As I’m sure many of you have heard, Los Angeles has withdrawn a number of their iPads from full circulation because students were able to break the security on them that prevented free web browsing (see here for a recent article). The notion of installing such security on devices for high schoolers notwithstanding (and I don’t know whether the security was intended for only at school or at school and at home), when LA’s commitment to the iPad, both device-wise and financial, was released last spring, my first response was simple and visceral: why waste the money?

Now this is by no means a screed on technology. Obviously I am pro-technology and was thrilled to see a system as vast as LA committing to change and potential innovation. But when it comes to iPads, especially $30 million worth of iPads (soon, as I understand it, to be $1 billion when the program expands to all students), why commit to the unnecessary size and expense of the full-sized iPad? The iPad Mini is by far a more efficient, both device-wise and financial, device for schools.

The iPad Mini has all of the functionality of the full-sized iPad. The only functionality that I minimally (minimally) see a difference between the two is in the watching of video. I attribute this discrepancy, however, to growing accustomed to watching on the full-sized iPad and then shifting to the Mini. On the other hand, both adults and students watch video on considerably smaller devices regularly and happily.

So, LA, why not the Mini? Save yourself (and your taxpayers) a few hundred dollars per device, which across a $30 million or $1 billion outlay is a significant savings, without losing any functionality.

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