LA school officials shift from free iPads to laptops and hybrids

An iPad for every student was the plan. Then, some students were too smart for their own good, quickly enabling their for-learnin' iPads to access to anything on the web, including Twitter, Facebook and all that other fun stuff. LA's school district now plans to differentiate what it offers its students, authorizing purchases for one of six different devices, including laptops and hybrids such as Chromebooks, Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 and Lenovo's Yoga Touch. This fall, teachers and students will test these laptops to see if they fit. "The benefit of the new approach is clear," said Los Angeles school board member Monica Ratliff, talking to the LA Times. "Why would we treat all our students - whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman - as if they all had the same technology needs? They don't."

Last year's iPad scheme rolled out to 47 schools, but alongside those aforementioned security filter woes, distribution of the tablets soon fell behind schedule. Worse still, educational materials were apparently often incomplete. (In the new scheme, materials from three different publishers are also being trialled) Given the touchscreen keyboards, iPads were apparently difficult to use while sometimes exam problems were often obscured due to the screen size. iPad distribution across LA's school district remains on hold, although some school are still scheduled to receive them later this year.