By 2014, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) plans to put 640,000 iPads
(NASDAQ:AAPL) into the hands of its students. A $30-million deal agreed upon by Apple and the LAUSD this June will provide 31,000 iPads this year, though further funds will be necessary for the additional 609,000 tablets to be rolled out.
The devices will come preloaded with Pearson’s
(NYSE:PSO) Common Core System of Courses designed to teach students math, reading, and writing skills necessary to compete globally, and to allow teachers to assess their pupils' performances. Apple’s iWork, which features Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, and iLife suite, which features iMovie, iPhoto, and Garageband, will also be installed on the devices.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, is not the only area where Apple’s devices are being provided to students. Since 2002, the Maine Learning Technology Initiative has provided seventh-grade and eighth-grade students with MacBooks for use in and out of the classroom. Teachers from seventh through 12th grade have also received Macs.
This April, Apple faced contention as Maine Governor Paul LePage put his support behind the use of devices that run on Windows
(NASDAQ:MSFT), due to the operating system's greater presence in the workplace. Ultimately, however, with school districts given a choice between Apple computers and tablets or Hewlett-Packard
(NYSE:HPQ) devices, the Morning Sentinel reported on June 14
that only 5,500 of the 70,000 eligible Maine students would receive Windows-based HP ProBooks, with the rest receiving Macs.
From an expenses perspective, the transition to tech in the classroom can ultimately be a money-saving move. In 2012, Dan Brenner, the superintendent of the Roslyn Public Schools in Long Island, estimated for Time
that with iPads in just two classrooms, the school district would save $7,200 per year in textbook and other costs.
“We are talking about changing the way we do business in the classroom,” said Brenner.
As far as learning is concerned, the debate over whether tablets and laptops in the classroom serve to foster or hinder education rages on. But for companies like Apple, Microsoft, and HP -- as well as other school suppliers, like Dell
(NASDAQ:DELL) and Lenovo
(OTCMKTS:LNVGY) -- just being in the classroom is a win.
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