• Federal Report Reveals LAUSD's "iPad-for-All" Initiative Was hindered from the Start



    According to a US Education Department Review, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s $1.3 billion push to bring technology into the classroom was hindered early on due to inadequate planning and an over-reliance on Apple’s iPad. The review, which was headed by Richard Culatta, the director of the Office of Educational Technology, found the “iPad for all” initiative put too strong of an emphasis on Apple’s hardware and software ecosystem, distracting from less-expensive options that could have saved money. In July, it was reported that the LA Unified would move from an iPad-only rollout to include Google’s Chromebook and Windows devices.

    For those of you who didn’t know, LAUSD officials formally dropped the iPad program in December with blowback from the decision paying a part in the resignation of the former Superintendent John Deasy and former head of technology Ronald Chandler. Aside from the financial burden that the program as a whole was causing, the project also failed to educate teachers on how to best implement Apple’s tablet into the classroom curriculum. Senior management that was involved with the program also failed to pass along concerns and issues in a timely manner allowing them to grow into larger problems according to the publication. The report went on to mention the following:

    "Among the most significant gaps we identified was the absence of district-wide instructional technology leadership.” On the point of relying on Apple's iPad, the review said LAUSD was too "heavily dependent on a single commercial product for providing digital learning resources, which has plagued the project since the initial rollout."
    Another issue was the lack of framework to help evaluate the program. The federal report noted that the problem is ongoing where several schools “haven’t developed plans for how the devices will be used to support learning [...] As a result, there is no common vision for how devices should be shifting learning and teaching within schools, making measuring impact difficult, if even possible."

    The district used voter-approved bonds to fund the initiative initially seeding 47 schools with $30 million worth of Apple hardware. An aggressive rollout timeline saw an additional $115 million spent on expansions to other campuses but questions soon arose as the district foughtto manage a critical budget crunch over the program. It was later discovered that the LAUSD as a whole misunderstood the bulk purchase discount terms that Apple was offering which held that the district would become eligible for special pricing only after $400 million worth of iPads were purchased.

    It’s pretty surprising to learn how such a big deal could go so wrong from the start, especially when it involves schools.

    Source: Los Angeles Times
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Federal Report Reveals LAUSD's "iPad-for-All" Initiative Was hindered from the Start started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Raptor2213's Avatar
      Raptor2213 -
      It’s pretty surprising to learn how such a big deal could go so wrong from the start, especially when it involves schools.
      Not really. Schools are one of the most clueless organizations out there.
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