This is Scientific American's 60-Second Tech. I'm Larry Greenemeier. Got a minute?
New York City's Department of Education cannot account for 1,800 missing computers.
Hundreds more new devices have sat in boxes instead of being delivered to students.
Troubling for several reasons.
The comptroller's audit that discovered these problems included only a handful of the city's nearly 2,000 schools.
Whether the current case is due to shoddy record keeping, theft, institutional corruption or some combination of all three, you have to wonder what a system-wide audit would turn up.
The Department of Ed disputes some of the audit's findings, of course.
And they have a point when they say that they don't have the IT resources to track and support all of these devices.
But instead of spending nearly $200 million in recent years on overpriced Apple and Lenovo gear they could have invested in cheaper network-based devices like Chromebooks, and more staff to manage them.
Schools across the Hudson River in Hoboken, N.J., learned a similar lesson the hard way.
Last summer they took back the laptops they'd given to students and locked the machines in a storage closet.
At least the taxpayers there know where their money went.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American's 60-Second Tech. I'm Larry Greenemeier.