San Diego schools purchase 25,700 Apple iPad 2 units

“After putting more than 75,600 netbooks into the hands of students, the San Diego Unified School District has switched its focus to Apple iPads and will buy devices to outfit 340 classrooms before the end of the school year,” Karen Kucher reports for The San Diego Union-Tribune.
“In all, the district plans to purchase around 25,700 iPad 2s at a slight discount from retail to roll out to its fifth- and eighth-grade classes as well as some high school classes by next fall. It is one of the largest deployments of iPads in K-12 schools in the nation and will cost the district more than $15 million,” Kucher reports. “The district began distributing the iPads to classrooms last week. After taking a break to accommodate state testing, officials will resume placing them in schools, prioritized based on need, in a process expected to last until late July. Phase two of the rollout will begin in September.”

Kucher reports, “Darryl LaGace, Unified’s chief information and technology officer, said the district opted to make the switch after weighing the pros and cons of the two types of devices. The district has spent more than $35 million on netbooks, he said.”

Kucher reports, “‘Over the past six months, we have been piloting iPads and Android devices in a variety of settings,’ LaGace said in a memo sent to principals in early March. ‘Although no device can do everything, the iPad clearly provides some of the best features while at the same time addresses some of the issues we have experienced with the netbook platform.’”

Kucher reports, “LaGace asked school administrators to state their preference by early March. He said the vast majority chose the iPad.”

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