640,000 LA School Kids To Receive Free iPads By The End Of 2014

child-on-ipad

Image courtesy of Safe Online Child.

The Los Angeles School Board of Education has announced a new program that will see 640,000 school kids given free iPads. 31,000 of those will be given out this year, while the other 609,000 will be issued by the end of 2014. The program comes after a $31 million deal with Apple.

However, that $31 million only covers the first 31,000 devices; the board will then need to secure more funding to purchase the rest, CiteWorld reports. The program’s goal is to improve education, and provide children with new technology skills that they wouldn’t typically get at home.

“The most important thing is to try to prepare the kids for the technology they are going to face when they are going to graduate,” said┬áMark Hovatter, the chief facilities executive for the LAUSD.

“This is phase one, a mix of high school, middle school, and elementary students. We’re targeting kids who most likely don’t have their own computers or laptops or iPads. Their only exposure to computers now is going to be in their schools.”

Each iPad will be loaded with digital textbooks and educational apps that will help students plan and synchronize their schedules, share reference videos and news, use interactive lessons, and conduct reading tests. In turn, the LAUSD will save money on traditional paper textbooks.

Apple first announced the deal last month, then mentioned it again during its recent quarterly earnings call. The Cupertino company revealed that the program would cover 47 campuses across LA.

  • VirtualVisitor

    Security of the kids? Theft? Bullying? Black market leakage? Reporter do your job.

  • KillianBell

    Security of the kids? Theft? Bullying? Black market leakage? Reporter do your job.

    I don’t think it’s my job to worry about those things. It’s not my program.

  • Market_Mayhem

    Bill Gates wanted to know why the children are getting iPads and not Surface RTs. In order for those children to learn anything for the future they need to have Microsoft Office and be able to multitask. iPads don’t come with MS Office and they certainly don’t multitask. Microsoft was willing to cut a low-cost deal with the school boards that would have well undercut what Apple was charging. Bill Gates fully suspects there was bribery and kickbacks which sent the contract to Apple. Bill Gates is going to start a full investigation as to why the school board didn’t choose Microsoft tablets which are far better devices than iPads. Surface RTs are true learning devices while iPads are merely toys. Everyone knows that much.

  • technochick

    Slight correction. They don’t have to secure funding. It is secured. Voter approved tax bond designated for textbooks and other learning tech. They just have to wait for the tax money to come in.

    And this is why the money is being spent on this and not salaries etc. bond was for this use only.

  • chuckmcginley

    And the first mandatory thing they should do before loading facebook and other garbage is download E.O. Wilson’s “Life on Earth” iBook for a few bucks! It is THE most amazing interactive learning experience you can have on a tablet. Really shows what an iPad can bring to education. The NASA Hubble book for free is great too!

  • Racerx6

    Do these free loaders get to keep the iPads, or do they turn them back in at the end of the school year?

  • IronChad

    What kind of “deal with Apple” leads to $1000 iPads?

  • VirtualVisitor
    Security of the kids? Theft? Bullying? Black market leakage? Reporter do your job.

    I don’t think it’s my job to worry about those things. It’s not my program.

    You worried about funding and content and cost. Why not kids’ well-being?

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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