San Diego District Buys $15M in iPads

From The Daily Tech:

The Unified School District in San Diego, California is receiving nearly 26,000 iPads as soon as this fall. The school district's commitment has been labeled the largest iPad deployment in K-12 schools in the United States.

The students will likely be using iBooks, which is an application that provides students with textbooks on the iPad as well as new study options like note-taking. Students can also use this app as well as others for writing and math without having to carry several heavy books to class. Overall, iBooks offers a more interactive learning experience that the district hopes will engage students.

They will be using them in 5th and 8th grades and some high school classes, about 340 classrooms.  
How did they afford this?

The answer is Proposition S funding, which was passed in 2008 and offered money for classroom technology. Each iPad was purchased at $370 a piece (sic).

FYI, that per iPad cost is only $30 less than retail. 

It is unclear if there was any teacher input on this idea.  I think the district believes it will save money on books as well as make use of many applications.  

Good idea or was there a better use for $15M?


Po3 said…
I think the STEM laptops is a good example of what can happen when students are entrusted with portable technology.
Scrawny Kayaker said…
Neat! This should really help focus their learning. The iPad is a perfect platform for students to learn about programming, too!
Scrawny Kayaker said…
Oops, that comment above was supposed to end with a tag bracket-slashsnark-closebracket, but the system ate it.
Anonymous said…
Some questions that pop to mind pretty quickly...
1. Will the iPads be restricted as to what apps can be installed?
2. Will the teachers have any way to remotely view/control individual units while that unit is being used in their classroom?
3. How strict will the acceptable use rules be, and how supportive will the district be in enforcing those rules?
4. Will the teachers be trained in how to effectively use this technology? And not just a one-time class, but ongoing feedback and coaching.
5. Will the students be taught how to use this technology in an education setting?

And on a side note, I believe that studies have shown that people retain information better when notes are hand-written as opposed to typed. (I could be wrong and I'm AWFUL at remembering where I read stuff.)

iPad user said…
You can handwrite notes on an iPad

You can also imbed photos, charts and typed text in your notes.

You can access iTunes u and watch/listen to all kinds of lectures.

You can highlight and markup text.

They are awesome.
Anonymous said…
However, the curriculum companies have not quite caught up to the iPad technology. Their textbooks are mostly pdf files - hardly interactive - nor do they take advantage of the capabilities of the iPads.
Yes, they can annotate over the pdfs if they purchase the correct apps, but really, there’s so much more potential - hence the reason Apple wants to do their own textbooks.

Waiting for SSD to catch up. said…
While some may take issue with spending that amount on iPads it does speak to their districts interest in teaching and learning in the 21st century. Something Seattle is lagging way behind in compared to the districts that surround it.

SSD still hasnt mounted projectors in elementary schools, ony new schools or where individuals have gotten funding through grant writing have interactive white boards. Have. You seen the antiques students are still using with limited applications, still running Windows XP? With servers running at a snails pace!

There are next to zero professional development opportunities for people who want to do more integration offered, except for how to use a document camera or Outlook.

Sorry about any typos. This darn iPad :)
Anonymous said…
I am not a fan of technology in the classroom in grades K-8. It is often more of a distraction than a help except for in some cases with kids with autism. It would be cool if kids were taught from the ground up in high school, learn to type, build a computer, write some programs and then start using software. To me, it is like learning simple math by using a calcultor. I come from a technical background, engineer, and have found that it is more beneficial to learn about the tool before you use it and to learn how to do it without the tool before you use the tool.

Anonymous said…
I'm sorry....all I can think of is how quickly these will be out of date. Then where is the 15 Mil? If SDD wants this kind of tech in the classroom, they ought to be working on a long-term approach, rotating in newer technology as it is offered without having to buy the latest and the greatest en masse. I wonder just how long a life the expensive whiteboards and the expensive projectors hanging from the newer classroom ceilings (with very expensive replacement bulbs)will have.

Two years to go
Anonymous said…
See Seattle -area teacher (and SPS parent) Sarah Heller MacFarlane's article on adjusting to laptop life in the high school where she teaches titled
"The Laptops are coming! The laptops are coming!"
(sorry I don't know how to do the link thing)

A few years have gone by. I hope there'll be a follow - up article.

--Old School Music
Anonymous said…
Shoreline high schools give out ipads and laptops.

Unknown said…
UrgentiCare - We currently repair iPads for a Private School in California, we are located in Puyallup. It was not anticipated by the School when they issued 700 iPads to Students that their would be breakage involved. This is something to consider.

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