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Perhaps eyeing the lucrative market Apple has enjoyed in selling its iPad tablets to school districts across the county and nationwide, Sony yesterday released news through its San Diego office that the company will soon release a K-12 education system based around its Xperia tablet.

In addition to offering product for sale, Sony says it will offer a support program to teachers at districts that implement its technology and manage potential inappropriate use of the devices by students, including pre-installed anti-virus and anti-spam programming.

The use of tablet computers in classrooms has become controversial locally for several reasons – the Reader’s Susan Luzzaro reported last August on a large-scale purchase of iPads by the Sweetwater Union High School District that led to numerous issues including equipment malfunction and student damage, neglect, and misappropriation. Local police blotters have also frequently included reports of thieves targeting schools for their technology resources (Sony says it will install theft-recovery tracking software in its devices), and a controversy erupted during the push for the eventually successful San Diego Unified School District’s Proposition Z bond measure regarding the eventual cost to taxpayers for the long-term financing of devices that would soon become obsolete.

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