About those LAUSD iPads…

About those LAUSD iPads…

Another reader of K12NN writes in to say:

“If you think that LAUSD is paying too much for the iPads, then what are the alternatives?

Many would think that a Surface Pro (the Surface RT has too little horsepower) would be the way to go.

But now Micro$oft would pay $200 to any iPad switcher:

Microsoft will pay iPad users at least $200 to switch to Surface

Doesn’t it give you pause that the market has spoken and buying 600,000+ Surfaces instead of iPads just because Micro$oft gives a heavy discount would be a losing proposition?

If it weren’t for the cost, I’d think this is a good idea. Paying for it from bonds is not.

OTOH, I don’t think it will change much in the long run unless they could prove that it will vastly improve learning. They should have piloted this with a very serious underwriting from the technology/software vendors. Why should schools have to pay to conduct a test of their products which are not yet ready for prime time as far as the educational market is concerned? To date, I don’t believe that there is one properly conducted study that says that learning is enhanced by using current off-the-shelf technology.”

——–

Agreed — why are tablets the end-all, be-all?

This isn’t about fostering better computer literacy in children. This is about being better able to administer Common Core State Standards tests, which are computer-based.

But as it turns out, the iPads weren’t sufficiently useable unless keyboards were added to make them so.

Lest anyone forget, the iPad is essentially a big iPhone — the two share the iOS system. Unless you specifically load certain apps, it lacks several key functions that an Apple or other laptop has. There’s a lot that can be done with a souped-up iPad but it’s still NOT the same as a laptop.

You get the feeling that the LAUSD procurement process is haphazard, not well informed about available hardware, not entirely competitive, and lacks a comprehensive vision of what children are supposed to be doing to become computer literate. Buying a device is not the same as fleshing out a vision and making the necessary purchases to carry out the vision.

I'm Cynthia Liu, Owner/Founder of K12 News Network. I'm the proud product of public schools through post-grad, the mom of a child in public schools, and the daughter of two teachers. Connect with me professionally on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthialiuk12nn

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