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Topic: L.A. students get iPads, play video games instead
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
L.A. students get iPads, play video games instead
Posted: Oct 7, 2013 5:21 PM
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; See, also,
Los Angeles students get iPads for classroom, play video games instead

By Chris Morris

You have to give school officials in Los Angeles credit for a good
idea: put iPads in the hands of over 650,000 students to give them
the most advanced learning tools available in an effort to boost
their interest in academics.

But the $1 billion plan is taking some heat after students in the
nation's second-largest school district cracked the tablets' security
settings to forgo reading, writing and arithmetic and instead post on
Facebook and play games during class time.

"They kind of should have known this would happen," said Maria
Aguilera, a student at one of the schools where games briefly
replaced academia. "We're high school students after all. I mean,
come on."

The top game choices? Temple Run, Subway Surfing and an unnamed car
racing game.

The program's goal is to put an iPad in the hands of every student
and teacher in the district's 1,000 schools by next year. Officials
say they were hoping to assist students in a district where 80
percent of the students come from low-income families.

While some might shrug their shoulders and give the kids credit for
pulling a fast one on officials, others are taking the Los Angeles
Unified School District to task for trying to do too much, too fast.

"It doesn't seem like there was much planning that went into this
strategy," said Renee Hobbs, director of the Harrington School of
Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island. "That's
where the debacle began."

School officials, as you might expect, quickly confiscated the iPads
and went to work improving the security settings.

Apple has worked with several school districts around the country to
incorporate the iPad into the classroom, with some schools starting
students on them as early as kindergarten. There is an extensive app
library dedicated to learning on a variety of topics.

Apple founder Steve Jobs was a big advocate of using the iPad in
schools before his death two years ago. One of his goals was to
circumvent the state certification process for textbook sales by
having Apple release textbooks for free on the tablet computer. [See
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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