The Los Angeles Unified School District had a bold plan to use iPads for its learning curriculum within its walls, but ultimately the whole plan fell apart and eventually got canceled.Now, while under a federal review by the U.S. Department of Education, the reasons for this failure, which cost upwards of $1.3 billion to initiate, have been revealed. As noted in the report, the idea was plagued almost from the get-go “by lack of resources and inadequate planning for how the devices would be used in classrooms.” In December 2014, the iPad initiative was officially canceled while the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the project.
The FBI’s investigation centered more on the relationship between some Apple executives and John Deasy, the former superintendent for the Los Angeles Unified School District. According to initial reports, the investigation was the product of reports indicating that bidding for the project had been tilted more in favor of Apple and Pearson, the company that would be providing content for the iPads that would be distributed within classrooms.
The federal review revealed that while teachers were made aware of the incoming iPads, that little was done to actually train them for their implementation within the school’s curriculum. Moreover, that training for the project, its devices and the content was not provided with any real effort. Ultimately, the product and lesson plans could not be rolled into effective lesson plans.
“The Department of Education had a number of common-sense suggestions … such as better planning, better testing and evaluation of technology, and better training,” said school board member Monica Ratliff, who chaired a panel that reviewed the technology project last year. She produced a report that raised issues similar to those of the Education Department, but it was discounted by some Deasy allies as unfair to the superintendent.“
The initial rollout for the project constituted 47 different schools within the district, and spent $30 million in just Apple products. As the project rolled out, it was met with skepticism right out of the gate, not only from teachers, but also in light of shoddy Internet connections in some locations, and some students that were able to bypass the security measures implemented on the devices.
[via Los Angeles Times]