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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: 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.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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