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L.A. students get iPads, start playing video games

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 04:04 a.m. HST, Oct 05, 2013

LOS ANGELES >> Education officials in the nation's second-largest school district are working to reboot a $1 billion plan to put an iPad in the hands of each of their 650,000 students after an embarrassing glitch emerged when the first round of tablets went out.

Instead of solving math problems or doing English homework, as administrators envisioned, more than 300 Los Angeles Unified School District students promptly cracked the security settings and started tweeting, posting to Facebook and playing video games.

Such problems have both critics and supporters questioning whether LAUSD officials were being hasty or overreaching in their attempt to distribute iPads throughout the district's more than 1,000 campuses by next year.

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palani wrote:
Now there's a real "duh" moment. Free iPads will end up being toys for tots, not tools for teaching.
on October 5,2013 | 04:51AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Good intentions gone wrong.
on October 5,2013 | 05:48PM
steveoctober wrote:
Simple solution - if any student makes an attempt to crack into the settings, they are billed for the unit and then can do what they want with it. No different than defacing a textbook. Failure to pay means accrued interest and no grad papers until the bills are paid.
on October 5,2013 | 06:00AM
South76 wrote:
Easier said than done....I bet some legislature will come up with a subsidy to pay for the units for those who are supposed to "can not afford" the unit...
on October 5,2013 | 06:50AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Should have just bought the Amazon Kindle at half the price and uninstall the game.
on October 5,2013 | 05:48PM
RichardCory wrote:
This is just a symptom of old people being perplexed by technology. They can't fully grasp the capabilities of a tablet, but they think it's amazing and believe it to be the future of all interactive media. So let's just throw it all our children in an effort to give them a leg up in life, because, hey, it's technology and that means something, right? These kids don't need iPads. It's not going to make them any more intelligent. They can read the pages of a book just as easily as they can read a computer screen. And if you really need them to work on a computer, then just give them a proper desktop computer. A tablet is just a gimped computer with no mouse and keyboard. At least with a desktop, they've got more power to work with, and the school has a stronger method of retaining control over both hardware and software. Did these people even bother to consult anyone under the age of 40 before undertaking this stupid venture?
on October 5,2013 | 06:08AM
onevoice82 wrote:
They are kids and they are tech smart. Start handing out detentions!
on October 5,2013 | 06:09AM
Hawaiians wrote:
on October 5,2013 | 06:14AM
redneckMT wrote:
on October 5,2013 | 08:54AM
Venus1 wrote:
Relax! They will get it right! Same thing would have happened, or did, when they gave phones to kids last century:). Kids are smart!
on October 5,2013 | 06:24AM
Steve96785 wrote:
Phones to kids? The Doe is only just now giving phone access to teachers! About a century late, but better than never. I really want to see all of our students tech savvy and provided the use of information and equipment, but we don teenage any meaningful consequences when kids destroy or lose their books and other materials. Ask any teacher how many of the kids in our schools even come with pencil, pen and paper to their classes. I see the lists of outstanding text and library books from previous schools when the kids transfer to us. What is the DOE policy? If we collect the book or money owed, we can keep it. If kids still owe money or books come graduation, we can not withhold a diploma or transcript, only walking the line at graduation! If kids move to the mainland with a state-owned PC or tablet, or just drop out of school after losing ten such items while in school, there is nothing that we can do to recover the costs at all. Every school should have a well maintained computer lab, with good wi-fi coverage to every classroom and good internet access for all classes, but we don't even have that luxury. One tablet per child is one of those ideas that sound great until you have to pay for it and live with the consequences,
on October 5,2013 | 04:59PM
Cricket_Amos wrote:
What a mindless colossal waste of money. This was the state that was so broke it had to have yet another tax to help out with education and this is what it went for: video games. Are there no real adults running anything in that state anymore??
on October 5,2013 | 06:27AM
serious wrote:
Look at Hawaii and the article in this issue about the commercial lease for $900,000 per year that was delayed 6-9 months since the State couldn't find out who should sign it. Same political party in both states--never had any private business experiences.
on October 5,2013 | 06:42AM
bigislandkurt wrote:
Hawaii DOE.......listen and learn. While the idea is certainly ambitious, the reality is far from it. Things like this happen when older folks make huge decisions around today's technology.
on October 5,2013 | 06:33AM
cojef wrote:
Dah! probably not learn a thing. Just repeat mistakes for being copycats at taxpayers' expense. With all the Phds. simple common sense is lacking that kids wil be kids and will outwit the the Phds. decision maker everytime. Gump's, "stupidis as stupid does" prevails.
on October 5,2013 | 07:27AM
redneckMT wrote:
As soon as it is considered a total failure in CA our DOE will implement the plan here.
on October 5,2013 | 08:56AM
LizKauai wrote:
Games can be a great learning tool. My nephew loved the old video games and got good at it. Today he is an engineer, a fighter pilot and training to be a test pilot. Let us not define education to narrowly and let the kids learn what they love!
on October 5,2013 | 07:09AM
HOSSANA wrote:
There is a quotation that says the following: "i FEAR THE DAY THAT TECHNOLOGY WILL SURPASS HUMAN INTERACTION. THE WORLD WILL THEN HAVE A GENERATION OF IDIOTS." In California, those that giveth and receiveth the free iPads are certainly proving that point who the idiots are in that State and I do hope other States don't follow suit or will they?????
on October 5,2013 | 08:13AM
buttery wrote:
take the devices away! problem solved!
on October 5,2013 | 08:47AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Waste of money!
on October 5,2013 | 09:13AM
sailfish1 wrote:
L.A. can give iPads to their students. Hawaii can't even put a/c in their schools, provide educational materials and books, and even busing for their students.
on October 5,2013 | 09:35AM
earlson wrote:
great decisions like this explain how Cal's deficit got so large
on October 5,2013 | 09:55AM
awahana wrote:
This could have been prevented to a large degree, and they would have spent 1/2 the money, if they had gone with Chromebooks instead. Too bad government always makes the wrong choice when they don't consult the right people for the project. This is the LA district edu version of the fed military purchase of $10k toilets from greedy contractors...

Is Hawaii DOE doomed to make the same mistake by being swayed by the 'brand name' of Apple? I see a lot of tech waste and mismanagement already in place...

When we examine the Los Angeles School District deal for iPads, we may see a troubling trend developing.
A $30 million deal meant Apple could provide the LASD with 45,000 iPads, at $678 apiece. The tablets would come bundled with educational software, but that price per unit is about $200 more than the average iPad runs. More troubling is that the LASD has roughly 640,000 students, meaning only about 7% of students would see the technology. Even more curious is that Apple notes the contract is for 31,000 iPads, meaning less students will be reached, and roughly $9 million of the deal is going elsewhere.
While iPads are popular, the financial decision to utilize them escapes us. For the same $30 million, the LASD could have purchased 120,000 Samsung ARM Chromebooks, or 150,000 Acer Chromebooks. This effectively triples the number of students who can get technology, and probably on devices better suited for productivity.
With over 3,000 schools utilizing Chromebooks, using an expensive iPad smacks of ignorance about the issues. If there is a solution to reach more students with technology, why isn’t it being widely implemented? The goal should be a cohesive learning environment for all students, and mitigating spending issues on a management level. Chromebooks accomplish that.

Forbes July 20, 2013
Schools around the world are trading in desktop PCs for tablets, netbooks and increasingly Chromebooks, especially in the United States, new research shows.
The unexpected popularity of Chromebooks, which were dismissed when they first came out as stripped-down machines with limited appeal, is a challenge for Apple. Less than a year ago, Apple appeared poised to inherit a significant share of the education market from vendors of traditional PCs. Today, Apple’s dominance seems far less assured.
The study, which surveyed 558 educators, was conducted in May, following a period of accelerated Chromebook adoption. In February, Google announced that 2,000 schools were using Chromebooks, up from 1,000 in November. Two months later, Google reported adoption by an additional 1,000 schools. In June, Google said Chromebooks would be available in 6,600 stores including Walmart, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples and Best Buy.
During this period, NDP Group estimates that Chromebooks captured between 20 and 25 percent of the U.S. market for netbooks under $300. This means adoption of Chromebooks is growing even as the entire PC market shrinks. Shipments of personal computers have fallen for five straight quarters.
Going forward, the battle between Chromebooks and iPads for the education market could intensify. A large majority—more than 84 percent—of respondents to the National Survey on Mobile Technology said that they’d like to implement a 1-to-1 solution that would provide each student their own device. What’s holding them back are school budgets, the cost of devices, the lack of technology infrastructure to support mobile technology, the challenges of devices management and security concerns. In many of these areas, Chromebooks are perceived to have an edge.

on October 5,2013 | 10:55AM
localguy wrote:
Want to bet any school district selecting the more expensive iPad for their schools get a nice kickback per unit? I wonder how much Apple offered Neil for pushing iPads for the Nei?
on October 5,2013 | 11:45AM
I say nothing beats a good text book. It has worked for years and will develop more self-reliant students. It is very sad today how kids cannot use the proper math skills not to mention the ability to write. I see it every day, the incompetence of our students and their basic abilities to read, write, and reason the work they are tasked to do without the aide of a ipad or tablet/computer. I say bring back the text books.
on October 5,2013 | 12:04PM
Bdpapa wrote:
on October 5,2013 | 12:26PM
HOSSANA wrote:
on October 5,2013 | 03:32PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Exactly what the book publishers want to hear. We cut down millions of trees each year to print books on when the information can all be placed on digital media. Each year schools spend billions of dollars on textbook which soon become outdated. If you have actually looked at the prices of textbooks sold to school, you would be amazed at how much they cost. If the information were made available on media, we would save not only million of tress but also save a lot of money on information. Our children need all the help that they can get to move forward in this tech savvy generation. The only problem with this particular story is that the Los Angeles made a bad decision in purchasing iPads which are synonymous with entertainment. It just goes hand in hand with the problems with the purchasing of textbooks, possible kickbacks from the sales. Just like the way a pharmaceutical company can bribe doctors with gifts for the promotion of their drugs.
on October 5,2013 | 10:24PM
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