San Diego schools purchase 25,700 Apple iPad 2 units

“After putting more than 75,600 netbooks into the hands of students, the San Diego Unified School District has switched its focus to Apple iPads and will buy devices to outfit 340 classrooms before the end of the school year,” Karen Kucher reports for The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“In all, the district plans to purchase around 25,700 iPad 2s at a slight discount from retail to roll out to its fifth- and eighth-grade classes as well as some high school classes by next fall. It is one of the largest deployments of iPads in K-12 schools in the nation and will cost the district more than $15 million,” Kucher reports. “The district began distributing the iPads to classrooms last week. After taking a break to accommodate state testing, officials will resume placing them in schools, prioritized based on need, in a process expected to last until late July. Phase two of the rollout will begin in September.”

Kucher reports, “Darryl LaGace, Unified’s chief information and technology officer, said the district opted to make the switch after weighing the pros and cons of the two types of devices. The district has spent more than $35 million on netbooks, he said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Good Jobs, what a waste those netbooks were!

Kucher reports, “‘Over the past six months, we have been piloting iPads and Android devices in a variety of settings,’ LaGace said in a memo sent to principals in early March. ‘Although no device can do everything, the iPad clearly provides some of the best features while at the same time addresses some of the issues we have experienced with the netbook platform.'”

MacDailyNews Take: “The netbook platform.” In other words, Windows.

Kucher reports, “LaGace asked school administrators to state their preference by early March. He said the vast majority chose the iPad.”

MacDailyNews Take: Smirk.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “GraphicsBug” for the heads up.]


  1. Just what kind of netbooks and iPads are they buying? My calculations show the netbooks each cost almost $500 and the iPads are $589. Since iPad 2s cost $399 at full retail, why are they paying so much more? They should not need high-end iPads for schoolwork.

    1. You don’t deploy any large quantity of iPads without a whole lot of other support items: Carts (charging, syncing, security), profile management servers, a catalog of apps, perhaps cases, insurance, and on and on.

  2. They pay more than necessary because ‘it’s not their money’.

    if they were to give a bonus to a broker – he would get a better deal. I know, I’ve worked on deals with gummint goons.

        1. ‘Q. Why don’t you trust the officials you elect?’

          A. Because they’re voted into power by products of the left-left teachers and professors who have been filling their heads with socialism for the past 30 years – that’s why.

    1. I am in education technology and there is considerable debate between users and IT in some schools over the true cost of ownership of iPads vs. Notebooks. It is true that deployment is more costly at a school than in your living room. Some IT people are actually angry at Apple over what they feel is a lack of support for management of their mobile devices. They don’t understand the paradigm shift and will often lobby for the purchase of Netbooks, which are structured around something they understand. They are fighting a losing battle in many cases because the users– administrators teachers and especially Special Education advocates teachers and even parents are demanding the interactivity the iPad brings. New academic content standards with more of a tech and collaboration focus along with digital textbooks are going to make iPads even more attractive. 37 states are moving toward online testing, and my guess is that experience will be much better on an iPad than on netbooks, most of which I find uncomfortable to use with a screen resolution that is too small.

    1. They should e-bay ALL those netbooks. Maybe they could get 10¢ on the dollar. Maybe there is a school near Redmond that has to go down that dark Window path of netbooks. You know, take one for the team. Perhaps Steve Ballmer could grant them some seed money to get that crap. However, keep an eye on the cash, that school could use it to buy what they really want, iPads!

  3. “… asked school administrators to state their preference”
    Mayhaps they should talk with teachers. And offer/require some training, then the project might be successful…

  4. I can’t stop laughing!

    How can anyone possibly justify purchasing 27.5k iPads when San Diego has over 1 billion dollars in maintenance and infrastructure repairs they’ve deferred because they don’t have the money?

    This is one more shining example of incompetence at its best.

    1. I don’t know how SanDiego works, but in my town the cities finances and the education finances are funded separately and are not interchangeable. If we need money up and above what is available for maintenance and infrastructure we would vote on a special levy to tax ourselves. All money isn’t just thrown into a big pot and taken as wanted.

      1. And I’m sure it the same in San Diego. I just find it amusing that politicians/city officials don’t think twice about spending other peoples money; regardless of the pot it comes from. When it comes to government, the answer is always simple. Taxes.

        1. I agree with you fiscally, but the academic focus of Common Core standards adopted by most of the states over the next couple of years is going to demand a higher level of student technology use than ever before. The school officials may eventually have no choice. Textbook money may soon be diverted to pay for iPads and other devices. As a student’s backpack full of books can cost as much or more than an iPad, there may be a formula that doesn’t bankrupt the school system any worse than the system in place. That plan might also allow students to bring their own devices to school if they have them (I think they are using their smart phones in class already under the radar).

  5. My son goes to Mira Mesa High and a couple weeks ago some teachers were told they were out of a job after this school year ends, due to budget cuts. Guess we know where the money is going that was to pay for their services. Yes, we need to modernize our classrooms, but is going to iPads going to be the solution to the reduce the number of teachers? Plus, let’s also take in consideration that some of the Teachers will need to take classes to operate the iPad and the apps that are going to be installed, so they can now also add that to their knowledge base in addition to the subject being taught (that’s training that will cost money). What about breakage, loss and theft of said devices? Yes, once again SDISD and it’s useless school administrators implementing something half assed at the cost of the tax payers.

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