LA school district puts the brakes on $500m iPad contract

In Los Angeles, the school district is putting the brakes on its plans to give an iPad to every student. Last year, voters approved a bond sale to spend $1 billion to upgrade the school district's technology assets. The board overseeing the distribution of technology approved a $30 million purchase of 30,000 iPads to start off a trial of the new technology with the expectation that the contract would bloom to $500 million after the roll-out was compete.

Those plans are now on hold after the deployment of iPads was far from a smooth process; 47 schools received the initial batch of iPads and students were able to bypass security filters. Because of this, the deployment of the iPads was behind schedule and is now receiving a second review to see if these tablets are actually a good fit for the school district.

In a new effort to find devices that may be more suitable for its diverse set of students, the district is opening up the options to let the students decide what they will use going forward. The options now include Lenovo machines, Surface Pro 2 and options from Dell - and even Chromebooks are allowed to be purchased in the trial.

The case study from the LA school district shows that the iPad isn't the holy grail for computing that many had hoped it would be and while the tablet is still a great device, it's not the be-all solution for the education sector.

It appears too that the committee overseeing the initial contract award may have proceeded without proper adjudication, leaving the school district now looking to alterative machines to support their school district. 

Source: LA Times

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