Los Angeles school officials have taken back iPads from students at Westchester and Roosevelt high schools and possibly other campuses as well until further notice, the latest fallout from student hacking of the devices.
The move is another complication in efforts to provide an iPad to every student as part of a $1-billion technology plan in the nation's second-largest school system.
LAUSD officials had previously responded to students bypassing the laughably inadequate security by requiring that the tablets remain on campus, so you would think that the recall would be a relatively simple manner.
It turns out that the LAUSD was no more capable of securing the hardware inside of schools than they were in keeping students from bypassing the security:
Staff at Roosevelt in Boyle Heights and students at Westchester confirmed that the $700 tablets were taken back Friday by school officials. But a Roosevelt teacher said only about two-thirds of about 2,100 devices were immediately returned by students.
At Roosevelt, "we don't know when or if we will able to use the iPads again for classroom instruction — this week, this semester or this year," said Lisa Alva, the coordinator for academic services to low-income students.
She added that the administration told her it had collected only about two-thirds of the iPads from students by the end of school Friday. If that's accurate, then many students may have violated recent instructions to keep the iPads on campus.
Am I the only one that has the theme song from The Benny Hill Show running through my head?
The LAUSD program called for 47 schools to get iPads this Fall semester, with another 200 schools to received iPads in the Spring. The remaining 400 odd LAUSD schools were scheduled to get iPads next school year, but now that the program has hit a major roadblock that might not happen.
This was all part of a billion dollar plan to put iPads in the backpacks of more than 660 thousand students at a cost of nearly $700 each. The hardware accounts for around half the expected cost, with the rest going to infrastructure, training (what little there was of it), and operating costs.
All of this was supposed to have been funded by 25 year school bonds, but given the negative publicity and lack of any verifiable return on the initial investment I am not sure that voters will let that happen.
image by Brad Flickinger