L.A. School District Halting Home Use of Issued iPads After Students Bypass Content Restrictions

Thursday September 26, 2013 8:55 AM PDT by Richard Padilla
Back in June, Apple announced that it had been awarded a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Unified School District to supply 35,000 iPads to students in the district. That program was announced as a pilot effort that was projected to lead to all 640,000 students in the district receiving iPads by the end of 2014.

ipad_for_education
However, a report from the Los Angeles Times indicates that the school district is experiencing difficulties with students bypassing content restrictions on the devices, thus forcing the school district to halt the home use of the tablets and jeopardizing the full rollout of the program.
It took exactly one week for nearly 300 students at Theodore Roosevelt High School to hack through security so they could surf the Web on their new school-issued iPads, raising new concerns about a plan to distribute the devices to all students in the district.

"Outside of the district's network ... a user is free to download content and applications and browse the Internet without restriction," two senior administrators said in a memo to the Board of education and L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy. "As student safety is of paramount concern, breach of the ... system must not occur."
Specifically, the students simply deleted personal profiles from the district-issued iPads, which then enabled them to browse websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pandora, all of which had been blocked on the devices.

Apple has long had a heavy focus on the educational market, entering a new phase with the introduction of the iPad in 2010. The company has also often discounted its product lineup for students with its yearly back-to-school program, and has pushed its initiative to bring iPads to classroom on an international scale, as evidenced by its efforts to land educational deal in Turkey that would see the country purchasing more than $4.5 billion worth of iPads.

Related roundup: iPad Air 2

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 15 months ago
Or the title could be: "Big brother LA school district finds that kids are smarter than the geniuses who set this up".

Why would the LA School District care what the kids do on the iPads? Get a clue, the kids can surf from other devices too, and blocking it is just stupid.
Rating: 16 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago
The iPad is a learning tool on multiple levels :D
Rating: 16 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago
Maybe they missed the option where the user can't remove a profile, set up by Apple Configurator...
Rating: 14 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago
If it was done right, this wouldn't have happened. This one is obviously on the IT department, not the students fault.
Rating: 12 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

Or the title could be: "Big brother LA school district finds that kids are smarter than the geniuses who set this up".

Why would the LA School District care what the kids do on the iPads? Get a clue, the kids can surf from other devices too, and blocking it is just stupid.


because kids are stupid, one of them will meet a child predator using the iPad browsing the web, and then sue the school.
Rating: 11 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago
The problem is that they're just using an ActiveSync profile instead of a MobileConfig profile with a MDM server to lock down these iPads.
Rating: 8 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

I don't see why they would halt the trial because the students are using the internet at home, from what I understand the school's network still blocks the content while they're at school.


I imagine because of potential liability concerns.

Little Johnny discovers porn using his computer or iPad that mom and dad bought for him: Uhhhhhhh, well, ain't our fault man.. boys will be boys!

Little Johnny discovers porn on the iPad his school gave him: HOW DARE THEY CORRUPT MY INNOCENT SON'S VALUES! THIS IS THE SCHOOL'S FAULT! I WILL SUE! I DEMAND COMPENSATION!
Rating: 8 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

Or the title could be: "Big brother LA school district finds that kids are smarter than the geniuses who set this up".

Why would the LA School District care what the kids do on the iPads? Get a clue, the kids can surf from other devices too, and blocking it is just stupid.


Big brother LA school? They paid for the devices. They can slap whatever controls they want.

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So they put restrictions on their Wifi network and expected the iPads to be restricted when linked to every other network?

How asinine.


Read the article again and then submit a short paper to the class explaining all the ways your comment was incorrect.
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago
Configurator can help. I use it at the school I work at. However, it still is not very good.

However, I think the profile is just the tip of the iceberg of the the problem. The underlying problem is no one wants to teach the kids how to be responsible. It's just easier to block unsavory sites.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

Or the title could be: "Big brother LA school district finds that kids are smarter than the geniuses who set this up".

Why would the LA School District care what the kids do on the iPads? Get a clue, the kids can surf from other devices too, and blocking it is just stupid.


Ok - I'll put this scenario into something that might make sense to you and others.

Your company issues you a laptop. They have security measure to block copying files off you computer and visiting certain sites because they are security risks involved and/or they don't want you goofing off on their dime.

Now you figure a way around it.

Should your company care?

Yes.

The iPads here were issued by the school - they are not owned by the students. If they want to block access to apps, websites, etc - that's their right and privilege. It doesn't matter what you do on your own device. And the LA district I'm sure isn't so stupid to think they can control what happens on OTHER devices. But they can on theirs.
Rating: 4 Votes

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