One of the downsides of raising questions about the classroom effectiveness of new technologies is when a school district buys tablets and laptops, journalists call to ask for my view of the purchases.
That happened yesterday when the Board of Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)–the second largest school system in the nation–approved a $30 million contract with Apple Inc. to buy iPads for every student in 47 schools in the first phase of a district-wide plan to have 655,000 students equipped with tablets. Funds for these iPads come from two bond referenda aimed at construction and maintenance of facilities in LAUSD.
Called The Common Core Technology Project, each iPad costs the district $678, higher than the price of an iPad bought in an Apple store, but it comes with a case (no keyboard, however) and an array of pre-loaded software aimed at preparing students…
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