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.