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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 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.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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