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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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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
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
"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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