Apple and US govt reveal plans for $100 mn ConnectED schools fund

Saqib Shah
October 28, 2014

The US government is teaming up with some high-profile partners to bring high-speed broadband to the majority of US schools.

First unveiled in 2013, President Barack Obama’s ConnectEd programme will see 99% of US schools receive broadband access.

One of the major tech partners to come on board the initiative is Apple, which has already donated $100 million to the project. Now the tech giant has revealed exactly where that money will be invested.

Apple will be using its contribution to the ConnectED grant to bring vital tech tools – including iPads, Macs and Apple TVs – to 114 schools across 29 states. Specifically, Apple has designated its funds to schools where at least 96% of pupils are eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch programme.

Apple claims that 92% of the students at these educational institutions are of Hispanic, Native American, black, Alaskan Native or Asian heritage.

Each pupil from the 114 seelected schools will receive an Apple iPad, whereas teachers will receive the tablet and a MacBook. Additionally, each classroom will receive an Apple TV.

Apple is also working with a number of WiFi providers to ensure that each so-called ‘tablet classroom’ has the Internet connectivity it has been promised as part of the ConnectED programme. A designated team will be on board to make sure this, and any other tech needs a school has are dealt with.

Other companies that are aiding the ConnectED programme include Microsoft, Adobe, Sprint and Verizon, who have collectively pledged to connect 20 million more students over the next two years. For its part, Microsoft will offer a discounted version of its Windows operating system to schools, meanwhile Adobe will provide over $300 million worth of free software, including Photoshop and Premier Elements.

To find out more about the White House’s ConnectEd initiative, head to the website.

About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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