What Schools Must Learn From LA’s iPad Debacle | WIRED

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What Schools Must Learn From LA’s iPad Debacle | WIRED.

Just catching up: this is from a few months back. We dealt with this back in the early 90s when our oldest was in school. It’s sad, but not surprising that things haven’t changed.

WHEN LOS ANGELES schools began handing out iPads in the fall of 2013, it looked like one of the country’s most ambitious rollouts of technology in the classroom. The city’s school district planned to spend $1.3 billion putting iPads, preloaded with the Pearson curriculum, in the hands of every student in every school.

Less than two years later, that ambitious plan now looks like a spectacularly foolish one. In August, the Los Angeles Unified School District halted its contract with Apple, as rumors swirled that Apple and Pearson may have received preferential treatment in the district’s procurement process, something the FBI is investigating.

According to Horn, who also is author of Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, Los Angeles is a classic case of a school district getting caught up in the ed tech frenzy without fully thinking through why technology is important in the first place.

It’s not unusual even in an above-board bidding process for districts to start by choosing a vendor, instead of first discussing how that technology will be used in the first place.

You can make a change that makes sense on its own, but when it’s introduced to the complex setting of a school, the net effect is negative.

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