schools Stories May 23, 2016

AAPL: 96.43

1.21

Apple and the Maine Department of Education are swapping out iPads for MacBooks after a survey found that students and teachers alike favored laptops for older students. The deal means that there will be no additional cost to schools for exchanging the devices, reports the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.

Auburn School Department Technology Director Peter Robinson said that the success of iPads in primary grades had make them look like the right choice at the time, but they have turned out to be less than ideal for older students …

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schools Stories January 13, 2016

AAPL: 97.39

-2.57

Phil Schiller said in 2013 that “education is in Apple’s DNA,” and it’s no exaggeration. The company’s commitment to the education sector was there from the very beginning. Steve Jobs told the Smithsonian that he wanted to donate a computer to every school in the U.S. as long ago as 1979.

I thought if there was just one computer in every school, some of the kids would find it. It will change their life. We saw the rate at which this was happening and the rate at which the school bureaucracies were deciding to buy a computer for the school and it was real slow. We realized that a whole generation of kids was going to go through the school before they even got their first computer so we thought the kids can’t wait. We wanted to donate a computer to every school in America.

The company couldn’t afford it in those days, but Steve lobbied Congress to introduce a bill that would have created sufficient tax breaks to make it possible. That attempt failed, but Apple did succeed in brokering a tax deal in California that saw the company donate an Apple IIe to every school in California. Apple led the PC market in education for a time, and even created education-specific Mac models.

More recently, Apple appeared set to bring its educational success into the iPad era in 2013 when it announced a $30M deal (that would eventually have been worth a quarter of a billion dollars) to equip every student in the LA Unified School District with an iPad. If that program had succeeded, it would have created a template for rolling out similar ones across the whole of the USA. Instead, it failed catastrophically, and it now appears that Chromebooks are winning where iPads have failed …

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schools Stories April 17, 2015

We learned yesterday that the Los Angeles Unified School District may sue Apple for “millions of dollars” following the collapse of its plans to provide every student with an iPad. The mess eventually led to an FBI investigation and a federal review.

The latest development, as ever reported by the LA Times, says that the program is now the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into whether funds were misused in the $1.3B project …  expand full story

schools Stories March 2, 2015

Apple told employees during a week at the flagship Berlin Apple Store in Germany that the company will increase its focus on product accessibility by putting executive Lisa Jackson in charge of the efforts, according to people in attendance. Asked by an Apple Store employee if the Apple Watch will include accessibility features, Cook reportedly replied:

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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.

schools Stories September 26, 2013

ipads-education

The LA Times is reporting that the distribution of iPads to all 640,000 students in the LA school district may be temporarily halted after high school pupils worked out how to bypass the restrictions placed on the devices. Apple announced back in June that an initial start to the rollout was worth $30M.

While the school networks block apps such as facebook while at school, a personal profile was used to limit usage of the devices when taken home. Within a week, children at Theodore Roosevelt High School had worked out that deleting this profile removed the restrictions …  expand full story

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