What do you get when you add together three bad ideas? The LA school district's iPad program.

I read this article about LA's school iPad program this morning.

I already thought the initial iPad program sounded like a bad decision on LA's part - partially because I don't agree with the practice of providing students with such a neutered computing device. (see Doctorow's "war against general purpose computing" http://boingboing.net/2012/01/10/lockdown.html )

Add to that the fact that they were neutering the iPads even more through device control services, and I really don't see how the proposed educational benefits would be worth the 30 year bond being used to pay for the program.

Then, to top it off, because the students began to "hack" their iPads in the natural and inevitable processes of exploration, learning, and experimentation - which is what schools actually ought to be encouraging in their students - LA is thinking about delaying the rest of the rollout, as if they can somehow fix the underlying faults of their plan.

I am frustrated by how often i see this kind of thing. If a backwards, old fashioned, and poorly executed plan is the problem, the fix should be modern, progressive, and with best practices in mind. Apparently, that's too much trouble.

POST-RANT THOUGHT: It must be awful to be one of the LA officials involved in this. The external pressures of culture and the status quo combined with the internal pressures from their understanding of how the world should work (which I'm sure they've come by naturally) must be absolutely paralyzing. My thoughts are with everyone involved as they are faced with modern reality. I hope they re able to coordinate all of the necessary parts of the system in order to use this to grow and move it forward. It won't be easy but it will be right.