The details about the huge 640,000 iPad rollout in Los Angeles schools

“Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District will receive 31,000 free iPads this school year under a new $30 million program launched by the district,” Todd R. Weiss reports for CITEworld. “The goal is to improve education and get them ready for the workforce with new technology skills they are not getting at home.”

“The first 31,000 iPads are only the initial phase of the program, which plans to buy and distribute iPads to all 640,000 students in the nation’s second-largest school district by late 2014, Mark Hovatter, the chief facilities executive for the LAUSD, told CITEworld,” Weiss reports. “The first deployment phase is underway now in 49 of the district’s 1,124 K-12 schools. Each student is receiving an iPad pre-loaded with educational applications and other programs that will be used by the students in their studies. By the official beginning of the new school year in August, all of the students in the first phase of the project will have their iPads and won’t have to share them, said Hovatter. ”

Weiss reports, “To buy the first 31,000 devices, the school district is using $30 million in tax money, but the district is looking for other means to fund much of the rest of the effort, said Hovatter. ‘We’re hoping that will get a lot of private donors,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

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  1. Great idea but in a state with a huge budget deficit it is hard to see how the money will become available to complete the program.

    Ideally a cost analysis needs to show that eliminating books etc will eventually cover the costs and save money for the school districts.

    1. “Ideally a cost analysis needs to show…”

      Already done. At districts large and small all around the world.

      Studies further show that students take care of their iPad much better than they ever did textbooks.

      I know it seems on the face of it to be added expense for a district, but the reality is that instead of spending the money on expensive and heavy and immediately outdated textbooks, the money is spent on iPads, education apps, teacher training and infrastructure support… and the results are quickly evident in both student attitudes and test scores.

      1. Even rural Thailand is encouraging tablets for young school children. (Not many iPads, though. that’s more than a month’s pay for most of the parents.)

      2. The savings that take place with a wise deployment of iPads is astounding. I’m reminded of the local Fox affiliate in upstate New York that replaced the paper scripts used in the news rooms with iPads. Their break-even point, just from paper savings was less than six months. Go LA.

      1. And unemployment in the USA is under 8%, too. Yeah, nobody believes that one, either.

        Anyone can manipulate numbers to show anything they want. The truth is that California is still on the hook for more money than it is projected to receive; taking some of that money (e.g., pension obligations) off the “budget” is, almost literally, moving deck chairs on the Titanic.

      2. So…MEES apparently still believes in the Easter bunny, Santa Clause, and Phlogiston. (I live in California; the state hasn’t been operating in the black for a veeeeeery long time, given its assets vs liabilities.)

        Wanna buy a bridge, cheap? Or maybe a high-speed train?

        1. It’s amazing that even among presumably sophisticated Mac users, belief in the facts depends on one’s political ideology.

          California has a yearly budget surplus, along with long-term debts (much like a household with a mortgage has long-term debts, but might be operating on a yearly surplus). Here’s another shocker: the nation’s annual debt is way down, too.

          Reasons for debt reduction in California and the US as a whole is simple: the economy is slowly getting better. Home sales and prices are up. Employment is up. Tax collection and tax rates are up.

          These are facts, folks. Get over it.

    1. Agreed on the teacher training requirement. However, success is how you measure it. A number of school districts have gone with one-to-one programs and achieved higher graduation rates, greater numbers of students continuing on into higher education, etc. Districts still have to rely on federal dollars so they have to follow federal testing guidelines; and plenty of research shows that what is required in federal testing does not map well to improvements in critical thinking and active learning!

    1. The level of protection depends on the age of the kids and the experience of the school board and the paranoia of the community and the strength of conviction of leadership. Interestingly, little kids may be most likely to drop them, but since there is less height to drop from, they can get away with somewhat less protection than you might otherwise think.

      Similarly, minis may not be the right choice for the youngest kids who have yet to develop fine motor skills necessary to accurately maneuver around the tighter pixel density of the mini.

    2. Eyeballz have worked very well for us in the elementary school of which I’m on the board. And we’re looking at a mix of standard and mini iPads for the coming year.

    1. What will happen is it will balloon into a scare story, bloggers will foam at the mouth, and Congress will knock the spokes out of Apple’s wheels with a stick.

        1. It’s about time that the law-abiding can be on an equal footing against criminals. Especially since experience over the past couple decades has shown no increase (and usually some decrease) in violent crime subsequent to enacting shall-issue and other relaxation of legal use and possession.

    2. This actually doesn’t happen all that often. If you research one-to-one projects you’ll find that since iBooks first came out and were adopted in Maine big-time, very few get damaged or go missing. Of course, no matter how much the students who receive them take ownership over them and protect them, bigger kids could always force them to turn them over. But most schools laser etch their logo into the backs of iPads and covers of MacBooks so that any pawn shop will know that this isn’t a device they should be trading in.

  2. Probably buying iPad 2s for about same price as mini. However, Samsucks injunction will put a monkey wrench in the program. Oops. Is monkey wrench a racist slur?

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