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LA high schools give up on iPads, stick with more traditional computing options

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD’s) decision to supply all of its students throughout its 47 campuses with iPads was rife with controversy from the start. The initial contract with Apple was valued at $30 million (however, the contract was expected to expand to $500 million), which put the price tag at $678 per iPad. A revised budget later showed that the cost per iPad was nearly $100 more, at $770 per device.
 
Things only got worse after students began bypassing security filters on their iPads in order to access “forbidden” websites like Facebook, Twitter and Pandora, which led to the tablets being recalled by the LAUSD.
 
Now it seems as if the LAUSD has come to its senses with regards to a one-device-fits-all strategy for its students. The LAUSD has put its iPad rollout to 27 high schools on hold in favor of a plan that would favor notebook computers and convertibles.
 
As LAUSD board member Monica Ratliff put it, “Why would we treat all our students — whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman — as if they all had the same technology needs? They don't.... To have a one-device-fits-all approach does not make sense."

 It's not all smiles at LAUSD high schools when it comes to iPads in the classroom

Why it took so long to come to this realization is unknown. An iPad might be a useful tool on lower grades — where it is often used for spelling activities, math review, and sight word recognition — but might not be as beneficial to high school students who need to write papers or might want to do something as simple as plug in a flash drive to access pictures or documents.
 
As one principal Carolyn McKnight put it, even when used in standardized testing, the iPads often came up short. "Students were more comfortable on the laptop because of the amount of writing and the size of the screen," said McKnight. "It was really hard to see the whole problem on the iPad."
 
"We had the right urgency, but urgency can be the enemy of necessary scrutiny," added Steve Zimmer, another LAUSD board member. "Now our challenge is to maintain the urgency while getting the details right."


Microsoft Surface Pro 2
 
Students, teachers, and administrators at the 27 high schools are now being given the opportunity to test six different devices to see which better fits each individual school’s needs. Some of the device choices include the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (which will actually come with the keyboard attachment; the iPads were not supplied with keyboards), Dell Latitude E7420, and even some Chromebook options.
 
The LAUSD Board of Education has earmarked $40 million to fund the machines for the high schools.

Source: LA Times



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RE: ahem...
By Monkey's Uncle on 6/30/2014 10:25:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Or thin clients, cloud storage that way they can maintain better control of the equipment and prevent the students from using unauthorized apps. They should have known but it is California.


Boy, talk about coming full circle? Why not just plop some 3270 terminals on their desks and hook them all up to an old mainframe.

Can't ask for better hardware and software control than that.


RE: ahem...
By Manch on 6/30/2014 10:33:20 AM , Rating: 2
You can have thin clients that run virtual Windows environment for the students allowing them to save state and pick up where they left off in the next class. This is a much better option than hiving tablets or full fledged laptops to students to take home and bring lord knows what back onto the network. Its hard enough maintaining a network with just adults on it. 99% of the problems are PEBKAC.


RE: ahem...
By Argon18 on 6/30/14, Rating: -1
RE: ahem...
By Manch on 6/30/2014 11:22:53 AM , Rating: 2
Running Windows thru a thin client isnt new lol. I said windows because that's what people are most familiar with. You want students to learn their studies not fight with Linux. Granted there are linux flavors that are easy to use but why do that when these kids will most likely have windows at home?


RE: ahem...
By Motoman on 6/30/2014 11:51:47 AM , Rating: 5
What they use at home isn't the point...it's what they'd use once they entered the workforce.

Are they going to use Linux if/when they get a job? No.

Are they going to use Macs if/when they get a job? No.

Are they going to use Windows if/when they get a job? Yes.

Ergo, teaching kids on any platform other than Windows is counterproductive. Kids who gain skills on non-Windows OSs will be at a disadvantage comparatively when entering the workforce when compared to kids who had Windows skills already.

Whether or not you like Windows isn't the issue. It's simply a fact.


RE: ahem...
By Manch on 6/30/14, Rating: 0
RE: ahem...
By Motoman on 6/30/14, Rating: 0
RE: ahem...
By Manch on 6/30/2014 3:21:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm saying they should use Windows. The primary reason for these computers is not to learn Windows but the rest of their studies. Learning Windows would be an added benefit. All I said was that Windows and thin clients isnt new and sure there are some LINUX flavors that are easy but why when everyone uses Windows. I'm not advocating LINUX. If it was specifically for a computer science class or vocational prepping them for the workforce then sure Windows it is and you would have a point. Yes, what they use at home is an issue. Running Windows guarantees compatibility for the most part and when it comes to assigning homework that requires a PC you have your bases mostly covered. This is after all what this whole system is for. For them to get their grade/highschool education, not specifically learn Windows.


RE: ahem...
By TakinYourPoints on 6/30/14, Rating: 0
RE: ahem...
By Alexvrb on 6/30/2014 8:16:01 PM , Rating: 3
Except the situations you listed involve people that familiarized themselves with these platforms outside of mandatory courses. It's silly to make OS X and Linux training mandatory in school because a small percentage of students will need it. Why not make Java courses mandatory for the entire school while you're at it? :P


RE: ahem...
By TakinYourPoints on 7/1/14, Rating: -1
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