LA Unified School District awards Apple $30-million contract for iPads as Microsoft whines

“Apple Inc. won a $30-million contract Tuesday from the Los Angeles Unified School District, paving the way for the company to provide every student with an iPad in the nation’s second-largest school system,” Howard Blume and Teresa Watanabe report for The Los Angeles Times.

“The board voted 6 to 0 to authorize the purchase of the devices after senior staff lauded the iPad option as both the best in quality and the least expensive product that met the district’s specifications,” Blume and Watanabe report. “L.A. Unified will begin rolling out the devices to 47 campuses. However, by choosing Apple as the sole vendor, the district also made a de facto commitment to spend hundreds of millions of dollars with the Cupertino, Calif., digital giant over the next two years.”

Blume and Watanabe report, “New state and national tests will be taken on computers, and district officials don’t want students to lack the necessary experience with them… The district is paying $678 per device — higher than tablets available in stores — but the computers will be preloaded with educational software… Students will be able to take the computers home and controls will be included to limit undesirable content, such as pornography. Social networking sites will be available to students, with some limits.”

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“A Microsoft representative urged the board to try more than one product and not to rely on one platform. Doing so could cut off the district from future price reductions and innovations, said Robyn Hines, senior director of state government affairs for Microsoft,” Blume and Watanabe report. “But district staff countered that Apple offered the superior product. They also said that students and teachers often change schools and should not have to learn a different platform.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Welcome to the new world, Microsoft. The Post-PC world. This is Karma. Isn’t she gorgeous?! She says turnabout laced with boatloads of irony is fair play.

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    1. YES! My granddaughter starts high school this fall and the Valley school she will go to already has started to hand out iPads to the students last year. Now all the schools here will. A great investment and really, how can any school justify a poor educational (or otherwise) app experience like Surface RT over an embarrassment of educational riches iPad? A no-brainer. Microsoft should just curl up into a ball and roll off into the Kin mists of obscurity and consumer rejection as they richly deserve. My granddaughter is very excited by this and since she is a special needs kid who loves computers it should aid her well specifically.

    1. Wow the LAUSD just told Microsoft they are irrelevant, NOT the dominant platform and a poor, distant second choice! At last intelligence is prevailing and not some clueless bureaucrat! And the old argument that people will probably be using iPads elsewhere is a total turnabout for Microsoft who is used to winning that argument. Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

  1. Microsoft – don’t rely on only one platform unless, of course, it is ours…

    Nice threat by Microsoft – cut the school district off from future Microsoft price reductions and innovations. That sounds like a vapor threat using vapor pricing and non-existent technical capabilities.

    1. Exactly. I read that as a “THREAT”. Typical MO from MS that worked in the past. Good thing some institutions are smart enough and brave enough to stand up to them. Too bad most big companies are chicken, too stupid or scared to death to remove their lips from MS asses.

    2. Back in the bad old days when ms was almost universal they argued vehemently against the evil of using different platforms.

      For non-profit institutions they would offer some “free” ms software, and perhaps a Gates Foundation donation, with the strict requirement no other platform could be used. I witnessed this.

  2. I wish my district would adopt more iPads, but two things stand in the way. First, they are actually fairly difficult to manage unless you can afford expensive management solutions. Second, one of the higher-ups in my district is very anti-Apple. Therefore, we’re officially adopting Chromebooks – albeit gradually – with a mix of iPads where the teachers can prove they have specific uses for them.

    1. Point out to the district management that using Model Ts in our modern era gets students used to a device they won’t find once they go home “out in the real world.” Hence, they won’t have access to the same applications.

      As far as I am concerned, I and those around me should use the most widely used tools that are easiest to learn that most people come in contact with all the time to speed learning. The day

      Going with second rate, underused models of technology is what losers do. If you are in a specialty and need servers to crunch data, don’t use an iPad, or you need to run FEA for a science or engineering use, don’t use an iPad.

      Pick the right tool for the job that gives students the best access to jobs.

    2. Several tons of physical books are more expensive to manage, store and warehouse than iPads.

      Chromebooks do not have a track record, so it is hard to say if this is a good or risky decision. Apple is way ahead in the parental control department than Google, so a little more money spent on management software is worth it to avoid the grief a google beta release can cause the school system… just think one lawsuit…

    3. My children’s school is launching a “One 2 One” programme, where all the kids, 5th grade and up (through high school) get a MBA of their own.

      The special expert committee that was formed to decide on the best solution took a whole year to research the subject. On the committee, we had two rabid Windows, ABA (“anything-but-Apple”) zealots, two Mac heads and many non-zealots from various educational backgrounds. In the end, it was so clearly obvious to those MS zealots that nobody offers such a robust, scalable, integrated, rich and efficient solution, platform and entire eco-system. It wasn’t even about the money; Apple’s offering was among the cheapest (and they were considering Windows 7, Win 7, Win 8RT, Android, Chrome Books, Macs, etc), but more importantly, it was by far most complete. Nobody else had such depth of offering and support specifically designed for education. The only reason they didn’t go with iPads was because they wanted a bit more flexibility with file sharing and movement. Even the rabid Windows fans capitulated, as the numbers and the data showed the obvious.

  3. > A Microsoft representative urged the board to try more than one product and not to rely on one platform.

    Microsoft had absolutely no problem with “one platform,” and NOT trying “more than one product,” when that ONE was Windows.

  4. When it comes to Microsoft, they have a huge strike against them because of the lost time and diminished use of their tablet that will be the natural outcome of people getting frustrated and disenchanted with the Microsoft offerings. This is a waste of the purchaser’s money and it is huge waste of everyone’s time (which in itself is a huge lost opportunity cost).

    On the other hand, with Apple iPads, because they will be in use a great deal more, the higher initial cost will likely be offset by greater use and much higher engagement of all concerned. I would like to see a comparison of the relative academic results of this school district with a comparable one where they were saddled with Microsoft crapola.

      1. True story time for you. At this big liberal university where the George W. Bush haters are rabid, the libs in the dept. put up a picture on the office fridge of a smiling GWB (while still President) morphing into a grinning chimpanzee over a series of 8 photos. Now if someone did that to Obama, the employees involved would be severely reprimanded if not possibly fired for such a thing. Instead it stayed up there a month or so and the Democrats were just as pleased as punch and amused with themselves. Double standard for humor at Lib U. here.

  5. Perhaps they did try another platform, MSFT. And perhaps they discovered the other platform, you, was as rubbish as reviews have made it out to be, and more expensive. STFU, MSFT. You lost. Have some dignity.

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