Classroom Technology

L.A. School Board Weighs Slowing Ambitious iPad Program

By Ben Kamisar — December 11, 2013 1 min read
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The Los Angeles Unified School District may take a step back from its lofty plans for a districtwide iPad rollout, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In a meeting with newspaper staff, Superintendent John Deasy explained that the initial plan to provide all of the district’s 660,000 students with iPads has been put on hold. But he said the district hopes to use the devices during standardized testing in the spring.

In October, Deasy asked the city’s board of education to review his revised schedule for the tablet rollout. Under his plan, 36 schools would receive tablets by April 2014, with schools designated by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights and the Los Angeles Unified School District as “having limited access to technology” the priority. Tablets in the remaining schools would arrive in additional phases running through the fall of 2015.

Deasy’s proposal was sent to the board’s Bond Oversight Committee, which approved an even further scale-down in November. Tom Waldman, the district’s director of communications said that the full board is expected to vote this Tuesday on the committee’s recommendations.

The ambitious plan hit a few snags during the rollout’s first phase. The software, created by the education publisher Pearson, was not complete when it was distributed with the tablets in the initial release, students were able to bypass browsing filters to access unapproved websites, and two new surveys found that teachers were hesitant about continuing the program.

CORRECTION: The original post incorrectly described the proposal passed by the Bond Oversight Committee. The committee passed a smaller-scale version of Superintendent John Deasy’s plan.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.