Los Angeles public schools, which had been in the process of a $1 billion program to give low-income students iPads, has put a temporary halt to the program after students repeatedly hacked the iPads to access Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
The iPads were meant to be used to help students take tests, do homework, and play "learning" games (the worst kind of games). But after distributing the first 25,000 iPads, students quickly figured out a way to get around security features to access their beloved social media. Already, students have been banned from taking them home with them, but now the school district will halt the distribution entirely.
"It is certainly ambitious and I have to credit them for that," Richard Culatta, the U.S. Department of Education's director of the office of educational technology, told Reuters. He added that any project of this scale would hit some "bumps along the road."
The school board will vote in the upcoming months on whether to halt the iPad distribution altogether, or simply delay it another year to figure out how best to get students to use the technology to learn, and not to Tweet.
"We're doing kind of a groundbreaking rollout, we all knew there would be attention paid to it and that's not a bad thing," said Los Angeles school board member Tamar Galatzan. "If folks want to go back to the day of using a piece of stone and a chisel, we can."
Los Angeles has already pledged to replace lost or stolen iPads free of charge to students, allaying parental concerns of hidden costs.