LA iPad In Schools Fallout Continues, Lenovo, Apple And Pearson To Pay Millions
Pearson, Apple, Lenovo and the LAUSD are under investigation by the FBI as the repercussions of its horribly bungled iPad for schools program reverberate around the district. It appears that there is some question over the legitimacy of the tendering process, and with a contract worth $1.3bn that's something that needs careful scrutiny.
The School District is facing allegations of corruption and mismanagement, which if proven, will inevitably lead to criminal prosecutions.
At the moment there's no suggestion that Apple or Lenovo were involved in any wrongdoing. However both companies will be making some form of retribution to the School District. Lenovo in the form of $2.2m worth of laptops, Apple paying $4.5m in cash.
Pearson will also be making a payment - around $6.5m. However, as the lead contractor with responsibility for delivering the software which made the project viable (questionably), Pearson's liability may not end there. The absence of course curriculum and learning material ensured the project could never have succeeded in its targets.
There is no question that giving primary school kids access to technology is beneficial, however the technology isn't the be all and end all of the process. Clearly defined learning outcomes, integration into the learning environment and a learning pathway are key. The technology should be a means and not an end.
Amongst all the acrimony and recriminations it would be well to remember that there are 640,000 LA kids whose learning has been damaged by the actions of a few misinformed and / or criminally driven individuals. The companies involved were too busy celebrating the financial and marketing benefits of the deal to remember this.