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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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a little bias here?
By dgingerich on 6/19/2013 1:50:53 PM , Rating: 4
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.

Nope. This is not the reason. It's to give students more marketable skills once they reach the workforce. They need to be familiar with Windows by the time they get into the workforce because, let's face it, the vast majority of companies use Windows.

Windows has far better security. That's been proven for years now at hacking conventions. Apples always get hacked first. Windows is more manageable. Apples simply don't have any mechanism for a centrally administered security setting set or centrally managed anti-virus. Windows is far more easily supported because of the previous two items. These are the reasons Windows, including RT, will take over small device markets in the business world.

So, in essence, the LA school district, by giving their kids iPads, a crippled, low end, overpriced tablet, are setting their students up for failure. Windows tablets would be a much better choice.

RE: a little bias here?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/19/2013 1:55:21 PM , Rating: 4
As the article states, they wanted to hire more teachers, that's how the money would have been better spent.

RE: a little bias here?
By othercents on 6/19/13, Rating: -1
RE: a little bias here?
By Solandri on 6/19/2013 2:29:39 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is we're putting the cart before the horse. In medicine, you come up with a drug, test it in petri dishes, then do a bunch of animal tests, then a small set of human trials on terminal patients to make sure it doesn't kill people, then a medium-sized set of double-blind human tests, then a large-scale set of double-blind human tests. The whole process can take up to a decade, and if the drug is found ineffective at any stage it's pretty much dead.

In education, a bunch of people sit in a meeting and decide if an idea sounds cool, and the teachers report if it seems to be helping without actually taking any objective measurements. Educators seem dead-set against objective measurements for some reason, which probably helps explain the poor state of science education in this country.

Anyway, the objective studies are finding that despite students liking the tablets, they're not actually helping them learn any better. This is different from PCs/computers, which were found to help in certain subjects.

That's not to say tablets are bad or don't work. It may just be that we haven't found the best way to incorporate them into the classroom yet. But as long as we base their use on teacher/student subjective responses, we'll never figure out the best way to use them in the classroom.

RE: a little bias here?
By Dorkyman on 6/19/2013 3:16:18 PM , Rating: 2
And with this article we have Exhibit A on why public schools in general (and the LA District in particular) are a colossal failure.

Obvious solution: attach the tax money to the child, not the district. Let the parents send the kid to whichever school they want. Within 5 years, a revolution in performance, competence, and satisfaction. But the Obamabots will never allow it to happen.

RE: a little bias here?
By maugrimtr on 6/20/2013 8:41:34 AM , Rating: 2
Of course, a PC helps on some topics. It has a physical keyboard, large screen, and that's pretty essential to any workplace environment because it works really really well for almost anything you want to do.

An iPad is a cut down PC with a small screen, no physical keyboard, and limited creative/work value. They are consumer devices to make some tasks easier while on the move or sitting on a couch.

A laptop would appear to have the most value for education. Cheap as dirt, very similar to a full PC, sufficiently portable, and did I mention cheap as dirt?

Why are schools wasting money on €700 toys?!

RE: a little bias here?
By Xplorer4x4 on 6/23/2013 2:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
Obvious solution: attach the tax money to the child, not the district. Let the parents send the kid to whichever school they want. Within 5 years, a revolution in performance, competence, and satisfaction. But the Obamabots will never allow it to happen.

In my school district, this has already happened.

RE: a little bias here?
By Mint on 6/19/2013 3:39:11 PM , Rating: 2
I think tablets can be useful, but they gotta choose one with a real stylus.

Kids use pens/pencils for so many critical developmental subjects - math, science, sketching, diagrams, etc. and even sports. You can't replace that with a touchscreen.

Apple's shunning of the stylus will prove to be their biggest mistake in trying to penetrate the education market. Right now they're having some limited success due to their first mover advantage, but in a few years the lack of a stylus will be a dealbreaker.

RE: a little bias here?
By othercents on 6/20/2013 8:54:56 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that all of this is theoretical and no one has built a system to do this.
The problem is we're putting the cart before the horse.

Interesting how those two statements have the same point that schools are purchasing technology without the software component they need to be effective, however the ratings are very different.

I do believe that technology can be effective in the class room. It can also be very effective for a teacher and parents when they can tell electronically if the student did the reading assignment and homework. It can also be effective when homework is instantly graded and the student can correct their work and learn from their mistake prior to coming back to the class the next day. Add in a little reminder video on how to do the assignment and your reinforcing what the student learned and might have forgotten as soon as the dismissal bell rung. All of this will be very effective technology that hasn't been built yet.

Not all students work as well in a classroom setting, however there are definite behavior issues all coming from the lack of early motivation from the parents. Parents need to show their children how important school is at an early age. Then you also need a reward based school system. I know how effective my parents were in helping me get my school grades back in line after I came home with a failing grade in a subject, however now I can't tell if my daughter is doing good or bad only that she is doing similar to the rest of the sheep. When homework says "Good Job", I have to grade it and tell her that I'm disappointed that she missed 50% of the questions. I guess she did better than the rest of the class which makes it a "Good Job".

Technology can be effective, however we need a system in place first. Parents need real feedback on the students homework assignments and tests daily. With real feedback, a way to reinforce the lesson, and a way for parents to get involved then we will produce better students.


RE: a little bias here?
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 9:17:00 AM , Rating: 2
Technology can be effective, however we need a system in place first. Parents need real feedback on the students homework assignments and tests daily. With real feedback, a way to reinforce the lesson, and a way for parents to get involved then we will produce better students.

Parents have always been able to get involved. You don't need new technology allowing online interactive monitoring of your kids lol. You just gotta give a crap about your children if you want them to succeed. What ever happened to good old parenting? nobody helps their kids with homework anymore? You think having a couple kids is a lot to handle yet parents are leaving it up to teachers to handle 20+ kids. If you're a parent, at least take the time to teach them how to behave. Then teachers can actually concentrate cognitive enrichment. Too many parents are irresponsible and lazy. It's obviously affecting the teachers which lower the overall education level of all students.

Get off your smartphone and pull out the good old pen and paper with your kids. You know, that same way we used to do when we had the #1 education system the in the world. It wasn't just the school or teachers that made us great. It took everyone.

We will just fall further if people think monitoring their kids from a smartphone/computer is going to help them. What are you going to do then? yell at them and make them hate you more? People must not post their kids' A+ exams on the fridge anymore.

RE: a little bias here?
By BRB29 on 6/19/2013 2:30:36 PM , Rating: 3
More teachers vs more effective teaching through technology. Decreasing burden of teaching and allow larger class room sizes by providing electronic testing methods that allow instant grading. Lower cost of materials and video conferencing for students who are out sick or parent teacher conferences.

We went from having the #1 education system in the world to #16. Ipads isn't going to help.

The most crucial part of school is social interaction.

What teachers have the most problems with is classroom management.

Classroom management is hard because kids have behavioral problems.

Kids have behavior problems because parents don't want to take responsibilities and time to be a parent to their kids.

Parents don't want to take responsibilities because they think it's the school's job.

The school can't do its job because the kids are so messed up.

and so on and so on....

I was teaching for a while but decided I need more money for my own sake. My girlfriend still teach.

In the city you deal with violent, illiterate kids that still have not been potty trained. Their parents come raging in drunk or high cursing at everyone.

In the suburbs, you deal with crying drama filled spoiled brats that thinks they're kings and princesses. Their parents comes in and threaten to sue for something as little as playing as playing a Justin Bieber Song during recess because "baby" is too provocative.

Since the 80s our education systems have failed due to the low quality of teachers because:

1. low salary
2. teaching programs are bad. Very few good programs available overall
3. teachers are now tasked with being a parent/babysitter at the same time
4. teachers have to spend more time reinforcing behaviors
5. parents are sue happy or don't care about their kids
6. dumb regulations
7. some areas became very dangerous
8. schools are underfunded
9. the appearance of charter school systems caused the public schools to have less funding

RE: a little bias here?
By dgingerich on 6/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: a little bias here?
By BRB29 on 6/19/2013 3:13:36 PM , Rating: 3
Here's the beginning of the breakdown in your logic. No, it is not, and never has been, and never will be, the most crucial part of school. Lessons on social interactions should be handled by the parents, never the teachers.

that's great to hear! except in reality, most parents does not want to teach their kids proper behaviors.

Stop going with the asian stereotype. The reason why that stereotype came to be is because immigrants speaks a different language. The only thing universal is math. Asian people wants their kids to learn math for the high paying hot jobs like accounting, engineering, banking, tech, IT etc...
It had nothing to do being asian. You're just a stereotyping fool.

The best people at math actually has proven to always be white. Eg. Einstein, Hawkins etc...

RE: a little bias here?
By karimtemple on 6/19/2013 3:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
Jesus Christ.

RE: a little bias here?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/19/2013 3:47:51 PM , Rating: 2

RE: a little bias here?
By retrospooty on 6/19/2013 3:56:52 PM , Rating: 2
H2O + x = Wine?

RE: a little bias here?
By dgingerich on 6/19/2013 3:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know anything about Japanese schools? They go to school 6 days a week for full days, half days on Saturdays in some schools, and strongly encourage clubs or sports. A student who isn't in a club or sports is considered a slacker. Teachers are also required by many schools to have visits to their students' homes to talk to parents, unlike our stupid parent/teacher conference days where they teachers get about 5 minutes with most parents. It's a stark contrast compared to our easy schooling. They actually put forward the effort to teach their kids what they need to know, instead of forcing down what the teacher thinks they ought to think. From what I've heard, Korean schools aren't far off.

The Japanese and Koreans also happen to have far more difficult native languages to learn to read. They spend more on teaching the basics of their written language than we do. Japanese have to learn 46 characters in Katakana, 45 in Hiragana, plus hundreds of Kanji just to graduate high school. They actually use more than 6000 Kanji for various words, and 90% of the population don't know a quarter of them. It amazes me how many definitions some of their words have, too, and much of it contextual. Korean is more complex in some ways and less in others. Both countries also have a much more extensive history to learn, being centuries older than the US. I'm impressed they actually have the time to learn hardly anything about math or science while trying to master such difficult languages.

On top of all that, their culture has certain strong values that drive them to be more. It's not that they're more capable. They're human. They aren't any more or less capable, on average, than Europeans, Africans, or anyone else. It's that their cultures push working hard and doing their best. (The way the Japanese encourage each other isn't "good luck" but rather "Do your best!" It is never about luck. Luck is a lazy way of thinking.) It's ingrained in them from a very early age. "Good enough" is only good enough if you have done the best you can. That is something we seriously lack, and it shows. Second and third generational Asians in the US lose that. That's why they don't appear to fit the stereotypes. If you have known someone who is in the US or Europe visiting or just moved here from Japan or Korea, you'd know that for truth.

It's not exactly a stereotype that Asians do better in any particular thing. It's that Japanese and Korean culture and languages are pushing them harder than other cultures.

If you're wondering if I'm a fan of Asian cultures, you;re right. The more I learn about them, the more I like it. Well, I like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cultures. I've learned a bit about others and haven't been as impressed.

RE: a little bias here?
By BRB29 on 6/19/2013 6:49:07 PM , Rating: 2
and look where the japanese is now. Huge budget deficit, enormous national debt, ridiculous inflation, government expense is almost twice the national tax revenue.

Let's not get started with China or Korea. They have their own massive problems.

RE: a little bias here?
By Digimonkey on 6/19/2013 7:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot to mention the high suicide rates for teenagers and young adults.

RE: a little bias here?
By Farfignewton on 6/19/2013 10:43:13 PM , Rating: 2
and look where the japanese is now. Huge budget deficit, enormous national debt, ridiculous inflation, government expense is almost twice the national tax revenue.

A lot of that sounds rather familiar. I also doubt it any of it can be credibly linked to the Japanese education system. Tax revenue is down in part due to declining population, possibly because they're tired of living in broom closets.

RE: a little bias here?
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 9:22:05 AM , Rating: 1
The whole point is he's making it sound like the Japs, Chinese, etc... got it right. They really don't and we did at one point. Now it seems like we went backwards.

great education = school + teachers + children + PARENTS

For some reason, PARENTS have dismissed themselves from this equation and blaming it all on the other 3.

RE: a little bias here?
By Tone12 on 6/21/2013 9:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
Japan does not have a huge inflation rate. In fact, they've been having a problem with deflation. Please don't just make things up and throw it all on a pile to try and justify a certain point of view.

RE: a little bias here?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/20/2013 1:26:03 AM , Rating: 1
Wow why don't you just boil down this bigoted wall of text to a simple: white=bad and lazy, Asian=good and more betterer?

I mean come on, this is so stereotypical it's just offensive.

Here is something that isn't a stereotype, Japan's outrageous world-leading suicide rate. While you're lauding us with the superiority of their culture, I'm thinking it's just all messed up.

RE: a little bias here?
By dgingerich on 6/20/2013 1:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say they got it all right. (I'm white, btw, German, Irish, English, French, and a little Native American ancestry.) No culture is perfect. There are good and bad sides to all of them.

However, the Japanese and Koreans do have several points right where they need to be. That's what I'm highlighting.

Why is it when people promote something, others have to believe those people are denigrating other things that have nothing to do with it? It's like the stupid Literature teachers that keep overanalyzing old books to try to make them relevant to today's issues. I'm sorry. Most books simply relate to issues in their age. Some don't mean a darn thing.

Japan's suicide rate has the same reason behind it as any other suicide: loss of hope. All suicides boil down to that. If they had hope for the future, like that of certian western religions, their suicide rates wouldn't be so high.

RE: a little bias here?
By Lord 666 on 6/19/2013 9:28:37 PM , Rating: 2
@BRB29 - There is always teaching at the college/community college level. Its where I have been able to share my passion and help interested adults either hone their skills or developed news ones. Have even successfully placed several into positions. Teaching itself is truly rewarding, don't give up. Just need to find the right audience.

RE: a little bias here?
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 7:48:41 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the encouragement. I plan on coming back during my 40s.

RE: a little bias here?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/19/2013 5:24:06 PM , Rating: 1
OK I see you're an 'expert' on every topic, but my family has several veteran educators, and your little list there doesn't match with their real-world observations.

RE: a little bias here?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/19/2013 6:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
OK I see you're an 'expert' on every topic
And yet, he knows nothing.

RE: a little bias here?
By Azethoth on 6/20/2013 2:47:53 AM , Rating: 2
I find it frightening that someone with your poor written English was a teacher.

RE: a little bias here?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/20/2013 8:12:12 AM , Rating: 2
No kidding right, but he also claims to be an account, have military clearance, and thinks he has some kind of computer knowledge...

I don't believe a word he says at this point....

RE: a little bias here?
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 8:27:49 AM , Rating: 2
Because you can't have 7.5 years of military, 2 years of teaching and 1 year of accounting for a career in less than 11 years of working?

Maybe you just need to do something with your life. I've done plenty and I'll keep grinding until I die.

RE: a little bias here?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/20/2013 8:50:20 AM , Rating: 1
I am doing something with my life troll.... I still don't believe a word you say.

I work and take care of my daughter, unlike you who sits on here all day talking about subjects you know nothing about.

Hell, she's only 14 months old and she's already smarter than you seem to be.

RE: a little bias here?
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 9:28:56 AM , Rating: 1
You must hate your life if you're going after someone you don't even know so hard.

RE: a little bias here?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/20/2013 9:32:19 AM , Rating: 1
You assume a lot, I just don't like idiots like you.

RE: a little bias here?
By BRB29 on 6/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: a little bias here?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/20/2013 9:54:58 AM , Rating: 1
I know what I wrote retard.

Ignore me? THANK GOD! About fucking time.

Not bitter, again, assuming. My GF and daughter are perfectly fine when I get home. Just don't like MORONS like you who think they know everything. Even when pointed out you are wrong. And, you call people liars when you don't agree with something they say. You called ME a liar as well as others.

I highly suggest you quit ASSUMING things about people, I EARN an honest living moron. For someone who "seem to be able to work full time, school full time, and take care of my 2.5 year old daughter just fine" you sure post an awful lot on here...

You have a daughter, that's fucking scary. I sure hope she is smarter than you.

RE: a little bias here?
By dgingerich on 6/19/2013 2:38:00 PM , Rating: 2
With my experiences with teachers, no, it wouldn't be.

RE: a little bias here?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/19/2013 2:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that's you, not the millions of other students in school right now.

RE: a little bias here?
By retrospooty on 6/19/2013 3:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
Like with anything, there are good and bad teachers. The problem schools have today is identifying and removing the bad ones. Unions and plain disorganization makes it extremely difficult... But ultimately you have to think they werent hoping to hire crappy teachers.

RE: a little bias here?
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 7:43:00 AM , Rating: 2
you mean there's not enough real teachers around. There's a ton of teachers who just became teachers because they couldn't find a job.

RE: a little bias here?
By msheredy on 6/19/2013 4:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
You're confusing iOS with OS X. In mobile platforms iOS, with it's sandboxing security, is the safest and most popular operating system.

RE: a little bias here?
By Nekrik on 6/19/2013 4:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
this article doesn't seem to indicate as such. And the mobile hotspot idea is/was very likely a selling point as the kids move around campus.

RE: a little bias here?
By RomeoKnight on 6/20/2013 12:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that Windows may be niche market in 5-10 years from now. Microsoft should switch to IBM strategy and enterprise market before it's too late.

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