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Los Angeles schools to offer students hybrids and laptops instead of Apple iPads

Los Angeles officials are looking to Chromebooks, Microsoft's Windows 8 and other hardware to complement its iPad offering in the education sector. Students in Los Angeles have enjoyed the use of iPads to aid with not only their education, but also social lives too thanks to easily bypassing any security filters in place. Schools will be able to differentiate what is offered to students, a choice of six devices.

"The benefit of the new approach is clear," said Los Angeles school board member Monica Ratlif to the LA Times. "Why would we treat all our students – whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman – as if they all had the same technology needs? They don't." Devices will include Chromebooks, Surface Pro 2 and Lenovo's Yoga Touch with teachers and students testing said units this fall.

Other issues with the iPad tablets included incomplete educational material, apparent difficulty in use due to on-screen keyboard and sometimes exam problems were often obscured due to the screen size. While iPad distribution across LA schools remains on hold, some schools are still scheduled to receive units later this year. We'll have to see how these tests go with other platforms, though the Windows 8 moves makes some sense with capabilities and integration with other (sometimes older) systems.

Source: LA Times

  • The problem school districts that implement any technology and "fail" or have difficulty throughout the country all stem from one thing. The general consensus is usually from the opposition. The "see? It doesn't work" crowd. But from the many articles I have read, as well as my own personal experience, the issue is not the technology (be it iPads, Chromebooks, Windows laptops). It is the implementation and support. School districts, strapped for cash, especially in recent years since a good portion of their budgets are based on income from property taxes, are in a rush to get technology into the hands of students. This is a noble idea. However, they lack the funds, and often, the guidance and understanding, of the infrastructure they need to support these initiatives. It is "here, give an iPad to every fourth and fifth grader in school X" and expect the existing IT staff to roll it out. Without any prior experience, and without all the needed tools. Sent from the iMore App
  • Well said!
  • If apple allowed the mouse to be used with ipad it would make it.a better tool for the new users. I would love to be able to use a mouse without jail breaking my new device. Just thinking out loud.
  • +1 ಠ益ಠ
  • Their problem was implementation, not iPads themselves. As a teacher at an iPad One-To-One school (Chenango Valley HS in NYS), our implementation has gone well. Kids use their iPads in class and books are disappearing fast. Teachers use Apple TV's to display content via projectors easily. Schools in our area are making this change rapidly. LA, needs to think again about their decision.
  • So they screwed up and this is a face saving thing. And they probably got a sweet deal from Microsoft to go Windows.
  • Well to be honest. Not surprising really. Why get an iPad, when you cam get a Windows hybrid that runs Windows programs, metro apps, versatility and cost less than an iPad. This is something that Apple needs to address to people at the education market.
  • Apple already offers schools decent discounts with their bulk purchases. Unless you work for a school, you probably don't hear much about it.
  • It's time to stop pretending that an on-screen keyboard (on ANY device) can supplant a physical one for educational work.