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Raleigh County proud of its school iPad initiative

Register-Herald photo by Rick Barbero Lovann Broyles, technology coach for Raleigh County Schools Technology Department, helps Shady Spring High School students set up iPads in the school library in September 2013. Eventually, iPads were provided to all Raleigh County students, grades two through 12, in a program called The iRaleigh Initiative.
Register-Herald photo by Rick Barbero
Lovann Broyles, technology coach for Raleigh County Schools Technology Department, helps Shady Spring High School students set up iPads in the school library in September 2013. Eventually, iPads were provided to all Raleigh County students, grades two through 12, in a program called The iRaleigh Initiative.

BECKLEY, W.Va. — In August 2013, Raleigh County officials launched the “iRaleigh Initiative,” delivering 9,030 iPad2s and 1,120 iPad Minis to each elementary, middle and high school campus, at a cost of $135 per student.

The project cost $12 million to implement and $7.2 million in annual payments from 2013 to 2017.

 In June 2013, the nation’s second largest school district, Los Angeles Unified School District in Los Angeles, Calif., entered a $1.3 billion agreement with Apple to place an iPad in the hands of every LAUSD student at a cost of more than $700 per student.

The LAUSD iPads came loaded with curriculum from the world’s largest curriculum provider, Pearson, a London-based publishing and education company. Pearson served as an Apple subcontractor as part of the agreement.

Both 1:1 initiatives were met with skepticism by parents, teachers and other community members in the respective districts.

LAUSD was in the national spotlight, tentatively regarded as the first technology-based classroom district in America. Those in education and technological circles have watched to see how the technology-education merger would fare.

Southern California Public Radio reported Thursday that LAUSD officials are seeking reimbursements from Apple and Pearson on the millions they’d already spent on the iPad initiative. According to the report, only a few pieces of the Pearson curriculum were available when the iPads were deployed.

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission had also opened an informal inquiry into whether Los Angeles officials followed legal guidelines when using school bond monies for the iPads, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had launched an investigation into whether Pearson or Apple had had an unfair advantage in the bidding process.

In Raleigh County on Friday, Assistant Schools Superintendent Kenneth Moles said that the 1:1 initiative in district schools is progressing much more smoothly than the failed LAUSD measure…

 

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