Board of education Stories April 16, 2015

The Los Angeles Unified School District is exploring the possibility of litigation against Apple over the failed project intended to provide every student with an iPad, reports the LA Times.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

The project ran into early problems when students figured out how to bypass the restrictions designed to ensure the devices could be used only for school work, shortly before the district was accused of having miscalculated the cost of the program. The program was suspended last year, and later abandoned after deciding iPads were the wrong device. This was far from the end of the story, however …  expand full story

Board of education Stories January 13, 2015

LA Unified School District ‘iPad for every student’ plan doomed from the start, says federal review

A federal review of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s plan to give an iPad to every one of its 640,000 students concluded that it was plagued by problems right from the start, reports the LA Times.

The report criticizes the scheme for unclear goals, use of school construction bonds to fund the scheme, failure to consider cheaper options, lack of teacher training, failure to upgrade Internet connections, poor security and poor support for lesson-planning around the iPads. So, er, pretty much everything, really.

“Among the most significant gaps we identified was the absence of district-wide instructional technology leadership,” the report stated.

The first public glitch in the program was when students figured out how to bypass the security restrictions designed to limit the devices to educational use. Next it was suggested that the school district had gotten its sums wrong on the true cost of the scheme.

A subsequent review backtracked on the plan to standardize on iPads, before the program was suspended and then permanently closed as the FBI opened an investigation into whether any laws had been broken.

Apple remains strongly committed to the education sector, last October creating a microsite to highlight its support for the ConnectED program focused on bringing Internet access and technology to schools in need. Tim Cook said in July of last year that Apple has an 85% share of the tablet market within US education.

Board of education Stories June 26, 2012

It looks like Apple may actually use Reno Nevada for something more than a Tax haven.

According to several local reports, Apple is currently considering building a new data center in Nevada. KRNV & MyNews4.com reported today that Apple representatives attended a Washoe County Commission meeting to discuss plans to invest $1 billion over 10 years and build a new data center at the Reno Technology Park:

News 4’s Ben Briscoe is at the Washoe County Commission meeting, where Officials from Apple are speaking to commissioners… Mary-Sarah Kinner, the Press Secretary for the Governor’s Office confirms to News 4 the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is involved in the deal to bring Apple to Northern Nevada.

The report claimed Apple said it plans to begin construction in August and hopes to finish by the end of 2012. Although the Governor’s Office apparently estimated the project would result in over 300 jobs and 500 construction jobs, the Washoe County School Board and the Reno City Council still have to sign off on the deal. Mynews4.com reported the City of Reno is expected to make a decision at tomorrow’s council meeting. Apple already operates its own data centers in Maiden, N.C., and it recently announced plans to expand at the location and on 160 acres of land it purchased in Prineville, Ore.

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San Diego Unified School District purchases $10M worth of iPads for students

According to several local media reports, including the one above from ABC 10News, the San Diego Unified School District recently purchased almost 26,000 iPads at a cost of over $10 million. The order, which will put iPads in approximately 340 classrooms for around $370 each ($30 off retail per unit), is the largest iPad rollout for a K-12 school district, and it will benefit children from fifth-grade to high school. SD Unified will also buy support and app packages, which likely explains the $15 million purchase reported by news outlets. 10News said some have questioned the district’s decision:

Some have questioned SD Unified’s purchase of $15 million worth of iPads for 340 classrooms. One 10News Facebook fan wrote: “I’m so confused. I thought we couldn’t afford to even pay the teachers, how can they afford 26,000 iPads???… 10News learned the district is paying for the iPads through Proposition S funding. The measure, passed in 2008 by 69 percent of the vote, specifically sets aside money for “up-to-date classroom technology.”

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