iPad Year One advert (school kids)

The school district that attempted to rollout iPads to its students last year—only to scrap the entire plan when the students proved too smart for the technical limits placed on the devices—will once again try to place technology in the lives of its students. This time, however, the iPad won’t be an option.

Officials said that many of the students weren’t comfortable on the Apple tablet, citing the screen size difficulty the students had doing all of their typing on the touch screen as one of the factors. This year’s lineup of tech tools includes a number of Windows-based laptops from various manufacturers, and the Microsoft Surface tablet, which sports a detachable keyboard.

The program will cost the district no more than $40 million and will operate in 27 different high schools. The contract has not yet been finalized but is expected to be very soon. Once it is, students and educators will test five different laptops (and the Surface tablet) to determine which ones should be used in the future.

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22 Responses to “Los Angeles school district revisits failed plan to give students iPads, this time without the iPads”

  1. axecop says:

    I truly doubt the touch screen size was an issue for typing. None of my students have this issue. What it sounds like is saving face for not planning a proper implementation and someone doing a sweet deal with Microsoft…May as well get them cheap laptops if you’re just going to type documents. What a waste.


  2. The Surface keyboards will only last a couple of months LOL, I don’t understand the screen size issue, people really like small tablets and teenagers are used to touch screens, at least on smartphones which are way smaller!!!


  3. A chromebook seems or notebook seems more useful for education than iPads. I really don’t get the iPad fad–especially for education. E-textbooks haven’t taken off on the iPad. For which educational purpose does it have an advantage?


    • I can see the Surface’s Snap feature through Windows 8 being quite useful for education if they still wanna go the tablet route. I remember often having assignments that involved reading chapters in a book and having to answer questions about the text at the end. Or working on math problems based on concepts presented in the very chapter. I would’ve LOVED being able to do that stuff side-by-side on a mobile device.


  4. RP says:

    I love the iPad, but it was foolish to try and go with iPads in the first place. There are far less expensive tablets and laptops for school use. Schools which could ill afford them in the first place. Technology in most schools is sorely needed, but sadly there is no turnkey solution available yet for elementary schools, let alone the money or the trained educators or curriculum.


  5. Such a huge embarrassment for Apple. It’s positively sickening for a shareholder to hear something like that. Apple has to end up playing second fiddle to Microsoft and Windows. The iPad was supposed to be able to take the place of Windows computers but failed horribly. Microsoft wins again. Why can’t Apple get the basics right. If the Surface wins out over the iPad, Apple needs to go back to the drawing board.


    • borntofeel says:

      Supposed to? Who ever said that?


    • WTF are you smoking? The issue was NEVER about the screen size of iPads. The issue was the kids were too good on the devices and were able to bypass the restrictions placed onto the devices by a bunch of dip sh*t stupid IT guys from the school district. This whole excuse about screen size is pure PR to try and justify their move to Microsoft crap devices. A move I’m sure Microsoft came in with, strong arming the district to accept, likely with rock bottom prices on older Surface hardware they couldn’t sell themselves if their lives depended on it.

      I’ve seen the iPads in action for education, and they destroy the Surface, or any Windows 8 based device.


    • Robert Paul says:

      What a Microsoft hack. Apple has the most stable and usable hardware and software around. Its just as I discover not many people how to use them correctly. When used the proper way they are great tools that need very little repair. Plus you don’t have to worry about massive Licensing issues or multiple operating systems to figure out which one is best for you. You keep at that PC Steffen I hope it blue screens on you soon.


    • rafalb177 says:

      Wins? Now that they’ve learnt from Apple how to actually build tablets and so desperately trying to make it look different after so many years of being laughed at for ripping of the Mac. Before they were installing desktop OS on tablets, now they’re doing the opposite, trying to turn their desktop into tablets. Windows 8 is one big failure. Although cheap crap is easier to sell.


  6. rogifan says:

    I call BS on this. This is face saving and someone else, i.e. Microsoft or a Google giving them a sweet deal. Anyway in Minnesota we just had a metro area school district do an iPad deal so iPads in the classroom certainly aren’t dead.


  7. Peter Rooke says:

    I was involved in investigating a bid for the original tender. It was clear the project wasn’t going to be a success on the timeframe and demands the District was planning.

    I’m really glad to see the slower approach now and hope that a fair number of schools see the benefits of the iPad, provided they’re prepared to give the teaching staff the training and support to enable transformational learning.


  8. Yeah, I think that this is far more the LA school system’s screw up than Apple’s.

    Our local school system is going on its second year now of one-to-one iPads for all students fifth grade and up. To solve the keyboard “problem” they supply bluetooth keyboard cases for all high school students and a set of bluetooth keyboards for classroom requisition at the middle school level when a teacher is doing a writing unit.

    At home we bought my daughter a bluetooth keyboard, but when she is doing long form “typing” she tends to use the dictation feature for the majority of the input.

    As for those wondering why iPads? Seriously? It is the software. The iPad, especially for education has by far the best selection of educational programs. As for the e-books, there has been a big push in the district for the school system to create their own e-textbooks. The school system would then own this material, meaning no more paying for textbooks, and could customize it as the district best feels it needs to be for our students.

    Anyone who thinks that laptops are the way to go is dreadfully outdated. The kids love the tablet form factor, and I have seen them do amazing things with the tablets that I doubt they ever could have done with any laptop. So, if the LA school system does decide to go with something else, I truly hope that they go with the Surface. As laptops are definitely not where education is moving, and rightfully so.


  9. Nice commercial for Microsoft… Expect as little as usual from LAUSD as usual. No surprise and good luck with all the IT support that will be needed for those devices…


  10. eldernorm says:

    It seems no one knows that wireless keyboards work just fine with iPads, iPhones, iPod touches and of course, the Mac computers.


    • Agreed, I put a Logitech Ultra Thin Portfolio case on my iPad Mini, and it’s fantastic! Using it to write this right now, and it brings a whole new level of functionality to the iPad, whilst my work issues Surface RT is in a drawer somewhere collecting dust.


  11. The comments on here are pretty incredible. I can’t imagine anyone thinking it is a good idea to subject students to use iPads for the majority of their work. As a recent PhD recipient I’ve spent quite a lot of time in school, and quite a few of those years with a computer. Trying to take notes fast enough for a class on a touch keyboard would be insane. Asking students to type out papers or assignments with a touch screen would be cruel. And did someone really suggest they could do it with a phone?

    Lets not forget that the Surfaces come with office, the full office, especially the full blown OneNote. This is a pretty serious advantage. And Surface keyboards last a lot longer than a couple of months. I’ve yet to see one of even the first gen’s go bad.


    • jrox16 says:

      There are a multitude of bluetooth keyboards which work with the iPad, including keyboard cases. Office is also available on the iPad now, but in reality, Apple’s iWork suite is far better for students. In fact, I’m a 38 year old professional business person and prefer Pages and Numbers to Word and Excel by a long shot. Much cleaner, easier, and more intuitive to use. And whatever features iWork might be missing, are features rarely if ever used by the average consumer or student. Not to mention the iPad gets nearly twice the battery life of a Surface, which also helps. Not sure why the debate is between an iPad without a keyboard, and a Surface with a keyboard. Both have detachable keyboards available at additional cost.
      All that being said, I don’t think either is a good idea for public school unless they really plan to use iBooks textbooks (then go with iPad obviously). The best would be cheap windows laptops for $350.


  12. bawl (@bawl) says:

    The idea that the iPad is the end all be all is silly. It is a low powered low performance device. It is great for what it does but it can’t do everything. I saw a teacher hand out iPads to her class and have them do web research. I saw the students read the web site, go to the home screen, select the note app, add a note go back to the home screen then the browser. It was stupid and using the 20″ monitors on the computers in the lab would be a much better use of time but they were new and everyone was excited. A couple years later and they aren’t being used except as tumblr devices. iPads do have a lot of apps but that doesn’t mean they can do everything or are perfect for all uses. Also their cost ($490+/$100 Apple care Apple does not offer very big discounts) for what you get really isn’t great. If you figure a $30 case plus a base 10″ iPad you are paying $620ish per unit. That is laptop territory. iPads are great in special and early education but as kids get older they need to create more rather than simply consume content. This is not the iPads strong suit. Not it’s fault, just how it is. I use this analogy for content creation between a laptop and tablet. Houses have doors and windows. Both will get you in and out but one is clearly better than the other. Also as far as schools one final analogy. If school can only buy one vehicle per student would you have them buy the two seater roadster or a four door sedan? The two seater roadster will get you where you need to go but want to take more than one person or get some groceries you are out of luck.