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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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LED SCREEN!!
By half_duplex on 6/20/2013 9:44:59 AM , Rating: 2
Forget cheaper alternatives... no "screen" is beneficial to developmental education in my opinion.




RE: LED SCREEN!!
By ven1ger on 6/21/2013 2:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
Will have to disagree. When it comes to Special Education, touch screens have been tremendous for Assistive Technology. The tablet (whether iPad, Android, MS) are almost ideal tools for assisting with Spec. Ed. children because they offer immediate response, where traditional keyboard/screen responses are difficult for Spec. Ed. children.

In typical classrooms, it may not be the best tool but in Special Education classrooms, it is a very awesome tool.


"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton














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