30 million in iPads for LA School district

I am not a fan of this. But perhaps there is something that I do not understand about it.
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The district is paying $678 per device — higher than tablets available in stores — but the computers will be preloaded with educational software. The price does not include a wireless keyboard, which may be necessary for older students.

I am perhaps looking at the glass half full, but with the students being able to take the machines home, the possibility for them to be stolen or broken seems to be high, especially in the underpriviledged neighborhoods they are supposed to be serving.
I also can’t help but think, “Couldn’t they have bough at least 6 brand new text books(or perhaps have funded open source text books for every student? and then bought something more economical and flexible such as kiosks and monitors for a 3rd of the price)?.
Even if you are going to go with tablets, is there not a more economical way to go that will prevent lock in?
How many adults have dropped their ipads and made them inoperable, and we are talking about children here… if they break, or lose the 3 free replacements (we are talking about kids) then are they then unable to participate? You can share books, but can you realistically share an ipad?
I understand that the world is moving towards something more electronic, but with the money crunch that education is always in, wouldn’t something more durable, and affordable be in order? Is there not a better way to reduce the technology gap in these children’s lives (a more technolgy based curriculum such as programming and development)? Books are not sexy anymore, but the reality is that they don’t require electricity or apps.

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