Controversial math apps won’t help kids cheat

By

The girl at work. Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac
My daughter wishes these math apps worked better. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

My math-averse daughter wanted to cheat on her algebra homework. So we downloaded PhotoMath, a free app that lets you take a picture of your mathematical and algebraic equations, solving them for you and showing the steps to the solution.

PhotoMath has been at the top of the App Store charts for a couple of weeks, hitting number one on the Education, Kids Games and Top Apps lists. Small wonder, as it seems like a great way to get out of doing homework.

However, despite the concerns of some parents and teachers, apps like PhotoMath just won’t help when it comes to cheating — they’re far too limited. Still, it’s a promising technology that, once it matures, might actually turn into the type of wonder tool for education we’ve long been promised, turning our iOS devices into useful educational tools that will help kids actually learn math, rather than simply giving them a shortcut to homework answers.

Educator behind $1.3 billion iPad deal should go to ‘teacher jail,’ says union

By

The superintendent behind the abandoned $1.3 billion school iPad deal should go to 'teacher jail,' says union.
The superintendent behind the abandoned $1.3 billion school iPad deal should go to "teacher jail," says union.

Los Angeles teachers union president Alex Caputo-Pear has called for L.A. Schools chief John Deasy — the man who helped orchestrate the ill-fated $1.3 billion tech deal designed to give an iPad to every student — to report to “teacher jail” while the program is under investigation.

“Teacher jail” refers to district offices which house instructors who are facing allegations of misconduct.

In Deasy’s case, the alleged misconduct relates to apparent inappropriate dealings with Apple and education publisher Pearson that may have influenced the bidding process for the massive deal, which has now been abandoned. Deasy claims there was nothing inappropriate about his relationship with either company.

Educator who orchestrated $1 billion iPad deal could face detention

By

iPads in classroom

Los Angeles teachers union president Alex Caputo-Pearl has called for an investigation into Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent John Deasy’s relationship with Apple, which led to the announcement that the school system had blown its entire $1 billion tech budget on giving an iPad to every student last year.

Although the iPad deal was later put on hold, the L.A. Board of Education is being pressured by Caputo-Pearl to investigate why Deasy and his then-chief deputy, Jaime Aquino, were apparently discussing the deal with Apple and education publisher Pearson up to two years before the official bidding process was finished and contracts were approved.

Los Angeles school district puts $1 billion iPad rollout on hold

iPad-mini-HD

The Los Angeles Unified School District decided to blow its entire $1 billion tech budget on an iPad for every student last year, but after security hacks and supply issues got the program off to a rocky start, the district has decided to adjust course and let on a few challengers.

Officials at the U.S.’s second-largest school district have decided to allow a group of high schools to choose between six devices instead of the iPad, effectively putting distribution of Apple’s tablet on hold district-wide.

Apple offers educational discounts on iPad Air and Retina iPad mini

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Good news if you’re a student! Apple has introduced reduced education pricing for both the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini — with prices for the two tablets starting from $469 and $379.

This represents a $30 discount for the iPad Air and a $20 for the iPad mini, and also marks the first time that Apple has included the iPad in its special discount program. Last year the company cut the educational price of the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro to $999, while Apple additionally offers discounts on its entire Mac line in its education store.