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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 ImEmmittSmith on 6/19/2013 3:25:47 PM , Rating: -1
I think you are dead wrong! Our school district has been using PCs for years and they are so cumbersome and become out of date so fast and the programs we use don't always work on the newer versions of Windows. We have lost some really good educational programs because they didn't work on Windows 7. Sure we could have tried to tweek the settings for XP compatibility, but most school districts don't have the resources or expertise to do that. We have had iPads since the first version and all our programs are still operational, even with the most current(version 6) of the OS. They are so simple to use and the teachers and students are very comfortable with them. Most of all, they WANT to use them. You may bash Apple for whatever reason, but reality is that the iPad is what they WANT to use and are excited when they get that privilege to use them. Great educational tool!

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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