Los Angeles school district earmarks $115M for additional iPads

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
The Los Angeles Board of Education on Wednesday agreed to move forward with its iPad-based education initiative when it unanimously voted in favor of a $115 million plan to mete out Apple's tablet to an additional 38 campuses within the L.A. Unified School District.

Education


According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, the decision lifts a cap on the number of iPads L.A. Unified can procure as part of standardized testing scheduled for this spring.

In voting for the $115 million proposal, the board sided with schools Superintendent John Deasy, who has championed the iPad effort since its inception in July 2013. An oversight panel advised against the large tablet buy, recommending 38,500 units would be more than enough for the district's purposes. School staff requested 67,500 iPads, but the final number will be somewhere in between, the board said.

"The whole point of this program is to revolutionize instruction," said board member Marcia Garcia said. She added that students from low-income households may not have access "to what is a part of all our worlds today. I don't understand how cutting back what's good is good for kids."

L.A. Unified is in the midst of a $1 billion push to upgrade its curriculum from books to digital media. An integral part of the plan is to equip 640,000 students with iPads, each priced at $768 including support infrastructure. The high-tech rollout will account for all technology funds allotted through school construction bonds.

The program has seen a fair share of problems over the past months, however. In September, students founds a way to bypass school-installed security restrictions, allowing them access to websites like YouTube and Facebook. The incident prompted the repossession of iPads from at least two area schools.

Later in October, confusion over Apple's bulk purchase discount led to reports that the project was over budget. LAUSD first pegged each tablet as costing $678, but it was later confirmed the actual price was closer to $770. As per Apple's arrangement, the quoted $678 kicks in only after the district spends $400 million, worth 520,000 iPads.

As for the future of L.A. Unified's tech initiative, Deasy said Apple has agreed to supply the latest iPad hardware at no extra charge. Previously, contract terms had the district paying a premium price for legacy tablets.

In addition, LAUSD is attempting to negotiate a deal for iPads used specifically for testing. The tablets would come without the usual built-in digital curriculum developed by Pearson in exchange for a $200 to $300 price cut. Testing packages would also not include Apple TV units, which are now supplied to each classroom as part of the original contract.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,331member

    You know why schools are buying iPads for education? Because they work. They give kids great software and allow them to focus on one, easy to use app at a time. I can attest first hand that my son (now 3-1/2) has learned a lot from playing with a few great and free apps available on the app store.

  • Reply 2 of 32

    so we're laying off teachers and enforcing a hiring freeze to buy gadgets???

  • Reply 3 of 32

    Just one opinion..

     

    "The whole point of this program is to revolutionize instruction"

     

    You know what would revolutionize instruction, LAUSD? Using that $115M to hire and help retain the best teachers possible. Teachers are the ones who make a difference, not iPads, or those "smart boards", or any technology that, by the time the kids enter the work force, will be far, far obsolete.

     

    "low-income households may not have access 'to what is a part of all our worlds today. I don't understand how cutting back what's good is good for kids.' "

     

    You know what's good for kids? Books, and teachers who care. Just because low-income households do not have access to iPads and others do, don't make them indispensable tools which everyone needs to have access to. They're fun things, we all love to spend our disposable income on.

     

    There's just not enough studies to show that iPads -- or eventually, I'm sure, "Google Glass", and whatever the next awful thing is coming next will actually enhance young children's education and not increase the number of ADHD kids.

     

    Frellus

    (Parent of two young daughters, in IT but not a fan of 'any' technology being a good thing for kids, and not a fan of LAUSD if you couldn't tell.. :mad:)

  • Reply 4 of 32
    WOW! WOW! WOW!
    The replacement of textbooks is a major opportunity. This could be just the tip of the iceberg.
    And it takes advantage of their ecosystem.
    And what enterprises could they invest in to take advantage of their cash?
    They might use their cash to finance bonds for poorer districts to buy their tablets.
    No competition from Amazon
    And the interactivity that will enable people to communicate remotely.
    And upgrade the textbooks much much easier
    But think of the trees whose life will be spared, and the water pollution from the sawmills.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    esoomesoom Posts: 155member

    I have a fair bit of Apple stock and an iP5s, iPad Air, and a Retina Mini, and I live in LA.

     

    These idiots are selling school bonds intended for long term infrastructure (buildings, parking lots and such) to buy iPads.

     

    It's the equivalent of taking out a 2nd mortgage and buying something that wears out like a car well before the loan is paid off.

     

    While I love Apple and am happy for the sales, god damn, the school administrators can't do grade school math?

  • Reply 6 of 32

    I have a 3 year old son just about to turn 4.  He has used an iPad all his life, and he has certainly learned a lot from it.  If the iPads are used as part of a well rounded curriculum ,I am all for them. Why is this so ?

     

    1. Many children seem to engage with electronic devices better than they do with books, this is especially true of most boys I know and certainly true of my son, and I think the interactive experience on an iPad in many textbooks that are produced is far superior to the traditional text book;

     

    2. This move though costing close to $800 per unit is initially seems expensive but will save a hell of a lot on purchasing books, photocopying and similar, and so they are much more environmentally friendly than traditional textbooks;

     

    3.Digital textbooks will be easier to update than traditional textbooks ensuring that students have the most current and up-to-date information rather than relying on old and out-of-date volumes that many schools have (this is a huge problem as a traditional text is a 'buy once option');

     

    4. Students will not have to carry around backpacks that are in most cases larger than they are in order to take all the textbooks they need to school and back and this will also prevent a lot of back injuries and associated issues;

     

    5. iPads are more robust than textbooks, you can't rip pages out of the iPad and indeed my son has had an iPad 1 since he was born and it has withstood all the punishment that a toddler etc can throw at it and still operates perfectly and it doesn't have a case;

     

    6. iOS devices are long term supported, 3 years plus in some current cases and so the software is always up to date, so from that perspective they are long lived and will no doubt live quite long lives in comparison with other devices; 

     

    7. Many organisations use digital devices in the mobile space and having iPads at school will prepare children for the digital world of business... while the iPad might not always be with us in the long term, having been replaced by something else, our children will be familiar with digital devices and thus take to these devices and new concepts much more easily.... its an issue that I see reflected in my workplace... the younger generations X and Y who were brought up with computers have a much easier time adapting to digital change and its easier for them to grasp new digital concepts; and 

     

    8. If children from lower income families are provided with these devices it may help to bridge the digital divide that has stratified our society. I think these devices are key to learning in this day and age and in some instances can replace a teacher because there are many and varied learning styles, and some children may not be as forthcoming in class and may be able to learn more effectively from one on one interaction with a digital device compared to the more outgoing who prefer one on one with people\teachers. I know as an INTJ I preferred the former.

  • Reply 7 of 32
    Outstanding comment!
  • Reply 8 of 32

    *Thanks* :) 

  • Reply 9 of 32
    iPads do save money as compared to text books, it is more interactive and able to custom tailor by the teachers... Go with the world...just take out the games
  • Reply 10 of 32
    What if the federal government decided to allow companies to repatriate their foreign cash, if they in turn invested it in projects like buying municipal bonds to fund such projects as the LA School system purchase of IPads to replace books. Instead of having a blanket program. Let each company submit their planned use of the money, and be judged on its merits.
    Set up a bipartisan commission and have both the legislative and executive branches involved.

    Imagine the effect that it could have on helping the USA's future by providing better education, at a lower cost. Particularly in the poorer neighborhoods. This country's future depends on the education of all the people.
    Bottom line, now all this money is overseas, and it could be back here solving some problems. NOW!
  • Reply 11 of 32
    flabingo wrote: »
    What if the federal government decided to allow companies to repatriate their foreign cash, if they in turn invested it in projects like buying municipal bonds to fund such projects as the LA School system purchase of IPads to replace books. Instead of having a blanket program. Let each company submit their planned use of the money, and be judged on its merits.
    Set up a bipartisan commission and have both the legislative and executive branches involved.

    Imagine the effect that it could have on helping the USA's future by providing better education, at a lower cost. Particularly in the poorer neighborhoods. This country's future depends on the education of all the people.
    Bottom line, now all this money is overseas, and it could be back here solving some problems. NOW!

    Believe it or not education isn't something that can be "solved" by throwing more money at the problems because it really comes down to whether or not the students are individually engaged and willing to learn. At least with the iPad students actually do seem to want to engage.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    Main issue is bringing the money NOW to help the USA
  • Reply 13 of 32
    frellus wrote: »
    Just one opinion..

    "The whole point of this program is to revolutionize instruction"

    You know what would revolutionize instruction, LAUSD? Using that $115M to hire and help retain the best teachers possible. Teachers are the ones who make a difference, not iPads, or those "smart boards", or any technology that, by the time the kids enter the work force, will be far, far obsolete.

    < bla bla bla >

    Frellus
    (Parent of two young daughters, in IT but not a fan of 'any' technology being a good thing for kids, and not a fan of LAUSD if you couldn't tell.. :mad: )

    The iPads are replacing paper books that can't be updated, not teachers. The costs of instructional books are horrible, ask any college student that has to buy them.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by frellus View Post

     

    Just one opinion..

     

    < bla bla bla >

     

    There's just not enough studies to show that iPads -- or eventually, I'm sure, "Google Glass", and whatever the next awful thing is coming next will actually enhance young children's education and not increase the number of ADHD kids.

     

    Frellus

    (Parent of two young daughters, in IT but not a fan of 'any' technology being a good thing for kids, and not a fan of LAUSD if you couldn't tell.. :mad:)


     

    LOL, Your forgot to add "Google Fan".  ( Note that Google Glass is not even a product yet. )

    ADHD ?  Are you nuts? 

    The LAUSD investment now will quickly give it a quality and economic advantage in educational media.

    This is not only good for LAUSD, it good for the country.

     

    The idea is to be #1 in education.  The US has developed a powerful educational tool in the iPad.

    Should it let the rest of the world take advantage of it while it sits on its butt?

    Wake up and smell the coffee will you?  There is national interest at stake here.

  • Reply 15 of 32
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,794member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by frellus View Post

     

    Just one opinion..

     

    "The whole point of this program is to revolutionize instruction"

     

    You know what would revolutionize instruction, LAUSD? Using that $115M to hire and help retain the best teachers possible. Teachers are the ones who make a difference, not iPads, or those "smart boards", or any technology that, by the time the kids enter the work force, will be far, far obsolete.

     

    "low-income households may not have access 'to what is a part of all our worlds today. I don't understand how cutting back what's good is good for kids.' "

     

    You know what's good for kids? Books, and teachers who care. Just because low-income households do not have access to iPads and others do, don't make them indispensable tools which everyone needs to have access to. They're fun things, we all love to spend our disposable income on.

     

    There's just not enough studies to show that iPads -- or eventually, I'm sure, "Google Glass", and whatever the next awful thing is coming next will actually enhance young children's education and not increase the number of ADHD kids.

     

    Frellus

    (Parent of two young daughters, in IT but not a fan of 'any' technology being a good thing for kids, and not a fan of LAUSD if you couldn't tell.. :mad:)


     

    What an ignorant post. You sound like these parents that go to board meetings and conferences that bitch up a storm and think you know what you're talking about when you don't have a clue as to how a school system works. If you're against the LASD, thats fine, but don't just against it just to go against the LASD. YOU are the one hurting the kids then. 

     

    If used effectively, iPads can be a wonderful tool to assist children with learning, especially if you have a learning disability, or just a disability in general. It can also help with regular students further succeed. There are a massive amount of education apps out there which is why school's continue to use iPads over Android and Windows tablets. The infrastructure just isn't there for Android and Windows tablets to be a mainstream tablet in the education sector. Yes, some schools choose Android over iOS, and I'd like to see how they're using them effectively. 

     

    All the money in the world isn't going to make a student with a learning disability a better student, but if they could have something thats interactive and fun you can bet the farm that they'll learn a lot better. Just being able to use an electronic device instead of an 8yr old textbook thats outdated should engage them more. Money doesn't solve everything. It certainly doesn't get the best teachers in the world. No one works in education for the money. Anyone who works in education will tell you that unless they're some kind of administrator.  

  • Reply 16 of 32
    Since everyone is giving their opinions I will give mine. Good teachers are definitely a part of a good education. I will not argue that. This is just one part. Parents play one of the biggest roles in developing kids. Parents need to be involved or the greatest teacher in the world will not make a the difference. As for technology...for those of you that say books are the future can get together with the stone tablet folks and find a cave. iPads or equivalent are going to drive a higher level of learning. More kids engage and relate to this technology. It also offers great opportunities to keep content relevant. Studying with my daughter last night she tells me that Saturn has 16 moons according to her text book. She says "doesn't Saturn have over 50?" and of course it does it has 62 that have been identified. Point being the text is outdated like in many schools. With current advancements content needs to be updated frequently. The cost to update text books would be and is cost prohibitive. Most school systems are struggling with how to move forward which is a more complex issue than most think.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Esoom View Post

     

    I have a fair bit of Apple stock and an iP5s, iPad Air, and a Retina Mini, and I live in LA.

     

    These idiots are selling school bonds intended for long term infrastructure (buildings, parking lots and such) to buy iPads.

     

    It's the equivalent of taking out a 2nd mortgage and buying something that wears out like a car well before the loan is paid off.

     

    While I love Apple and am happy for the sales, god damn, the school administrators can't do grade school math?


     

    Doesn't this really depend on a few other variables? For example, is this move saving the schools money in terms of traditional textbooks, and technology purchases (e.g/.computers)? Also are the purchases paying off in terms of educating kids? I can't answer the first question, but based on how I see kids engaged with their electronic devices, I would have to imagine using iPads might be an effective way to reach kids. 

     

    Lots of people take out second mortgages to consolidate debt. That can be a good move if you are getting a lower interest payment on the second mortgage, and you have the ability to pay it back. If you run into trouble paying it back, you will probably lose your house. 

  • Reply 18 of 32
    technotechno Posts: 697member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flabingo View Post



    What if the federal government decided to allow companies to repatriate their foreign cash, if they in turn invested it in projects like buying municipal bonds to fund such projects as the LA School system purchase of IPads to replace books. Instead of having a blanket program. Let each company submit their planned use of the money, and be judged on its merits.

    Set up a bipartisan commission and have both the legislative and executive branches involved.



    Imagine the effect that it could have on helping the USA's future by providing better education, at a lower cost. Particularly in the poorer neighborhoods. This country's future depends on the education of all the people.

    Bottom line, now all this money is overseas, and it could be back here solving some problems. NOW!



    Believe it or not education isn't something that can be "solved" by throwing more money at the problems because it really comes down to whether or not the students are individually engaged and willing to learn. At least with the iPad students actually do seem to want to engage.

     

    No, as with most things, this can't be solved by just throwing cash at it. You must have resources and quality staff. However, is it a coincidence that the schools with more money and resources have more engaged students? Yes, the iPads engage the students. Smartboards are great tools when used properly. Good teachers are an important part of the equation.

     

    I really like the idea that Flabingo suggests. My fear is that by the time it was passed through all offices of the decision makers, it would be at best a watered down version of the plan or at worst just a loophole for the corporations.

  • Reply 19 of 32
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    No they are laying off teachers because they don't have enough tax revenue because so many people are unemployed.

     

    After 2 years the tablets will pay for themselves with the amount of book costs that are saved.  Year 3-5 the school will be saving big money using tablets.  That's not to mention that it offers a superior learning experience compared to a $200 textbook.


     

    You hit the nail on the head. People are unemployed, the population is growing, the tax revenue is dropping, and schools are expected to provide services to more students with less money. People will crucify me I am sure, but that is why loosening up immigration polices make no sense. If you have ten jobs, but twenty people who need jobs, you don't solve the problem of employing the remaining ten unemployed people by bringing in another ten people. Countries that are weathering or prospering in this economic downturn have very tight immigration policies. The US is screwed. 

     

    You also make a good point about textbook costs. I am taking a class now. I had to buy one textbook that did not even come with a hardcover, and it cost $180.  I am not convinced that that the iPads in the long term cost more than textbooks.

  • Reply 20 of 32
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flabingo View Post



    What if the federal government decided to allow companies to repatriate their foreign cash, if they in turn invested it in projects like buying municipal bonds to fund such projects as the LA School system purchase of IPads to replace books. Instead of having a blanket program. Let each company submit their planned use of the money, and be judged on its merits.

    Set up a bipartisan commission and have both the legislative and executive branches involved.



    Imagine the effect that it could have on helping the USA's future by providing better education, at a lower cost. Particularly in the poorer neighborhoods. This country's future depends on the education of all the people.

    Bottom line, now all this money is overseas, and it could be back here solving some problems. NOW!

     

     

    US companies CAN repatriate their foreign cash. They just have to pay a tax. Some people think that is unfair. However, the US budget for overseas non-military operations is huge. This money is used to advance US trade interest, which largely benefits US companies many of which are building and selling stuff overseas. Why is it fair that regular US taxpayers should fund US trade operations overseas that for the most part do not benefit them? 

     

    Your idea is interesting, however, the way the US would do it is just forgive the tax debt and let companies do what they would with the money. If history is any measure, most would not reinvest a bulk of the money in things like job creation. 

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