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Education Government IOS IT Apple

Every Public School Student In LA Will Get an iPad In 2014 393

Posted by timothy
from the one-company-to-rule-them-all dept.
Jeremiah Cornelius writes "After signing a $30 million iPad deal with Apple in June, the Los Angeles School Board of Education has revealed the full extent of the program that will provide tablets to all students in the district. CiteWorld reports that the first phase of the program will see pupils receive 31,000 iPads this school year, rising to 640,000 Apple tablets by the end of 2014. Apple previously announced that the initiative would include 47 campuses and commence in the fall." Certain companies (not just Apple) stand to benefit from this kind of outlay.
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Every Public School Student In LA Will Get an iPad In 2014

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:21PM (#44401301)

    Every student in LA Public schools gets a good education. Now that would be news.

    • Re:That's not news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FunkyLich (2533348) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:35PM (#44401413)

      This. Stuffing technology in schools in this manner has no impact on education. Facts actually sugest that pencil&paper and and show exact solution with answer lead to better brains than smart expensive pads which react to touch and simplify radiobutton selection options.

      • Re:That's not news (Score:5, Insightful)

        by notanalien_justgreen (2596219) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @04:05PM (#44401603)

        Just think - with a class size of ~31, that's 1000 classes and teachers. If you spread that $30M over 1000 teachers you'd get about a $30k bump per teacher. Imagine recruiting teachers at $70k/year instead of $40k/year. I'm guessing you'd get a much better teacher, and thus a much better education for your kids. These constant stories of dumping technology onto kids never end with any positive results it's just sad. It's especially sad here because iPads are devices meant to consume, not to create. What a waste of taxpayer money.

        • Re:That's not news (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @04:36PM (#44401791)

          Silly goose. What teacher would pay my kickback?

        • Re:That's not news (Score:5, Interesting)

          by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:30PM (#44402095) Journal
          FWIW I am close to a school district in California that is considering this iPad giveaway. I asked a person in charge why they are doing it (especially when they've been low on cash for a while), and the answer was that they couldn't just give the money to the teachers because of regulations that dictate how school money must be spent. So that's what they were doing.

          Doesn't make it any better, just explains why it happens.
          • Its true there are a lot of regulations governing the pots of money, but the real reason is that if they spend an extra 5 million this year on raises, they are pretty much forced to spend 5 million every year forever more, and they are also setting the bar higher in for any other raises. So the iPads are way cheaper in the long run (though I agree, not a good investment)

        • Re:That's not news (Score:5, Interesting)

          by pspahn (1175617) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:47PM (#44402193)

          I get the point, really I do, but I don't think simply raising their pay is the answer, not to mention the economics of your suggestion are way off target.

          LA Unified had over 27,000 teachers in 2012, quite a bit higher than the 1000 you suggest. Also, the average teacher pay in the district for 2012 was $66,000/year.

          I do agree that you will get some improvement in quality of teachers if you started paying them more, but I don't think it will be significant. Education majors already have some of the worst SAT scores. Simply offering to pay them more isn't going to improve that much as you still have the very real issue of people simply not wanting to be teachers because it is a terrible job. You do have people who actually love teaching, but those folks are incredibly rare, and rarer still are those who love teaching and are good at their job.

          You'd do more to improve the quality of public school education by making the job itself more attractive, not the pay. There are too many teachers burning out early in their careers which says a lot more about the job's environment than it does the compensation. I know that the main reason I quit working in education wasn't because the pay was shit, the main reason was because administrators often are too out of touch with the modern classroom that the students have no desire to learn, and the teacher ends up being nothing more than a baby sitter for 8 hours.

          Class rooms are broken. Fix them and you will find more student engagement, which will improve the teachers' morale, which will result in a better education. Now, a snazzy piece of tech in each kids' hands might be a move in the right direction, but it just screams of a band-aid fix when instead it should be introduced as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the entire system.

          • Re:That's not news (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Belial6 (794905) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @06:06PM (#44402291)
            I've got no horse in the public education race, as my two kids go to a very exclusive private school with a teacher to student ratio of 1:1 and a total student body of two. That being said, I think the single best thing that public schools could do is give teachers the right to expel students from their classroom and schools to expel students from the school. The bar for this should be extremely low.

            Teachers would be happier. Students that wanted to learn would be able to, and parents would be forced to take a more active roll in raising their own children.
          • Re:That's not news (Score:5, Insightful)

            by skegg (666571) on Sunday July 28, 2013 @02:39AM (#44404473)

            I don't think simply raising their pay is the answer

            Funny, however, that paying CEO's many millions of dollars is justified because it allows companies to better attract 'talent' from other companies, other industries and other countries.

            And whenever someone here in Australia bitches about politicians getting $200,000 - $400,000 per annum, the standard response is "but these people would be making many times that in private industry ... we need to encourage them to work in public life". Then those people can fuck off to the private sector if they're not ready for public service.

            I do agree that you will get some improvement in quality of teachers if you started paying them more, but I don't think it will be significant.

            Let's find out.

        • Re:That's not news (Score:4, Informative)

          by rossz (67331) <ogre&geekbiker,net> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @06:40PM (#44402513) Homepage Journal

          The average teacher salary in the Los Angeles Unified School District is $63,000, plus excellent benefits and job security that makes it near impossible to get fired. And they don't work the entire year.

        • Re:That's not news (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968.gmail@com> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:06PM (#44402969) Journal

          Not to mention the only one that will be getting squat out of this long term will be Apple, the iPads themselves will end up stolen, on eBay, or in a junk drawer somewhere with a dead battery. I have seen it before with a local private school demanding all the students get laptops, the laptops ended up being used more for time wasting than schoolwork, teachers began banning them from class because the students were watching stupid cat videos instead of working, the whole thing turned out to be a waste to everyone but the ones selling the hardware.

          as a geek i naturally love tech but this fad of trying to fix education with tech? Just not gonna work. What you need is good teachers, involvement from the parents in the lives of the kids, and kids that actually want to be there and learn. None of that can come in a box, I don't care if it comes from Cupertino or not.

      • This. Stuffing technology in schools in this manner has no impact on education. Facts actually sugest that pencil&paper and and show exact solution with answer lead to better brains than smart expensive pads which react to touch and simplify radiobutton selection options.

        I think the move to pads has more to do with the move to e-books, and not so much to do with paper and pencils. Also an educational app does not have to implement, say math problems, as multiple choice radio buttons. It can use a graphical mode more like a drawing program and have the kids show their work and their solution in a manner very similar to paper and pencil.

    • by murdocj (543661)

      Every student in LA Public schools gets a good education. Now that would be news.

      Wish I had points to mod you up. Sounds like a pretty bizarre waste unless this is going to replace all the textbooks.

  • what are they paying?

  • by AmazingRuss (555076) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:22PM (#44401307)

    .... Dec 2014.

  • Cost (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jours (663228)
    That's almost $1,000 each...? No wonder public schools are in trouble.
  • Holy crap that is expensive. $968 per iPad. Considering how good a Nexus 7 is I can't understand the thinking here.

    • by alen (225700)

      the price includes a lot of online course content for the kids

      teachers are being commoditized into the role of babysitters and the real work is done by pearson and others

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        teachers are being commoditized into the role of babysitters and the real work is done by pearson and others

        There is nothing wrong with technology deskilling an industry. We invest an awful lot in educating teachers, if those workers could be directed to something more productive that would be wonderful.

        The problem is educating primary and secondary school students is very important and there is not much indication these high-tech solutions are doing it well. So maybe its not yet time to push the qualified humans aside.

        • by Endovior (2450520)

          There is nothing wrong with technology deskilling an industry. We invest an awful lot in educating teachers, if those workers could be directed to something more productive that would be wonderful.

          The problem is educating primary and secondary school students is very important and there is not much indication these high-tech solutions are doing it well. So maybe its not yet time to push the qualified humans aside.

          Counterpoint. What indications are there that the teachers are doing their jobs well? It's not necessarily the case that the technology is better, and the whole mess certainly reeks of a pork-filled lobbyist scheme... but really, how would that be different from the other public school offerings in play? It's not really possible to evaluate how effective the technology will be until it's out in the field, after all, so we may as well let the experiment run its course, now that the bills are paid.

    • by foniksonik (573572) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:41PM (#44401457) Homepage Journal

      You're forgetting the infrastructure to support it. Wifi in classrooms, provisioning system. School App Store. Insurance policy. Training for teachers. Licensing for content.

    • by icebike (68054)

      Holy crap that is expensive. $968 per iPad. Considering how good a Nexus 7 is I can't understand the thinking here.

      And you thought Apple was giving all those computers to schools in the 80's and 90's out of good will?
      This is what happens when those kids grow up and become teachers and run for School Board seats.

      Given that the courseware is available on more than one platform, they should just give each kid
      a voucher, and let the vendor's compete.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        A public organization buy a device where you have one source of content and one source of hardware should be criminal when there are alternatives that allow competition in both areas. Basically, they're now tied to Apple in the future. For private organizations, it's just stupid but for public, it should be illegal.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tablets work nicely for casual content consumption; however, they are so limited for context creation. We should be encouraging our student to create and express versus simple digesting information.

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      Limit in some ways, GREATLY expand in many others.

  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:26PM (#44401335)
    How many will break in the first week?
    • by amiga3D (567632)

      A valid question. I'm pretty sure that a lot of those kid's parents don't have the money to pay for a replacement either. Maybe Apple Care will cover them. That would explain why it's around 1,000 bucks apiece for those tablets.

    • About as many as will get stolen or "lost".

  • by markdavis (642305) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:33PM (#44401393)

    This is sad in so many ways. Primarily that there has to be such lock-in with public funds and on such an overpriced device. No need to go into ALL the details, it has already been hashed out on Slashdot before regarding price, toyness, theft, maintenance, battery wear, lack of E-Ink, lockdown, spyware, compatibility, damage, serviceability, insurance, attention span reduction, etc, etc.

    Love technology, but sometimes it seems like it is not moving things forward, just sideways.... especially when it gets political.

    Oh, and 30 million dollars for 31,000 tablets comes to $968 each. And that is supposed to be some special deal discount??? Meanwhile, the smaller, lighter, faster, higher res, second iteration of the Nexus 7 releases for $229 WITHOUT discount.

  • Otherwise Louisiana is going to be rearing an entire generation of hunt and peck typists.
  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:40PM (#44401455)

    Ignoring the fact that you are giving children $1000 devices (Several times the cost of the opposition) that puts them vulnerable to attack. They are unfixable, and heavy, have to work with Apples closed garden. In a dynamic market where Apple is a niche player, its tablet sales dropping. You are rewarding a company that prides itself on not paying tax.

    I'm glad its not my tax Dollars. This should have been given to a open platform, willing to provide low margin, easily fixable, assembled in America, Light, ugly tablets..that pays tax.

    Its a shame because I think its a great idea.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Considering the planned use of the devices, being behind a walled garden really isn't that big of a deal.

      Now was Apple the right choice? Who knows, but i don't think its because of their 'store' restrictions.

      • Considering the planned use of the devices, being behind a walled garden really isn't that big of a deal.

        The reality is I would hope that LA would have a separate store with free (cross platform) edutainment created by Local People, to support teaching and learning and the savings on not buying apple could have bought a lot of content, and got a lot of people jobs...rather than it going towards buying its shares back.

        I think its offensive Apple have been chosen.

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        Yeah, I think this is going to be a disaster (and dislike Apple's walled garden model in general), but honestly they should probably put up as many walls around this garden as possible. Hell, put something in the firmware to prevent any apps from being installed or the device from being repurposed in any way - might make the poor grade school kids carrying them somewhat less of an obvious target to criminals. Otherwise the LA police will soon be opening up a dedicated "iPad Crimes Division" (can't wait fo

    • by stenvar (2789879)

      It is your tax dollars, since no matter where you are in the US, you will be bailing out that failing state. And California shows no signs of returning to fiscal sanity either.

      • California will not get bailed out.

  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:53PM (#44401549)
    I was just at liquidations for three schools where they tried this. Somehow they think that throwing high technology at bad students will somehow transform them into good students. The reality is three schools failed to perform, even with millions of dollars in apple miracle products. These children have a poor home structure, poor social structure that frowns on those who are smart as "acting white", a culture they idolizes those who chase quick money and material goods, and no penalties for parents who barely raise their kids. This too will fail, as technology is NOT a substitute for good parenting.
  • by ikhider (2837593)
    The Ipad is DRM. The kids cannot study, share or modify the code or freely run the programs as they wish. The kids are beholden to whatver rules Apple imposes. A better route would be an open device that allows for an understanding of how it works along with innovation. Consequently, generations of dependant users are not encouraged to understand and improve things. I prefer generations of innovators, thinkers, who share ideas, challenge and improve. Give the kids access to the source, let them root the thi
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jeremyp (130771)

      The Ipad is DRM. The kids cannot study, share or modify the code or freely run the programs as they wish. The kids are beholden to whatver rules Apple imposes. A better route would be an open device that allows for an understanding of how it works along with innovation.

      Out in the real world nobody gives a flying fuck how their devices work as long as they do work. These iPads are not being bought as devices to help people learn to program, so it really doesn't matter if they are open or not.

      The real tragedy here is not that the new shiny text book e-readers are Apple built, but that they are spending the money on shiny technical gizmos of any colour rather than better teachers and teaching. It is a clear demonstration of incompetence on the part of the relevant authorit

  • Why iPad? Reading textbooks and answering questions doesn't seem like it requires a premium tablet. Why not a much cheaper Android one?
  • by modmans2ndcoming (929661) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @04:14PM (#44401673)

    A 30 year bond to pay for technology that is outmoded in less than 5 years?

    smh

  • by Chas (5144) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @04:22PM (#44401723) Homepage Journal

    Yeah. But MOSTLY Apple.
    Sure, the stupid DRM'ed online-only "book" companies too.
    Oh, and all the Apple stores around the area for when the little "darlings" inevitably break something.

    I'd rather this money have gone into things that would actually BENEFIT these kids' education. Like building new schools or staggered school hours to reduce class sizes. Setting tighter metrics (or ANY metrics for that matter) on teachers to weed out the incompetent. Hell, increased police presence to help tone down the gang bangers.

    But nope! Kidz gotsta haz teh bling bling!

    Fucking morons...

  • In all honesty, if I was a parent of a pupil in LA, I'd ask them if they lost their mind and replaced it with an iBrain. Or something similarly locked-down and inflexible.

    What the hell is this supposed to accomplish? What do they think the kids are going to do with those iPads? Learn? Please, don't make me laugh.

    First, these things will be jailbroken before you're done handing them out. It will probably finally give the geeks in class a bit of street cred as they'll be the ones to go to if you want your Pad

  • by greggman (102198) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @04:54PM (#44401897) Homepage

    Most likely this will be considered a computer for each child. Since Apple's app policy disallows programming environments on iOS it's likely that this will lead to many children not being introduced to programming.

    • by jsepeta (412566)

      and how many LA schools teach computer programming? computer programming courses have been pretty much wiped out of the K-12 curriculum nationwide.

  • LAUSD already barely has money to buy paper and pencils, and now they've found money for this?

    As a Cisco shareholder I thank LAUSD for requiring wireless in every classroom and additional WAN uplinks... etc etc etc...

    The iPADs are a way to get around paying the teachers more. "Ok class, now watch the video on your iPAD..."

  • Why an iPad? Seriously if they want to go the tablet form factor there are plenty of alternatives that are cheaper and just as bit as good for the job involved.

    This is just another throw-technology-at-the-problem situation that will, yet again, produce no observable benefits. $30 million only for the first 31,000 students. What a joke.

  • paper and pencil (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fafaforza (248976) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:55PM (#44402235)

    Americans and Russians put people in space with the above. School education was no different. Why do people think a gadget is necessary.

    And the usual defense is, "kids need to be ready for the technological working world." They'll have many, many years to become experts with technology, just through their normal use of it. And if they need to know Excel, they'll take a boring business administration course track like the rest of us.

    Watch us continue going down in international match scores.

  • Steve Jobs' opinion (Score:5, Informative)

    by JazzHarper (745403) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @06:18PM (#44402367) Journal

    “I used to think that technology could help education. I’ve probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet. But I’ve had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.”
    -- Steve Jobs, Wired, February 1996

  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Monday July 29, 2013 @07:50AM (#44410935)
    So hide the crap teachers behind the face of expensive tablets? This is going to be a great system!

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