In an ongoing effort to equip more classrooms with tablets and computers, the Los Angeles Board of Education has green lighted a plan to distribute and integrate iPads in nearly 40 campuses throughout the school district, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal which was approved allots $115 million for deploying between 40,000 and 70,000 tablets to classrooms for use by students and teachers used especially for spring-scheduled standardized testing.

While the final count has yet to be determined, the agreement approved by the education board omits a specific limit on number of iPads deployed. The board and district superintendent have both expressed plans to expedite the deployment, though that effort has not been without critics looking to spend more time on the plan specifics.

Board member Monica Garcia said moving quickly was an educational imperative.

“The whole point of this program is to revolutionize instruction,” Garcia said. Low-income students don’t get access “to what is a part of all our worlds today…. I don’t understand how cutting back what’s good is good for kids.”

LA Times also reports the district will pay $768 per device which is relatively higher than what other districts spend, but includes network upgrades to the schools as well as iPad-specific curriculum for the classrooms.

Officials representing the school district appear to be in talks with Apple on discounted tablet pricing for devices used solely for student testing where a curriculum may not be necessary.

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19 Responses to “LA Board of Education approves $115-million deal to bring iPads to classrooms”

  1. Well this will change the classroom now won’t it?


  2. OneOkami says:

    My gut tells me half of those iPads will be greatly scuffed, damaged or plain broken within a year.


  3. Laughing_Boy48 says:

    I can only say “Wow!” I sure hope it works out for both Apple and the L.A. BoE. When are the major corporations going to start distributing iPads like that in place of Windows desktops? Soon, I hope.


    • frankman91 says:

      Is this sarcastic? What the hell job could you do using only an ipad? I’m a mechanical engineer so I run mathematics and 3d modeling software, none of which would run on anything short of a portable workstation, but even if you count that as the acceptation, how comfortable would you be with your financial accountant handling payroll on an ipad? If I found out team handling my 401k was handling my retirement on a 10 inch angry birds machine my head would explode!


      • todd says:

        pssst…. wanna tell ya something………… MOST PEOPLE ARENT MECHANICAL F*****G ENGINEERS. Go back to your bridge troll. No one cares what you think ok?


      • @Frankman91 Its about the content and the simplicity. Apple’s iOS is far more intuitive than any windows or google tablet out there. Add that to the larger and more tailored apps for education and you have the reason why iOS and OS X are being adopted more often in industries and schools worldwide.


      • Mike Lindahl says:

        The sarcasm is in your post @ frankman91! They are not using them to render 3d modeling or handling a 401K program. They are using them in place of textbooks, to record and perform research, as well as take notes, and give presentations. Looks like anyone could be a mechanical engineer…


      • jlword says:

        @Mike Linhal Frankman91’s comment was in response to Laughing_Boy48’s statement..”When are the major corporations going to start distributing iPads like that in place of Windows desktops? Soon, I hope.” He was responding to the iPads use in corporations and included his profession as an engineer among the many corporations he felt the iPad would not be a good fit for compared to Windows devices.
        Your statement “They are using them in place of textbooks, to record and perform research, as well as take notes, and give presentations. Looks like anyone could be a mechanical engineer…” misses what he was addresses and mistakenly assumes he is addressing the ipads use in the classroom.

        I agree with Frankman91 that the iPad has intrinsic limits in the corporate realm that Windows based devices (especially in a well entrenched Windows IT infrastructure) Windows desktops, laptops and tablets a much better suited for.


      • frankman91 says:

        Thanks jlword!

        I am not saying that ipads don’t have uses, but the are very limited in the business world.

        For surfing the web, e-readers, flipping through text books they are fine. I just can’t think of any office jobs where you could throw you computer in the trash and just use an ipad.


  4. Anyone who lives in southern california knows how terrible this whole debacle has been already. They tried a pilot program which failed immediately, students bypassed the security measures put in place and were on you tube in the classroom, students took them home and they were never brought back and several were destroyed. They took back all the tablets and said they were going to re-evaluate the program. All they did was say “we will try different security measures” and went full steam ahead. This is a complete waste of taxpayer money and is the equivalent of handing students each $600 cash and telling them to flush it down the toilet.


  5. Yea Chicago did the same thing, They “Paid” for it with a 40 year bond. So kick that can down the road to the tune of $115 mil. But hey the Los Angeles Board of Education looks good today don’t they?


  6. Shaun G says:

    $768 per device seems a lot when you can buy them retail for $399 or $499. How much does a wifi network and some education software cost? Doesn’t seem like a good deal to me, especially when you consider the state of California is heavily in debt.


  7. Brian Meehan says:

    $768 doesn’t seem like too much per device. In our school district, I purchase the 32GB model (our first year with 16GB filled up too quickly) at $599, add on a $30-50 case to prevent damage and then about $30-$50 in apps over the course of the device’s 3 year projected life. Then there’s extra chargers and video adapters to stock. Not to mention increased Wi-Fi rollout. We had to go from 14 APs to 27 APs, and now up to 50 APs to handle the volume and density of Wi-Fi traffic. Perhaps they had to upgrade network closets to PoE switches, upgrade structural cabling with additional fibre links… there’s a lot that goes into a major device roll out like this.

    That being said, I’m glad I’m the IT Director for a small district, and not LA.


  8. Sanaya Irani says:

    It is to nice thing that the LA Board will approves the iPads for the class room. Students can be faster with this news technology.