LOS ANGELES (AP) — The leader of the nation's second-largest school district moved Tuesday to put the brakes on an ambitious $1 billion plan to place iPads in the hands of every student after some of the first to get them used the devices to tweet, text and play games rather than study.
Under a revised plan, all 650,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District would have iPads to use by the end of 2015 rather than the original target date of 2014. Principals and certified teachers at all of district campuses would have the extra time to attend orientation programs on the use of the devices.
"I am hopeful that this revised plan meets the concerns of board members over how best to provide our students with the technology they need to excel in the classroom and succeed in their careers," Superintendent John Deasy said in a statement.
Concerns were expressed last month that the original target date was too ambitious after more than 300 students at three of the first campuses to receive iPads quickly cracked their security settings and began surfing the Web.
Several students at Roosevelt High School said they went on Facebook and YouTube. Others said they downloaded games from various sites and played them in class. Some, however, said they cracked the codes so they could actually do research for school assignments.
The district is spending $1 billion to buy the iPads and wire every school with WiFi. It recently distributed the devices at 47 campuses.
Deasy proposes handing out the next batch by April to three dozen of the district's campuses most lacking in technology. Other schools would get them between August 2014 and December 2015.
The Board of Education is expected to consider the revised proposal at a special meeting on Oct. 29.
Deasy said it's important to get the tablets to students quickly because computerized state testing is being introduced in 2015.