Hilariously, officials at high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District are now taking back a couple thousand iPads a week or so after giving them to students as part of a 47-school pilot program.
The mass repossession is the latest in a series of responses by school officials to the fact that hundreds of students figured out almost immediately how to hack the security settings on their iPads. Another 71 kids ostensibly lost their iPads just as immediately. (RELATED: LA schools give every kid an iPad—what could go wrong?)
Each iPad cost the school district $700. School district officials have said that the eventual goal is to supply every kid with one of the devices as part of a technology plan that will cost $1 billion.
As of Friday, students at Westchester High School and Roosevelt High School are now bereft of their iPads, reports the Los Angeles Times. At least most of them are now bereft, anyway. A Roosevelt teacher told the Times that about one-third of the devices still remain unaccounted for.
“They carted them out of every classroom in sixth period,” Westchester senior Brian Young told The Times on Monday. “There has been no word of when they’ll be back.”
Other schools may soon follow suit and recall their students’ iPads as well.
The hacking was far from rocket science for the tech-savvy students. Bypassing the security settings imposed by school officials took no more than a few simple clicks.
Students had told the Times they were frustrated because they couldn’t surf the Internet freely or visit social media and music streaming websites.
School district officials apparently believe the problem is temporary and that they will somehow find a way to prevent high school kids from using their school-issued iPads in exactly the way Apple designed iPads to be used.
“We are working with Apple to develop a solution,” school district spokesman Thomas Waldman said.
In the meantime, Waldman explained, the district is working with schools to allow students “to use the devices at their school only.”
Before the draconian repossession, administrators had attempted to ban students from using the iPads off of school grounds, thus defeating the point of having the devices, which are intended as supplemental learning tools.