ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The St. Paul school district plans to hand out iPads to all students in the next school year.
That year, the district sought and won voter approval of a $9 million-per-year technology initiative that was to create a “teaching and learning platform,” or Facebook-like webpage, through which teachers and students could interact, according to the Star Tribune. Its proponents insisted that the initiative was not about supplying devices to students.
But the district and Dell, its partner in the project, have failed to develop a customized platform that could serve students and teachers “directly enough or quickly enough,” Superintendent Valeria Silva. That work has been halted, and Dell has agreed to refund the $665,000 it has been paid in the form of future technology upgrades.
Matt Mohs, the district’s chief academic officer, said Friday that efforts to meet a 2014-15 platform rollout were ramped up this spring and that it became apparent that “we weren’t going to get what we wanted and what we expected, and likely weren’t ever going to get what we wanted and expected.”
They have cancelled the $4.3 million contract without penalty, according to Minnesota Public Radio News. There’s no price tag for the new effort, yet.
The district would be largest in the state to put iPads in the hands of all students. It takes effect in the 2015-16 school year.
Among the other school districts in the state that have handed out iPads are Farmington, Rochester, Virginia, Watertown-Mayer, Wayzata and Spring Lake Park.
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