LA School District Chose Apple Over Samsung, Will Purchase 640K iPads

The hard question of how better to educate the students, while keeping them engaged and at the same time prepare them to the technology they are going to face when they walk out the school’s gate after graduation received a timely answer from the Los Angeles Unified School District: it will purchase and distribute free iPads to all 640,000 students. How did this happen? CITEWorld has the details.

student-ipad

The purchase comes as a result of the $30 million program to purchase 31,000 iPads initially launched by the district, which was announced by Apple as well. But, as it turns out, it is just the initial phase of the program.

“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,” said Hovatter. “This is phase one, a mix of high school, middle school, and elementary students. We’re targeting kids who most likely don’t have their own computers or laptops or iPads. Their only exposure to computers now is going to be in their schools.”

Apple is proud to have education in its DNA, and has made huge effort to reach one of the main markets of interest for the tablet: education. And teachers seem to recognize the importance of the iPad in education, with some schools going as far as becoming ”Steve Jobs schools,” like in the Netherlands.

The project came about because educators realized that workers today in every field, including construction and automotive education, require skills with computers and related technologies, said Hovatter. “We are making sure that everyone is able to take a test electronically. Even in construction, you can’t do those jobs now without having some familiarity with computers. Whatever jobs kids want to have, technology is likely involved. You’re just not going to be able to do well in society if you don’t have some experience.”

As chief facilities executive for the LAUSD Mark Hovatter told CITEWorld, opting for the iPad wasn’t an easy decision. The verdict came after analyzing 12 proposals coming from Apple, Samsung, and others, from multiple perspectives from security to the device’s ruggedness and more. Finally, the 30-person committee of the Los Angeles Unified School District have decided to go with the iPad.

We were not just buying a device, but also a device with software” aimed at the students and their needs.

For the first phase of the project, they are using the $30 million in tax money, and hope to get a lot of private donors.

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • Cwen

    Smart choise

  • hank

    For the past couple of years, top ranking elementary school in Burnaby BC, Our Lady of Mercy, integrates the use of iPad in their curriculum as well. That’s a lot of iPads! Simply amazing.

  • Mike Hawk

    there’s going to be a lot of porn being watched at the same time.

  • Tim

    Good idea, but if they give ipads to lower income kids, what happens when they get lost or stolen and can’t afford a new one?

  • hank

    The iPads belong to the school. Kids cannot take them home. So the possibility of it getting lost or stolen while with the kid is very minimal, if not impossible. As well, kids are usually thought to take care of their belongings, much more other people’s belongings, so much more if it is something they cannot afford to replace. Like when we borrow our neighbor’s circular saw, power drill, dolly, work bench and the likes 🙂 lol

  • ADE_Brandon

    Not necessarily, Mike. Did you notice the numbers quoted? A 31M budget for 31K iPads? iPads do not cost a thousand bucks a piece… especially at this volume. That budget would have to cover wifi network improvements to handle the increased traffic, and probably a top grade firewall as well. Schools have to satisfy laws around children’s protection, and a network firewall, along with teaching digital citizenship, is seen as essential.