LAUSD is paying $768 apiece for an iPad for its students, teachers and administrators. Meanwhile, the Perris Union High School District spends $344 for a Chromebook for each student, while Riverside Unified opts for cheaper devices like the Kindle Fire and iPad Mini, the Los Angeles Times reported in Wednesday's editions ( http://lat.ms/1cm9rQ1).
Across the nation, schools are embracing technology and increasingly providing students with tablets in the hopes that they will become more engaged in learning. At the same time, schools are trying to hold down costs by buying cheaper models or leasing them.
Not only did LAUSD choose a higher-end Apple iPad, but the district also paid to have new math and English curriculum pre-loaded on the tablets.
Schools Superintendent John Deasy defended the decision.
"Our youth deserve the best we can afford," Deasy told the newspaper.
Many school administrators agree that the iPad is the gold standard.
"Our problem is we don't have any gold," Jay McPhail, a senior administrator with the Riverside Unified School District.
Perris Union officials chose Chromebooks because of their larger screens and multiple ports to hook up printers or cameras, which are helpful to students.
"We didn't pick Chromebooks and try to make it work," Superintendent Jonathan Greenberg said. "The device was picked after we decided what is it we need to do."
San Diego Unified went with a cheaper iPad model and is saving more by equipping younger students with a Lenovo IdeaPad 7-inch tablet, which costs about $200 per device.