Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times pointed out the endlessly escalating costs of Superintendent John Deasy’s decision to buy an iPad, loaded with Pearson content, for every child.
The initial cost estimate was $1 billion for hardware, software, and content. The money was mostly taken from a 25-year school,construction bond issue. So, instead of repairing schools, students will have iPads for Common Core testing.
Hiltzik points out that in three years, the lease on the Pearson content will expire and must be purchased again for another $60 million.
Also, the iPads will be obsolete in 3-4 years and must be replaced.
Someone is making a lot of money and it’s not the teachers.
Hiltzik points out the obvious and asks this question:
“The aspect of technology-based teaching that never gets the attention it deserves is the cost of ownership. Tablets need to be fixed or replaced, for hundreds of dollars a shot. And as the LAUSD has discovered, software isn’t forever. Think of the teachers and real pedagogical tools that could be paid for with $60 million a year, and how much added value they’d provide to students.
Here’s a question for LAUSD Supt. John Deasy, who has pronounced the iPad program “an astonishing success.” Does he still think so? Feel free to deliver your answer via iPad-compatible digital video, Mr. D.”