LA gives free iPads to students

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is giving Apple iPads to students who have limited or no access to a computer outside of school

Reported by Cite World, 25 July 2013

“The most important thing is to try to prepare the kids for the technology they are going to face when they are going to graduate” – Mark Hovatter, Chief Facilities Executive, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)

Initial phase targeting 31,000 students who currently have limited or no access to a computer outside of school. With plans to distribute free iPads to all 640,000 students within the district by late 2014. The iPads will be pre-loaded with educational applications. Being delivered through an arrangement with Pearson.

Apple iPads were chosen following an RFP process that received 12 proposals from Apple, Samsung and others. One of the decision criteria was to go with a single vendor rather than mix various types of devices to make it easier to maintain related IT systems.

— update September 2013 —

Oh the irony. The iPads were locked down to limit web browsing and apps but the students soon bypassed the security measures and dared to have some fun with them. You’d think the teachers would be impressed… And 71 have already gone missing, which is not good news leading to a rethink about the plans, as reported in the LA Times | 2nd Article