Laptops Replace iPads for Some Los Angeles High School Students
The largest rollout of educational technology in U.S. history has hit a stumbling block as the Los Angeles Unified School District School Board has voted to give some high school students laptops instead of the planned iPads.
The decision comes after some 300 students were able to bypass installed security on iPads issued to them in order to access social networking sites such as Facebook.
Superintendent John Deasy, who has described the $1 billion project to put iPads in the hands of every student as a “civil rights initiative,” has now ordered that none of the tablets are to be taken home by students.
Students were instructed to use the devices for learning only. The iPads had been set up for playing educational games, taking tests and doing homework.
School board members voted Tuesday to substitute laptops for the tablets in seven high schools. The vote reflects some board members’ contention that the school district may not have gotten the best deal from digital curriculum provider Pearson and Apple Inc.
Thirty-five more schools will still receive the iPads in addition to the 47 schools that have already been equipped.
Board members also voted to hire an evaluator to study the program’s effectiveness before implementing the final phase that will encompass 450 schools.