A plan in Los Angeles, California to provide free iPads to students has taken a setback. The Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD) has started confiscating some of the iPads that it had already distributed for free to some students across the city.
Those school-issued tablets came with security software that is intended to keep students from accessing other Websites and apps. The iPads are supposed to be used only for accessing preloaded educational programs. But as it turned out, hundreds of students have discovered ways to tamper their devices just within hours after they have received their free iPads.
How did they do it? Not surprisingly, tampering those secured devices did not come difficult. Those students who did so simply deleted their personal profiles and data off the iPads. After doing that, they were able to visit any online site that they wanted to browse.
Immediate action of authorities
Interestingly, not all students who were given the free iPads tried to breach the security. Some of them said they intend to abide by the provisions of the contract they have signed before they were given the devices.
After the hacking incidences were discovered, officials from schools have instantly ended the home use of the devices. Thus, most students were barred from bringing home their iPads. There is no word yet if the students would again be allowed to use those inside classrooms but for now, the program is temporarily halted.
The free iPads program
The Los Angeles Board of Education has decided to invest $30 million in buying new iPads that would eventually be handed to about 30,000 students in 47 different schools within the area. The board intends to eventually spend up to $1 billion in this ambitious plan to provide aid to students’ learning.
So far, the program has already distributed free iPads to about 2,100 students. LAUSD has already confiscated about two-thirds of those. It was found that about 340 students have successfully hacked their tablets, though the estimate by some experts is higher.
LAUSD is reportedly collaborating with Apple Inc to find an effective solution to the problem. The iPad manufacturer might devise ways to disable free iPad users from breaching security filters. The students should be effectively restricted to browse popular Websites like Facebook and YouTube using the tablets, which are intended exclusively for learning purposes.