USD 1.3 billion iPad project faces compensation claims from US schools

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An education project based on iPads has gone the wrong way, and Los Angeles schools are asking for compensation from Apple.

Both Apple and its project partners have received letters asking for refunds.

The project spearheaded in the year 2013 aimed at providing some 650,000 students with computers, including iPads.

However, for the reasons that the computer-based curriculum turned to be incomplete and the students were able to nullify the tablets’ security systems, the project experienced a lot of problems.

The LA Unified School District (LAUSD) sent letters in which the body expressed its dissatisfaction with the project and its progress, according to an LA Times report.

Initially intended as a mean to support pupils from poor families in keeping up with their wealthier classmates, who have access to tablets and other computer-related aids for studying, the scheme was a success.

The school district of Los Angeles first bough 43,000 iPads packed up with educational materials for English curriculums, designed by Pearson, an educational and training firm. Additional 77,000 iPads were ordered for use in standardized tests.

Administrators, school heads and teachers were also required to use the iPads for improving the way schools were run and lessons were taught.

“While both Pearson and Apple were eagerly promising the latest technological solution in education, they so far failed to deliver on their promises,” was mentioned in the letters the two firms received this week.

The school district’s lawyers are also considering whether to pursue legal action against the companies. What is even more worrying is that the schools have severed the connection with the firms and have no intention of being involved in future deals with them.

The letters are an aftermath of many requests from the school district of Los Angeles that both Pearson and Apple alter the way in which the program was run. The district filed complaints in which it stated that the iPads were being used by only two schools and those who used them, reported problems frequently.

There is still no response from Apple addressing the complaints. Only Pearson issued a formal statement in which the firm said that it cherished its long and fruitful cooperation with the LAUSD and the large investment it has made into educating students.

The statement pointed out to the many challenges associated with the running of the project and even used phrases like “quality performance”.

The deal involving Apple and Pearson was a part of a large program worth USD 1.3 billion that apart from all else also addressed the issue of better internet access at school premises.

The LA school district superintendent in charge of overseeing the expensive educational program stepped down after the issues with the program were exposed.

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James Harisson

James Harrison is a freelance writer and tech buff who is obsessed with the latest gadgets (much to the dismay of his girlfriend!)

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