Want dedicated tablets? Go Android.

In June 2013, the Los Angeles Unified School District made a decision to supply each student across its 47 campuses with an iPad. The intent was that this device would enhance their educational experience and help students gain an edge in the high-tech world we live in.

Now, a year later, how has it fared?

After students and teachers overwhelmingly chose Apple iPad’s as the platform of choice and the district committed $30 million to the project, they found out that many kids were using the devices for everything but legitimate school work. Facebook and other social media quickly became more prevalent than reading, math and science.

What was the problem?

Well, as much as we all like iPad’s, they aren’t built to be locked into a single app or multiple apps. With MDM tools (ours included), you can limit and restrict certain activities, but in the end, it is built to be a consumer device with access to the iTunes App Store the paramount activity (hey, Apple’s gotta pay the bills somehow).

As the students quickly discovered, all they needed to do was  remove the MDM profile and voila… hello Facebook! I can imagine the texts that were sent around the school like wildfire, thus freeing them from the oppressive, evil school district’s restrictions.

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What could have been the solution?

While iPad’s are sexy and cool, they aren’t ready for this type of locked-down scenario. In this case and all cases where customers want to lock a device down to a single or multiple apps, we recommend going Android. Using Moki’s Launcher, our customers are delivering custom home screen experiences on Android devices of all types and sizes (there are thousands of variations).

Heck, the LA School District could have opted for custom, rugged devices pre-installed with the necessary educational apps and tools for lower cost than the $678 per iPad they were slated to pay.

In the end, it looks like they will be switching to Windows-based Lenovo Yoga convertible devices with attached keyboards and touchscreens. We wish them well, but I can’t see this being successful either since Windows 8 is anything from modern mobile computing architecture.

If you are considering placing a locked-down device into the hands of consumers, Android is the way to go. And, Launcher will turn that device into the custom experience you’re seeking.

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About the Author: Michael Girdley