The Los Angeles Board of Education has give the go sign for a plan to purchase, distribute, and integrate iPads into nearly 40 campuses in the school district. The deal sets aside $115 million for the distribution of 40,000 to 70,000 iPads to classrooms for use by both students and teachers as they prepare for this spring’s round of standardized testing.
While the final count has yet to be determined, the agreement approved by the education board omits a specific limit on number of iPads deployed. The board and district superintendent have both expressed plans to expedite the deployment, though that effort has not been without critics looking to spend more time on the plan specifics.
The LA Times reports that critics have accused officials of trying to buy as many iPads as quickly as possible to make it difficult to stop the effort. However, Board member Monica Garcia said moving quickly was an educational imperative.
“The whole point of this program is to revolutionize instruction,” Garcia said. Low-income students don’t get access “to what is a part of all our worlds today…. I don’t understand how cutting back what’s good is good for kids.”
While the school district will pay $768 per device, a price higher than other districts have reportedly spent, the deal includes network upgrades to the schools, and the addition of iPad-specific curriculum for the classrooms.