Los Angeles school district finalizes $115M for iPads

Really happy this went through. The proposal for rolling out 67,500 new iPads to Los Angeles schools was laid out in July, 2013. After 6 months of in-fighting, the proposal was adopted, with a compromise on the number of iPads.

In voting for the $115 million proposal, the board sided with schools Superintendent John Deasy, who has championed the iPad effort since its inception in July 2013. An oversight panel advised against the large tablet buy, recommending 38,500 units would be more than enough for the district’s purposes. School staff requested 67,500 iPads, but the final number will be somewhere in between, the board said.

The delay in approving the proposal means there is a newer iPad available than was in the original proposal.

In other developments, Deasy announced that Apple Inc., the maker of the iPad, had agreed to provide the latest tablets at no additional charge. Until now, the district has been locked into paying top dollar for a discontinued model.

Great move, Apple. Nicely done.

  • Sebastian Paul

    I don’t see how providing the iPad Air instead of the iPad 4 was a nice move or would have increased costs.

    Apple sold the iPad 4 for 499$, Apple sells the iPad Air for 499$. Apple probably doesn’t manufacture the iPad 4 anymore, so they wouldn’t even be able to provide many iPad 4.

    Apple will actually save money by providing iPad Airs, because increased production will reduce costs for ALL iPads they manufacture and they certainly don’t want to be forced to produce iPad 1, 3 and 4 models just because some school districts managed only recently to finalize their orders from 2011^^

    • Presumably, because they’re actually acting against the contract. Apple could have used this as an opportunity to flush out their inventory, or demanded a rewritten contract.

      Is it a lot of effort on their part? No, absolutely not. Still nice for the schools. If it’s nice for Apple, too, so much the better.

  • Scoble recently interviewed a person responsible for installing Andriod tablets in an Illinois school system. He cited price point, ease of deployment and superior of device management (Android is better?!) as his reasons for choosing Android.

    Public Schools are, of course, not flush with cash, so it seems logical that there would be a contingent advocating for much “less expensive” Android tablet options. That LA went with devices that are, what, 4x the price says something.

    So, I’m totally biased in favor of quality design and components, managed ecosystems and Apple’s customer service experience, but I’m very interested in how successful iPads are in relative terms to Android tablets in a school system over the lifespan of the device.

    • Moeskido

      Keep in mind that most public school administrators are not hired for their technical expertise, and many are easily impressed by salespeople who have a good pitch.

      • Agreed (assuming you’re being platform agnostic here). Deciders on both sides have one technical hand tied behind their back, and also pad their arguments and rationale to support their very expensive decisions.

        • Moeskido

          I’m as agnostic as the stories of adoption failures we’ve already seen, where administrators who parrot sales-brochure bullet points have already demonstrated their lack of ability to plan purposeful classroom use for tablets.

          I’d like to hope that Apple or its affiliated salespeople are more inclined to facilitate adoption of appropriately helpful solutions.

          But little of that matters when so many of these decisions are made by people who have little or no teaching experience.

          • Apple doesn’t @#$% off after the sale, if that’s what you’re talking about. They commit to the deployment. 🙂

          • Moeskido

            That’s half of the equation. The other half is school board bureaucrats who’ve never been teachers and probably don’t know what a browser is.

  • Moeskido

    I’m really hoping LAUSD does indeed have a curriculum plan for these devices that consists of more than just a package of content from Pearson. And that they’ve adequately trained teachers to incorporate them into the work.

    • You write as if you need more content than Pearson. Don’t they already have everything? 🙂

      • Moeskido

        Seriously. They certainly have a lock on fashionable pedagogy.