LAUSD and iPads

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Is it just me, or is it at least mildly offensive that LAUSD has decided to buy every student an iPad when they’ve been laying off thousands of teachers, nurses, and psychologists for the past three years or so?  Isn’t this kind of like an irresponsible parent who can’t afford to fix the leaky roof in tough times, but then, when a little money comes in, rushes out to the store to buy toys for the kids to make them happy?
There may be something I’m missing here, and I hope there is, but it seems like the evidence base that suggests iPads will improve student learning is awfully thin.  Couldn’t they at least test out this idea with a pilot, and perhaps conduct another pilot test in which random schools get to hire back a school nurse or a music teacher…?
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5 thoughts on “LAUSD and iPads

  1. So, now that LAUSD has some extra money to spend, the school board has decided that the BEST way to spend $700 per student is on iPads? I can think of a ways $700 could be used to improve student learning. Consider the impact that $700 worth of an old technology could have on students – BOOKS! Yes, the good old-fashioned printed, hold it in your hands, smell the paper, and turn the pages kind of books. What if LAUSD provided every child $700 worth of high-quality literature and nonfiction books to keep and read at home? If they’re worried about “losing” books at home, as a classroom teacher I’d be more than happy to have $21,000 worth of books for our classroom library! What a difference that would make! In fact, an international study in 2010, conducted over 20 years across 26 nations, found just that – books matter. The study was by M.D.R. Evans, Jonathan Kelley, Joanna Sikorac, and Donald J. Treimand. You can read the study here: http://www.rodneytrice.com/sfbb/articles/home.pdf
    or you can read a news article about it here: http://www.salon.com/2010/06/02/summer_book_giveaway/

  2. update: One niece started middle school yesterday in LA and is getting a new iPad; another started high school and has 48 kids in her 9th grade advanced bio class. Hmmmmm….

  3. Most likely the reason is to meet the technology requirements for high stakes testing as the common core continues to roll out. All of the assessments will be iPad compatible and the current practice tests already are compatible.

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