- According to a new report released last week, the Los Angeles Unified School District is continuing to face "serious challenges" with its iPad program.
- The Los Angeles Times reports that a $340,000 review by researchers from the American Institutes for Research found limited use of the tablets and other computers, a lack of support for teachers, poor Internet access, and limited use of Pearson curriculum that tacked on an additional $200 per device in the $1.3 billion program.
- LAUSD officials are reportedly working to address these findings, offering evidence that included the current number of schools with insufficient WiFi at 19 — an improvement from the review's over 200, or about 40% of elementary schools.
The continuing issues should come as no surprise to those who have followed LAUSD's troubled iPad deployment. Initially, those troubles included issues like kids "hacking" the devices' security measures or the district realizing too late that the lack of keyboards made them difficult to use for writing assignments. Last year, however, those issues escalated when the school pulled the plug on the not-yet-complete rollout and sought a refund — moves that preceded the revelation of much deeper issues with the procurement process, resulting in the resignation of Superintendent John Deasy, Chief Academic Officer Jaime Aquino, and Chief Technology Officer Ronald Chandler, as well as an ensuing FBI investigation.
AIR conducted its first review of the district's program last year. Hopefully, with help from the institute's findings year-over-year, the district can salvage as much of the program as possible.