The Los Angeles Unified School District’s iPad program was in trouble more or less from the very beginning. Not only were students putting the devices to unapproved uses, but it turns out that they didn’t come with the software they were supposed to and nobody had allocated funds to buy keyboards for them. (As BoingBoing asks, if they needed keyboards, why didn’t they just buy laptops?) The bidding process that led to the tablet purchase is under investigation by the FBI.
Happily, the school district and Apple have come to an agreement to refund the school district $4.2 million, and the district will be getting another $2.2 million back from Lenovo, who supplied laptops after the iPad portion of the program started having trouble. The proceeds will be used to buy more computers for schools that need them.
It seems that the iPad program was a little too ambitious. It involved a deal with Pearson to supply educational software that added $200 to the cost of each iPad, but the software wasn’t even complete in the first year, and teachers received only limited training on it. Hopefully the district will be able to move forward and a better educational computer program will come out of this.