Los Angeles school district to shift away from Apple's iPad to Windows, Chromebook

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2014
A report over the weekend confirmed the Los Angeles Unified School District is planning to switch up a $1 billion technology in education project, allowing certain high schools in its jurisdiction to choose from six different Windows and Chromebook laptops instead of Apple's iPad.

Education


According to the Los Angeles Times, LAUSD officials recently signed off on a plan that will let 27 high schools in the district choose from one of six laptop and hybrid computer designs, none of which are Apple products.

The new direction is a drastic shift from L.A. Unified's previous path to equip every student in the district with Apple's tablet.

"The benefit of the new approach is clear," said L.A. Unified school board member and chair of the panel that reviewed the educational technology initiative Monica Ratliff. "Why would we treat all our students -- whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman -- as if they all had the same technology needs? They don't...To have a one-device-fits-all approach does not make sense."

School administrators will be able to select from the Lenovo Yoga Touch, Microsoft's Surface Pro 2, the Dell Latitude E7240 and two Chromebook models. Total cost for the Windows machines are thought to run higher than Apple's iPad, while the Chromebooks will most likely cost less.

"Students were more comfortable on the laptop because of the amount of writing and the size of the screen. It was really hard to see the whole problem on the iPad." - Principal Carolyn McKnight, East L.A. Performing Arts MagnetIn addition to diversifying the platform base, some teachers said the iPad does not fit the needs of students taking standardized tests, citing insufficient screen size and the lack of a built-in keyboard as major deficiencies.

The board failed to address the additional costs likely associated with making a major platform switch halfway through the tech rollout, nor did it offer details on how schools plan to merge three distinct operating systems into a cohesive learning experience. Curriculum from Pearson, McGraw-Hill/StudySync and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are currently under review for deployment on the Windows and Chromebook machines.

Apple successfully brokered a deal in June 2013 to supply iPads preloaded with specialized educational software to LAUSD schools. The original contract was expected to grow to at least $500 million.

In January, the district earmarked another $115 million for additional iPads, though problems with the rollout put a hold on the program earlier this year. For example, the district halted distribution after students found a way to circumvent built-in security features denying them access to certain websites like Facebook and YouTube.

Critics also noted the project is running woefully over budget due to confusion regarding the bulk purchase discount Apple agreed to supply with the iPad buy. Ironically, L.A. Unified will only be eligible for special pricing after $400 million worth of iPads -- about 520,000 units -- are purchased.

LAUSD is injecting more than $1 billion into the technology initiative, with the first round of funding coming from voter-approved bonds. Sources of future funding are unknown and officials did not make clear whether any of that money will be put toward additional Apple products. For now, Apple is still scheduled to deliver what could be its last batch of iPads to select LAUSD schools this fall.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,299member
    Apple should've given them the extra discount before the 520k mark, they were making money anyway,

    You can bet this switch is all about money.
  • Reply 2 of 79
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,772member
    Interesting. If students need a traditional personal computer, well, Apple makes those too.

    I would argue though, that regardless, students could benefit from a quality e-textbook reader. And the iPad makes a fine platform for that.
  • Reply 3 of 79
    foadfoad Posts: 703member

    I spoke with an old friend who is high up in LAUSD (former high school teacher of mine and now in a position to know) and it pretty much boiled down to wheels getting greased. It isn't based on merit, which is par for the course in the LAUSD. It is one of the most dysfunctional districts. LAUSD is bureaucratically paralyzed and I am not shocked by this story in the least. 

  • Reply 4 of 79
    vaporlandvaporland Posts: 358member
    "hey kids, today's story is brought to you by the words 'hubris' and 'arrogance' and the number four hundred million"

    whoever dropped the ball at Apple on this one really screwed up.

    you had the sale closed, all you had to do was give up a percentage now for greater profits later - but, no.

    congratulations! thanks for playing "lucrative government contract" - enjoy a copy of our home game to take with you as the door hits your ass on your way out of the LAUSD.
  • Reply 5 of 79
    foadfoad Posts: 703member
    vaporland wrote: »
    "hey kids, today's story is brought to you by the words 'hubris' and 'arrogance' and the number four hundred million"

    whoever dropped the ball at Apple on this one really screwed up.

    you had the sale closed, all you had to do was give up a percentage now for greater profits later - but, no.

    congratulations! thanks for playing "lucrative government contract" - enjoy a copy of our home game to take with you as the door hits your ass on your way out of the LAUSD.

    Ummm...they didn't completely lose the contract. These are alternatives to, not instead of, the iPad. The big error I'm seeing in all the reporting is the lack of stating that this is part of a pilot program due to issues with the iPad rollout. Not all of the devices will be part of the full rollout. Sure, Apple could lose it but the truth of the matter is that there are a lot of behind the scenes antics going on that isn't related to the price of the iPad. In fact, some of the devices will actually have a higher total cost than the iPad. You're being naive if you think this is related to the price instead of politics as usual.
  • Reply 6 of 79
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,348member

    Gee. I wonder what the families will choose... probably the same thing the market has chosen for how many years now?

  • Reply 7 of 79
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Aren't these the same morons who couldn't figure out how to turn on Parental Controls for the iPad and so said that the platform was insecure? Make sense that they'd be stupid enough to buy other platforms, then.

     

    Or am I misremembering?

  • Reply 8 of 79
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,072member
    Los Angeles school district to switch away from Apple's iPad Windows, Chromebook

    What is Apple's iPad Windows?

    Do you even read your own articles, AI?
  • Reply 9 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by saarek View Post



    Apple should've given them the extra discount before the 520k mark, they were making money anyway,



    You can bet this switch is all about money.

    Of course. But Apple is greedy. Education is a right and Apple should help subsidise it for all people.

  • Reply 10 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    Aren't these the same morons who couldn't figure out how to turn on Parental Controls for the iPad and so said that the platform was insecure? Make sense that they'd be stupid enough to buy other platforms, then.

     

    Or am I misremembering?


    Apple should create a free to use division that controls iOS distribution and configuration based on the set-up requirements of educational establishments. They should also partner with a company who can supply one of the many keyboard cases available for iPads. E.g. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00GNPPJW0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

     

    Really, does Apple have no clue?

  • Reply 11 of 79
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member

    Four words:

    It's the keyboard, stupid.

  • Reply 12 of 79
    radster360radster360 Posts: 544member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    Aren't these the same morons who couldn't figure out how to turn on Parental Controls for the iPad and so said that the platform was insecure? Make sense that they'd be stupid enough to buy other platforms, then.

     

    Or am I misremembering?


    I was thinking about the same incident that was reported here. I bet these are the same morons who is making the decision.

  • Reply 13 of 79
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member

    iPads are too small for education. General reading is fine, but when you have a large, complex diagram and a page of explanation, people tend to understand it better when they can see both at once. Any good text book is formatted to have them so that they are on opposite pages viewable when book is open.

     

    Typing is also a problem. I type around 65 words a minute on a 14 inch laptop, but less than 40 wpm on an iPad. I never get pain typing on my laptop but start to cramp after 30 minutes on an iPad at around 40 wpm. I have the same problem on 10.1 inch netbook. Too small for speed typing.

     

    My daughter is up around 80 wpm on a laptop but is no faster than I on an iPad. If my kids are surfing the internet they fight for the iPad or Galaxy Tab, but when doing homework they only ever use the laptop or desktop.

  • Reply 14 of 79
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

    iPads are too small for education.

     

    Same size as a textbook, so no.

  • Reply 15 of 79
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,648member

    I think any high school in their right minds will continue to use the iPads.  

    To uniformly integrate the different devices will reduce the value of the best device to the lowest common denominator.

    Moreover, Apple is about to revamp its education platform on the iPad and add TouchID.

    Apple is in a position of strength, so no discount.

  • Reply 16 of 79
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    Aren't these the same morons who couldn't figure out how to turn on Parental Controls for the iPad and so said that the platform was insecure? Make sense that they'd be stupid enough to buy other platforms, then.

    Or am I misremembering?

    Seems so, this pro-Microsoft site mentions device management:

    http://www.microsoftproductreviews.com/surface/windows-tablets-laptops-taking-prominent-role-public-schools/

    "Students immediately deleted security filters so they could freely browse the Internet.

    The district recalled the devices at several schools and some students never saw them again. Distribution of the devices quickly fell behind schedule. The IT administration of the iOS machines was also a difficult task, as were the necessary software licenses, which Staffers thought were owned outright, but in fact were only leased for three years, and were incomplete in year 1.

    ...

    Convertible notebook/tablets like the Yoga seem to be doing well, with concerns over the detachable Surface Keyboards getting lost being a bit of an issue.

    This is not the first school district to decide that a media consumption tablet isn’t really the way to go for their students. Last year, the School District in Charlottesville Virginia chose Windows Laptops over the iPad, citing security, device management and durability as issues in their decision.

    In making her decision, McKnight chose the Lenovo Yoga Touch for her school. She liked the flexibility of being able to flip the screen over so they could use the other side as a camera, as mentioned above. Having the ability to use both a keyboard and a stylus to write on the screen was also a definite plus for her students."

    It sounds as though IT staff and teachers made the decision for the students. Still, I can understand the decision, I never use my iPad for anything productive and in some education courses, it would be a non-starter. You couldn't do a computer science course using an iPad.

    It doesn't mean not using Apple products as they sell laptops too but just 11" at the entry point isn't big enough. I assume the Yoga mentioned was the following:

    http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-13-3-Inch-Convertible-Touchscreen-Ultrabook/dp/B00ATANVLG


    [VIDEO]


    It's too big to really use comfortably with touch so as the review says, most of the time you'd use it as a laptop. As much as I wish I could use a MBA or MBP with touch, that hybrid approach doesn't look right. When you use the machine with touch, it should be lightweight to be able to hold it and turn it into portrait and portrait needs a different aspect ratio.

    Apple adding touch input to the laptop base would be a step closer to more interactive laptops but people want to be able to touch the display. You can't make a laptop 4:3 though and 16:9 tablets suck. 16:10 isn't too bad but there's still the issues of camera placement and detaching the screen for weight and where to put the batteries.

    You'd almost want two separate devices like a Macbook Air base on its own with its own battery and a 12" iPad on its own. You'd then just have the Macbook Air base run OS X on the iPad display. When you want to use it as a touch device, it's just an iPad. This has been done with hybrids though and it's still messy. For now, having both an iPad and a laptop gives the best experience.
  • Reply 17 of 79
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    saarek wrote: »
    You can bet this switch is all about money.

    If that's the case then I don't understand them switching to a more expensive platform. Apple notebooks are built to last, and don't require paid virus scanners. And that is only compared to a 'Windows' laptop, never mind the price you'll be paying when getting a Chromebook. Lol, OSX spell check doesn't even recognise that word.
  • Reply 18 of 79
    j1h15233j1h15233 Posts: 274member
    Of course. But Apple is greedy. Education is a right and Apple should help subsidise it for all people.

    No it's a privilege, not a right and as a former teacher, I wish students and their "parents" would realize that.
  • Reply 19 of 79
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,523member

    This is simply another indicator that the school system doesn't really know what it's doing and is flailing around wildly trying to find a technological fix to a problem that has nothing to do with technology. This has nothing at all to do with Apple, the iPad, ChromeBooks, or Windows PCs. This is simply a failing school system with too much money to spend and taxpayers and parents who are too lazy to take responsibility for their children's education and are more than willing to delegate responsibility to a machine. Educating young people properly comes down to the quality of the educational system, the ability of educators to connect with students in a meaningful way, engaging the parents, creating an environment for intellectual enrichment, and having people in the system who can make it all work regardless of the tool de jour and the desire to satisfy their own financial and political self interests. Technology will come and technology will go. No technology, even stellar immersive technology like the iPad, can substitute for gross inadequacies in other parts of the educational system. Plus, there is never one tool that serves all possible needs for students across all age groups, capabilities, and tasks.

     

    Those folks who keep spewing the pre-iPad-release crusty and moronic party line about the iPad being a "consumption only device" simply don't get it - and sadly never will. Once one's head is firmly ensconced in the colon of silence there's little opportunity for a clean extraction. If you believe that creation is all about putting together a pivot table in a spreadsheet or photoshopping 15 lbs and 4 inches off a model's thighs you're missing the whole point. If you believe creativity is only about content creation you're wrong. Content creation is an industrial endeavor. If all we're trying to do in education is crank out the next generation of industrial servants, then yeah, put business and industrial machinery like Windows PCs in the hands of students so we can prime the industrial machine with more raw material. May as well hone their burger flipping and deep fat fryer skills at the same time and issue each student a spatula and George Forman grill instead of a creativity enriching device like the iPad.

     

    The iPad has proven to be an incredible tool for fostering creativity, especially for younger students, gifted students, special needs students, and creatives in general. Does it serve every educational need or every task at hand? Hell no. I can't imagine why anyone would think that it could. There will always be a need for a mix of tools and educators who know how to best apply them to serve the needs of students and society. However, it still comes down to the fact that primary education has to teach every student to learn how to learn. The bulk of this responsibility falls on the parents and the educators and not the latest trends in technology. The mere fact that a school district would queue up an enormous technology buy without having a very clear, proven, and somewhat foolproof plan already in place for how these devices would be used to enrich the educational process is evidence that they don't have a friggen clue about what they are doing and are completely shirking their responsibility as professional educators. 

     

    In other words, it's simply business as usual in the public education system. 

  • Reply 20 of 79
    runbuhrunbuh Posts: 315member
    Same size as a textbook, so no.
    Not when the textbook is open. So, the "no" is back to you.
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