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Los Angeles schools to offer students hybrids and laptops instead of Apple iPads

SurfacePro  2

Los Angeles officials are looking to Chromebooks, Microsoft's Windows 8 and other hardware to complement its iPad offering in the education sector. Students in Los Angeles have enjoyed the use of iPads to aid with not only their education, but also social lives too thanks to easily bypassing any security filters in place. Schools will be able to differentiate what is offered to students, a choice of six devices.

"The benefit of the new approach is clear," said Los Angeles school board member Monica Ratlif to the LA Times. "Why would we treat all our students – whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman – as if they all had the same technology needs? They don't." Devices will include Chromebooks, Surface Pro 2 and Lenovo's Yoga Touch with teachers and students testing said units this fall.

Other issues with the iPad tablets included incomplete educational material, apparent difficulty in use due to on-screen keyboard and sometimes exam problems were often obscured due to the screen size. While iPad distribution across LA schools remains on hold, some schools are still scheduled to receive units later this year.

Source: LA Times

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Reader comments

Los Angeles schools to offer students hybrids and laptops instead of Apple iPads

80 Comments

yea. except the fact that most android apps are for mobile OS only and also the fact that a chromebook doesn't have a touchscreen

You are right, its not a bad choice, its a horrible choice. ChromeBook does not have touch, touch is the most natural and easy form of input.

They Have touch. I like Microsoft and all, but I'm not going to bash on other products just because they come from a company I don't like.

I beg to differ. In a chromebook working with documents is way easier, not to mention USB support and expandable storage.

The more people that try Chromebook, the more that realize how bad and useless it is. We all know Chromebook can't compete with Surface Pro 2, let alone an iPad.

"Students in Los Angeles have enjoyed the use of iPads to aid with not only their education, but also social lives too thanks to easily bypassing any security filters in place". Well you need to get me a well paid job over there. There is no excuse for not being able to filter porn or social media sites on IOS devices regardless of proxy settings. Hint: Google (sorry, Bing) "Transperrent Proxy" and "WCCP" (for Cisco firewalls).

The Article does not metion porn, only weak iPad security and filters! It is a Consumption device, so more and more school districts are being forced to change, teaching is about producing content a learning, not just consuming as iPads do.

They didn't use proxies. They deleted the user profile and created anew one. It was as simple as that to bypass security.

Well use one then! A web filter on the network and a Cisco firewall at the border. All done for 2k. Then transparrent proxy all devices. Only allow http traffic if it's gone through the filter and change dns to prevent https. Easy (for now - until google break their no SSL option)

You clearly do not work in education... 

Things you are are not considering...

In education IT... you cannot just do what you want. You have a very strict set of state and federal guidelines you have to follow. Or you can lose all funding. Often times you get grants to buy 1000 tablets but you cannot use the money to buy the necessary network work equipment. Like for us... we just bought a new firewall for our mobile device roll out... 250k, not covered by the money paying for the tablets. Its called catagorical funding which have a strict set of guidelines stating exactly what can and cannot be purchased with the money.

Next, where there is a kid there is a way. There are so many things out there that can bypass filters and firewalls. Some of these programs update 30 to 40 times a day with new proxy information. Oh but block proxy all together... you can't because some of your educational software needs it. etc...

Then you have unions... which negoatiate specific allowances into teacher contracts that allow them to fundimentally do what ever they want.

There is much much more to this than you think.

I don't work for LAUSD but I do work right up the coast from them in another school district and you clearly have never worked education at any level. It is nothing like corporate America IT.

 

H.

 

Yes I do work in education. And we allow social media because it is so narrow-minded to block it as in the original article. We encourage our students to bring their own devices and communicate with us via twitter or facebook if they wish. But we do block adult sites and other sites from a safeguarding point of view and it's easy, even on their own devices. Just route all traffic by a filter (sophos web appliance for example) and any traffic that hits the border without having gone through a filter (eg a students own iphone), redirect it back to the filter. It's not hard, or expensive! You can even block vpn software with decent endpoint security/scanning. I agree, there is always a way, it would be naive to think there wasn't - but it works fine for 99% of the kids.

I just shit an apple. It hurt, guess I should have chewed it first. I was just so pissed at what that apple represented I swallowed it whole.

Pasadena Independent School District is deploying 12,900 dell venue 11 pro tablets.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/jun14/06-29pasadenapr.aspx

MS should push cheaper options like below against those crappy chromebooks which are good for nothing.

http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-ES1-511-C59V-15-6-Inch-Diamond/dp/B00K...

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-11-6-touch-screen-laptop-amd-a...$abcat0502000&cp=1&lp=5

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-pavilion-x360-2-in-1-11-6-touch-screen-la...$abcat0502000&cp=1&lp=14

 

Well they're screwed, we deployed just 90 to a year group, they all had to be replaced and now the replacements are starting to fail. Terrible devices, seriously, whoever thought micro USB cables for charging was a good idea should be shown the door, but that's just the start of their issues...

Because Apple has been deep into school dollars for years. Hard to convince educators who have been weaned on those since te Apple II

But Apple is not giving any discounts to these schools. LAUSD actually paid above retail for the ipads. It included a case and some software, but still overpaid considering the qualtity they bought. They would have received major discounts buying any other device.

Did you read the article? It mentions screen size as being one of the issues with the iPad, so wouldn't a surface mini have the same problem?

You are absolutely right... I overlooked that one fact. I own a Surface Pro 3 myself and sometimes I can find the size a bit on the large side but more often than not it is just fine.

I personally thought the comment about size was rather strange since an ip is 9.1 - 9.5" and most of the new windows hybrids are 10.1" which really isn't much bigger. They should have simply stuck with the legacy app issues.

Microsoft or an OEM should come up with a $399-$499 Windows 8.1 tablet with pen and keyboard included. If equipped with a Core i3 and 4GB of RAM such a device (at that price) would be good for the education market.

I have an Asus T100. I struggle to see how it wouldn't be a perfect fit for a student. I use mine as my sole computer. It even video edits without much trouble, works great with a second screen, has a full speed USB 3 port, has all day battery life AND comes with a free copy of Office 2013!

I absolutely agree, I paid $360 for the 64gb model of the Asus T100, and I couldn't be more happy with this machine. Its ideal for this exact situation, its a very nice tablet or when I want, it becomes a great notebook. I have yet to find another Win 8.1 hybrid/tablet/laptop that offer all the features of the Asus T100 for the price of this machine.

And it also plays PC games in a pinch. Not always the latest, greatest games. But almost any game you can find on GOG, many Steam Greenlight games, and occasionally you can find a game like BF3, Skyrim, or Bioshock Infinite, that will run on it at respectable settings. Not bad for that Bay Trail processor.

My DV8PRO also has a baytrail CPU, but I can't even run skyrim at a respectable fps. How did you do this with your t100?

I normally change my laptop every few months....simply because something better catches my eye. But I am like you - I have yet to find another hybrid that ticks so many boxes and fulfills so many niches.
One of my favourite things about the T100 -- recharging via USB! I can now recharge my laptop from my car cigarette lighter, my phone charger....and even my solar panel when cycle touring! I even find the keyboard to be very usable! - the trackpad is pretty awful though :)
A superb bit of kit that I will only replace when a 4GB 64bit atom powered T100 comes out. (Or a Core powered hybrid that recharges via micro USB).

windows phone 8, windows 8 (tablet, RT, laptop, both) are the best choice of them all, why use apple when you can have your favourite windows? why use limited chromebooks when you can have windows 7-like + tiles + picture lock + touch and type cover?

Unfortunately, we're currently in the process of purchasing (against our will) iPads for some of our students and that we would need to manage them.
I'm an IT Tech and my department questioned if they were fit for purpose and even offered much cheaper Windows solutions.  The Asus T100 was a favourite here in the office but they've got it into their heads that they must have iPads and that we must support them.  We're pretty much 95% a Microsoft environment and trained/skilled accordingly.  We have a Mac server running OSX 10.5 that has no mobile device support, as fair as I'm aware, so managing the iPads is going to be troublesome.
They won't pay to improve the back-end stuff, they just want iPads.  September is going to be great fun when their great plan fails.  All of our concerns have been sent via email so they won't be able to have a go when it does either.

It's a shame you didn't get any support for the T100. Built in Office 2013, a proper keyboard, and a HDMI out for presentations. Three things right there that the iPad can't offer.
Businesses seem determined to 'escape' the MS ecosystem, forgetting that Microsoft make far and away the best businesses services.
Products like the Surface Pro 3 will make it near impossible to justify buying products outside of the MS ecosystem. Until then, enjoy the iPad's!

You will have to look into getting a 3rd party MDM like AirWatch if you want to manage them OTA.  Otherwise, you can use Apple Configurator to lock them down (as best as you can).  The current issue that we are seeing with AirWatch is that the settings profile can just be deleted from the device and a factory reset performed, completely removing everything.  Apple just released their deploy.apple site, hopefully their enrollment will fix this.

Chromebooks are a sad thing especially of the hp variety brings back memories of my pavilion dv6307ca what a crappy laptop that was NVIDIA desktop chipset from the xp era adapted for mobile use for Vista premium(like most really couldn't run vista premium) it seen the the service department of bestbuy's futureshop at least a dozen times during its extended service plan the final time they fixed the wireless dropout. has been working fine since as my home server currently

Why would students need an iPad or any tablet, they barely need a laptop. Third society has become so spoiled. I'm in 11th grade and I have barely needed the use of a computer. While LA schools get iPads my school Castlemont high school, Oakland CA barely had internet at the most crucial part of the year. Just goes to show your that school money is being unfairly distributed.

I could somehow see the need if you had really good software, both for education, as well as connecting teachers, parents, students and schools together.

I love my Surface Pro 3, but I would have to disagree. I know I may get hated on a lot for saying this here, but ChromeBooks are actually a great thing. They are cheap hardware, with 'decent' specs, they're fast, secure, and do everything that a lot of people need. You may not be satisfied with one, because you may need to run Windows desktop software; I got a SP3 because that is my case. All that a lot of people need is to be able to type documents, check Facebook, look at their photos, and browse the web. THAT is what the Chromebook is made for.

And yes, Chrome OS IS an OS.....

Posted via Surface

But we're talking about a school district that I'm sure uses legacy software outside of productivity software. I guess they issue chrome books as physical education items? Apparently they will be using office and legacy software on the windows machines and we know that documents created using Google docs don't convert to office documents without errors for collaboration between employees using the two different suites; wouldn't this cause issues much like problems being described while using the iPad? If not, then the lines about iPad issues are bull because the chrome book should have some of the same problems the iPad does since it doesn't support legacy software as well s not playing well with office.

I understand your point of view, but can't you do everything you described on your surface plus the creation of documents?? If you can have a single piece of hardware to perform all of your tasks, unless you're a technology enthusiasts like many of us here, why would to waste funds on multiple devices? Especially since schools and city's all have budget constraints. It seems like this person may be trying to please coworkers, friends, etc. It must be nice to be able to play with budget for fun

I see your point, but the Surface Pro is a bit pricey for people who don't need more than a Chromebook. I wasn't necessarily talking about the school in particular, but merely trying to point out that a Chromebook is a good option for some people. Take my grandparents for instance. They don't need more than a Chromebook. They need to check email, Facebook, and type up an occasional document in Google Docs. Why pay $799+ for something they can pay $300 for all they need?

Posted via Surface

Low end Atom hybrids almost have price parity with Chromebooks - yet offer ALL the benefits of a Windows device. How is a chromebook a better bet than an Asus T100 for example?

For student use, a Chromebook is actually perfect.  It is inexpensive, runs smoothly, pretty indestructible, and has a keyboard.  Most of what the teachers will want to do with the students in on the Web anyways.  And if the district uses Google Apps for Education (like us) the more the better.  Google Docs and the like are really nice for collaboration.  Our teachers that use it the most get great feedback from their students.

I'm still not convinced at all by chromebooks, since you can get q cheap windows machine for about the same price, and windows 8 runs quite smoothly even on low-end hardware. Plus you can just install chrome and instantly have access to all things google if you need them, plus w8 apps and legacy software all for the same price.

"All that a lot of people need is to be able to type documents, check Facebook, look at their photos, and browse the web. THAT is what the Chromebook is made for."

You can do the samething on Windows RT and with Office 2013, a desktop, etc...

Guess the laptop isn't dead like analyst and media who are pro Apple wasn't is to believe. And the hybrid does have benefits! Two for the price of one still appeals to consumers. I still don't get the deal with chrome books since they don't support legacy applications. While I don't like Google docs, how are they going to install legacy educational programs on those??

Msft should build a Surface  Pro 3 like device with a baytrail processor and aptly call them Surface 3 SE (Student Edition). And, of course they need to price it right. For sure that would be a hit. However, i doubt they will do that as this will cannibalize the sales of their OEM partners. They are actually in a bind here as they can't properly price their SP3 series as that would go toe to toe with their partners. I say make a bold move and compete with them seriously. Anyway, in reality they are actually competing with you as most of them are now making chromebooks. However as you do this make sure you are building your international networks simultaneously to make a full impact.

Ipads weren't a good solution in my school. People always did everything else than working on their projects, deleted other people's work, blocked important websites etc. :P

It's because the school boards who are not tech savy have it in their heads that iPads are the latest greatest tech and they want their schools to seem high tech. Perceptions like that will get them re-elected, regardless of whether these things actually suit the students needs.

My daughter was issued an iPad in our school district, the district crippled it beyond the ability to use it ( no cloud storage, apps, email, facetime, etc...)
This on top of the native limitations, her iPad has sat unused in her room since the beginning of last year. I hope they consider switching to a Windows device this year.

....does the author of this alleged news article not know the meaning of the word instead?  Look it up and then justify how it applies.  This also BADLY cribs stuff from the source article. It is just a trial program about which no decisions have been made.