A US$1 billion plan to give every student in the Los Angeles Unified School District an iPad, while beefing up the district's internet capabilities and other infrastructure, is now dead, according to the L.A. Times. The deal would have started with a $30 million purchase of tablets from Apple, which would have grown to roughly $500 million worth of iPads as the program expanded.
The reason for the change is twofold: First, the district found that the iPads weren't ideal for the purposes for which they were being implemented, noting issues with both the screen size and some third-party keyboards that didn't work as intended.
Second, and perhaps most damning, was a disclosure by L.A. Unified's Superintendent John Deasy that revealed an uncomfortably close relationship between Deasy, his staff, and the companies that would have benefited the most from the deal -- Apple, of course, and Pearson, who was to provide educational content on the devices. Deasy has denied than any favoritism took place.
As far as the school district's technology plans, Deasy says the plan to equip every student with "a personal computing device" is still in the works, though the specifics have not yet been hashed out.
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