull kids into its platform early: Apple Camp.

Apple Camp is a three-day, creative workshop for children ages 8-12. It will be held at Apple Retail Stores, and allows kids to film footage and create songs using iMovie and GarageBand on a Mac. After the three days are complete, the children present their work at the Apple Camp Film Festival.

Source: The Los Angeles Times



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Is this the line for apps?
By rountad on 6/19/2013 1:28:15 PM , Rating: 2
This is complete garbage.

An iPad will not teach you how to use a computer or give you the skills that job seekers will need.

They should purchase Macs or PCs for that.

An iPad is not the cheapest by any means, in an Apple to apples comparison (see what I did there?)

Windows RT or Android tablets are cheaper if you don't need the x86 compatibility.

Many notebooks are cheaper if you do.




RE: Is this the line for apps?
By BRB29 on 6/19/2013 1:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
i suppose an RT tablet with dancing icons will?


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Motoman on 6/19/2013 2:15:39 PM , Rating: 3
No, an RT tablet is a stupid idea too.

The point is correct though that schools should be preparing kids to become effective members of the workforce. That means teaching them to use PCs and standard office productivity software.

Teaching kids to use Macs, as is trendy in some trendy schools, is actually a disservice to those kids, as they'll have to unlearn Mac and learn PC once they actually enter the real world.

Teaching kids to do anything on a tablet is a pretty worthless exercise. That's not preparing them to enter the workforce. And it sure as hell shouldn't be a replacement for learning PC skills.

I do think the point is valid that spending millions of dollars on iPads while teachers' salaries are fairly craptastic, as a rule, is a huge slap in the face of our nations' educators.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By BRB29 on 6/19/2013 2:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
these electronics are not necessary and probably will do a disservice to kids in elementary.

It's pretty worthless until about 7th grade when they need to start typing essays and research papers.

This whole push for tablets, flash media, smartboards etc... are just the school and state officials' way of saying "hey, we're doing something about it"

It's also the businesses way of saying "hey, we're here to help". But in reality they're saying "we want your money now and your kids' money in the future"


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By ImEmmittSmith on 6/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Is this the line for apps?
By BRB29 on 6/19/2013 4:28:02 PM , Rating: 3
Are you tony?


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Noonecares on 6/19/2013 9:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
Define "at risk" please. Humble me.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By ven1ger on 6/20/2013 4:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
Biologically at risk children are children born with impairments. Environmentally at risk children are children born/living in environments that put them at risk in their developmental years. At risk children are those that will have developmental challenges in their early years.

It is true that IPADs/tablets do well with children that are in special education programs. To claim that these mobile devices are better than desktop/laptop computers for the typical classroom is stretching it.

Mobile devices within classrooms are helpful within the classroom, but should be understood that these are just tools and just one in many that can be utilized to help educate students.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Nutzo on 6/19/2013 5:56:30 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with you about the iPads being a waste of money, but disagree about the teachers salaries.
When you include the benefits, (health, retirement, etc) Teachers are very well paid out here in California.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By BRB29 on 6/19/2013 6:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
well paid compared to what? what type of teachers? private or public?

The only place I know of with high salary for teachers is Nassau county which is in Long Island, NY.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/19/2013 7:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only place I know of
Which you don't know much of anything...


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 8:30:27 AM , Rating: 2
You're right, I don't know much of anything about a place where my relatives live and I visit on a monthly basis.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Belard on 6/19/2013 2:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, a desktop computer won't teach a person more about computers if it doesn't involve programming and such. Kids these days have access to computers all their lives... yet they KNOW NOTHING how a computer works. Just get them onto facebook/IM/email/browser and they are good to go. Do they know how it all works? no?

A tablet can do pretty much anything a desktop that is a 5+ years old can do. Word processing and more... and for that price, I think its safe to assume they are using iPad4 with 4G tech.

Also, RT tablets are a dead end... no software, no developers, no support.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Tony Swash on 6/19/13, Rating: -1
RE: Is this the line for apps?
By rountad on 6/19/2013 3:35:04 PM , Rating: 5
I disagree strongly.

Job skills that are in demand are NOT that you know how to use Facebook on the iPad.

PCs and, to a lesser extent, Macs are what get the vast majority of work done.

And, if teaching marketable skills or using real software is not a goal, then what is?

If you just want to run some lightweight apps and consume content, then an Android tablet would get the job done for a fraction of the cost of the iPad.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Gio6518 on 6/19/2013 3:46:08 PM , Rating: 1
not to mention better security...iOS 387 security flaws compared to Androids 13

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2262231/a...


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By aliasfox on 6/19/2013 4:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
New hires will get trained when they get the job.

15 years ago, a public school computer lab would have had Windows 95 or Mac OS 7 on desktop computers. Most of these had floppy drives, some had CD ROMs. When's the last time you carried a floppy disc with you (don't touch the disc inside, kids!), or had to tell someone that the computer can't burn a CD? Sure, File >> Save is still there, but what else is? The trash can/recycle bin?

There isn't a whole lot that a public school education will teach a kid with regards to computers. If schools were already teaching kids formulas and pivot tables and SQL and how to connect to remote servers, then maybe a tablet wouldn't be as good for that. But they're not. I didn't get a computer until 1996, went to a top 100 high school and a top 15 university that didn't teach a lick of computer skills past the most rudimentary, and still manage to do ok.

A kid will learn how to use MS Word when he gets a paper assignment, or will learn the basics of Excel when he has to do basic calculations on his own - and chances are, he already knows how to do this - a computer in the home isn't a rarity anymore.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Tony Swash on 6/20/2013 12:01:12 PM , Rating: 1
You are still thinking that the technology of the recent past will be the technology in use in the near future. It won't be. The rise of the small, inexpensive, always connected touch based device is a more profound and larger technology inflection and mutation point than the rise of the PC.

The devices that people use to get 90% of their work done in five years time will be much more like an iPad than a PC. Control-Alt-Delete and all that it implies (byzantine file managment systems, constant and neccessary hardware integration management by the end user, complex UI systems) will be as redundant and as forgotten as the skills needed to insert a new ribbon in a typewriter.

The kids in schools right now will look at how you and I used our 'personal computers' and see them as amusingly odd and alien as watching a film of our parents painstakingly adjusting a TV aerial to get a decent picture.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By retrospooty on 6/20/2013 1:09:29 PM , Rating: 3

Good luck with that fantasy. Tablets are good for being mobile, but its not going to replace the PC in the office any time soon. Tablets are still toys, and will never be as productive as a full computer... And even with a ful computer, there is only 1 player in business and that is Microsoft. The whole world runs off Microsoft PC's. Dont forget, every iDevice and Mac is made in factories that run their businesses of MS PC's. Every planning, purchasing, inbound logistics, warehousing, shop floor, shipping, accounting, reverse logistics, CRM software etc etc... It all runs on PC's.

Call me when they can make an Apple device without using an entire company that runs off PC's for every single steps in the process from planning to purchasing to inbound logistics to warehousing to shop floor to shipping, accounting, reverse logistics, CRM software etc etc... It all runs on PC's. No one else is even close to matching it.

"The devices that people use to get 90% of their work done in five years time will be much more like an iPad than a PC"

Let this go down as one of the stupidest things Tony ever said.

- Apple stock will hit 1000
- Android is a disaster for Google
- Google is abandoning Android
- The devices that people use to get 90% of their work done in five years time will be much more like an iPad than a PC


Notice a theme there? Its all wishful thinking by you, but completely fantasy based.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Tony Swash on 6/20/2013 3:10:06 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
- Apple stock will hit 1000 - Android is a disaster for Google - Google is abandoning Android - The devices that people use to get 90% of their work done in five years time will be much more like an iPad than a PC


A bit rich coming from the guy who thought the iPad would be a short lived fad :)

I confess I did get carried away and thought Apple would reach a 1000. My bad

I never said Android was a disaster for Google just that given its actual and strategic costs it was not addressing the challenge that Goolgle faced as internet activity migrated to mobile devcies, that challenge Google seems to be partially addressing by the forced migration of all Google service users to Google+ accounts. Android is not important to Google's strategic health as a company. How much effort and resource Google continues to invest in Android will be interesting to watch post-Rubins.

I think that the problem that conservative thinkers such as yourself have with the migration to mobile devices is that you think work is done by people sitting at desks with PCs or laptops. It's a similar error of vision that mainframe guys had taking the PC seriously when it emerged. Back then PCs didn't replace mainframes so much as coral them into a limited arena of activity where the advantage of the mainframe was real. Meanwhile what the PC did was invent huge new arenas for new types of computing activity which had never been imagined in the mainframe world or had been poorly addressed. So now, as one example, we see any sort of physically mobile professional (maintenance guys, sales people, doctors, media people, administrators, educators, creatives, musicians, accountants, retail staff, etc,etc,) using tablets (mostly iPads) in ways that old style PCs just cannot be used.

Obviously Microsoft wants to try to get those people all running some variant of Windows, that in my opinion is a mistake and seems to be pretty clearly failing. However irrespective of the OS the tablet and the pocket computer is fundementally changing the way people do computing. Meaningless attempts to divide up what people do with their computing devices into 'real work' (that counts), and 'consumption' (which doesn't count) is just a failure of imagination in a rapidly changing world.

Sure some people in business will continue to spend their time looking at large screens and use a mouse to mainuplate a GUI, but most people in business and in their professions won't. We are not there yet but not far off, the trend is very obvious, very strong and is moving very fast.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By retrospooty on 6/20/2013 3:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
"I never said Android was a disaster for Google"

??? I recall you saying that several times and defending it.

"I think that the problem that conservative thinkers such as yourself have with the migration to mobile devices is that you think work is done by people sitting at desks with PCs or laptops."

Like I said, let me know when Foxconn, Pegatron and any other of Apple manufactures can make an iPad,iPod, iPhone, or Mac without the entire business running on PC's. Tablets are being used in business, but not as a main computer. They are being used when travelling... When these users get back to the office they are still using their PC's. That wont last forever I am sure but it hasn't even started to change. 5 years off is a laugher when even Apple cant make its products without using PC's. If Apple cant do it (and you KNOW they want to) then its not happening, not on any meaningful scale.

"tablet and the pocket computer is fundementally changing the way people do computing" - True... At home. IT changed me too at home and when travelling.

You need to come back to Earth. The thin air up there is hindering your ability to see clearly.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/20/2013 3:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"I never said Android was a disaster for Google" ??? I recall you saying that several times and defending it.
He sure did!


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By retrospooty on 6/20/2013 4:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
I know... WTF? He says it on a regular basis. Also last week he said Google is abandoning Android. LOL.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Motoman on 6/21/2013 1:03:13 AM , Rating: 2
...why do you guys even read what he posts, let alone bother responding to it?


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By retrospooty on 6/21/2013 10:42:14 AM , Rating: 3
It's fun to shut him down... Besides, once you do, he goes away for several days so we have a vacation from his agenda driven drivel.


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Gio6518 on 6/19/2013 3:41:48 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Can you imagine how handicapped students would be if they were given an Android or Windows tablet?


HAHAHAHAHA thanks for the funniest thing I've heard all month maybe year...Yup mentally handicapped people are the majority of Apple customers..


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Nutzo on 6/19/2013 5:16:20 PM , Rating: 4
From a business standpoint, learning to use an iPad is about as much use as learning to use a Nintendo DS.

An iPad is a media consumtion device, not a work computer.

At least if the had a windows tablet they would know what the Windows 8/9 desktop that they will be using in thier first real job looks like :)


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By retrospooty on 6/19/2013 5:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Is this the line for apps?
By ImEmmittSmith on 6/19/13, Rating: -1
RE: Is this the line for apps?
By Alexstarfire on 6/20/2013 1:14:10 PM , Rating: 1
At least when I went to high school, 2001-2005, the PCs we were using were, in fact, quite cumbersome. This was more because they were old when they got them than because of the OS it used though. I don't think that would be as much of an issue now since computers now usually have a lot of extra computational power just going to waste. So if you bought a 3-4 year old desktop now it'd probably be just fine for what you'd use them for in high-school.

I think iPads are a waste too, but not because they got iPads, but because they got tablets. I can't imagine most of them will end up working with tablets when they get into the "real world."


RE: Is this the line for apps?
By ven1ger on 6/21/2013 2:25:34 PM , Rating: 1
How old is that software you were using for the PCs? Windows XP was released about 2001. It's 2013, that's 12 years. I'd guess that about 90-95% of software written for XP runs easily on Windows 7. And if you're programs can't run on Windows 7 and only Windows XP, why the hell are you running Windows 7, a lot of companies still run XP. Logically your argument fails.

The iPad which you seem to applaud as THE educational tool has only been out since 2010. They don't even have the 12 years that Windows XP has had, so what happens in the next 2-3 years when Apple changes it iOS that your software is no longer usable? Apple OS support for older software tends to be lacking.

iPads are a good educational tool because Apple has directed a lot of their marketing towards building a strong support for education materials but does it make it the best tool, I doubt it. A desktop computer/laptop computer has more versatility in education. iPads or any mobile device are good educational tools, but it's usability as an educational tool is much more narrow than desktops/laptops.


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