iPad in schools 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.

iPad in schools Stories October 25, 2013

The LA Times is reporting that the LA Unified School District program to equip every student with an iPad will cost $100 more per iPad than initially budgeted.

The district reported in its latest budget for the iPad program that although it is eligible for the lower price it previously cited, the discount kicks in only after it spends $400 million on iPads. That would buy 520,000 tablets. Thus far, the district has committed to paying $30 million for iPads at 47 schools …  expand full story

iPad in schools Stories February 17, 2012

Apple began its full assault on education when it launched the iPad a few years ago. The iPad offers students apps and books that are used in the classroom to help students raise their test scores. While it is still on the way to seeing a larger adoption, Apple also introduced iBooks in January to help more in education, but how effective is the iPad in student learning?

To put some numbers behind the education work Apple is doing, The Loop profiled a report based off a study done throughout a Maine school district that indicated the iPad is improving kindergartner’s literacy scores.

The school district in Auburn, Maine assigned 16 iPads to a classroom of 16 kindergartens over a 9-week period. A total of 236 students were given literacy test before the 9-week testing period for the iPad began. Over the 9 week period, 129 students were taught using an iPad, while 137 students were taught the old fashion way. The school district found that students using an iPad out-performed students not using an iPad in every literacy test by a significant margin.

Principal Sue Dorris told how the iPad benefited the kindergartners in her school, “We are seeing high levels of student motivation, engagement and learning in the iPad classrooms.” Ms. Dorris also told of how they use apps to specifically target a child’s needs, “The apps, which teach and reinforce fundamental literacy concepts and skills, are engaging, interactive and provide children with immediate feedback. What’s more, teachers can customize apps to match the instructional needs of each child, so students are able to learn successfully at their own level and pace.”

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