Using Apple’s iPads in the classroom took a hit late last week after students figured out how to bypass security restrictions set by the school district. According to an LATimes report, it only took one week for students at a Los Angeles high school to hack iPads meant for educational purposes, giving them access to non-scholastic websites. Home use has been halted by district officials indefinitely until a solution is worked out—that could mean no iPad use at all for the rest of the year.
The breach of security is unsurprising—an iPad isn’t much fun if it’s used solely for school purposes, though the devices don’t belong to students, so there’s an obvious conflict. According to one student who figured out how to breach security settings, all it took was to delete their personal profile information, and voila, unrestricted access. This posses an obvious problem during school hours, where students might be distracted by social networks and other websites.
The Lost Angeles Unified School District has spent $1 billion on a new project that equips each student with an iPad for learning purposes. But with the devices already being misused, distribution is temporarily being delayed.
“I want to prevent a ‘runaway’ train scenario when we may have the ability to put a hold on the roll-out,” said LAUSD Police Chief Steven Zipperman. The school district only just started rolling out the devices to students last week; every student in the district was expected to have access to an iPad within a year.