iPads Aren’t *That* Magical

PandoDaily: Los Angeles School District’s $30 million iPad program falls flat

Last week, I wrote about how one-to-one tablet programs in Missouri and Texas K-12 schools had hit some road bumps. In North Carolina when 73,000 Amplify tablets arrived — from Robert Murdoch’s edtech company — a good chunk of them were shattered and labeled “dangerous.” The program got discontinued. In Texas, a consultant review of the science program iAchieve, that 70,000 students were doing on iPads, found it didn’t meet curriculum standards, and students weren’t learning what they were supposed to. The program was discontinued.

At the time I said, “Uh oh, this doesn’t bode well for the Los Angeles School District, which just ordered $30 million worth of $700 retina display iPads for its students.” School districts and tablet providers are screwing up the execution of what otherwise sounded pretty cool.
The key to improving student performance isn’t in iPads, or any other tablets. They’re not magical pills you give kids and they’ll suddenly all be A students.
It’s about great teachers using great technology.
Technology alone won’t do it.

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