Funding, Grants & Awards
Apple Jumps into ConnectED Initiative with $100 Million in Tech Grants
Apple has chosen 114 schools to receive a share of $100 million in grants to provide curriculum support, wireless infrastructure and classroom technology, such as iPads and MacBooks.
The grants are Apple's contribution to the White House's ConnectED Intiative, which aims to bring technology into classrooms and improve broadband access from 30 percent of schools to 99 percent by 2017.
"Apple's grants are an important part of meeting President Obama's goal to have 99 percent of all classrooms connected to broadband in five years or fewer. This will go a long way to help level the playing field for our country's students and ensuring equity," said National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García, in a prepared statement. "More to the point, the $100 million in grants will help schools — especially high-needs schools — reach the level of accessibility needed for our students to learn, create, and ultimately, compete in the 21st century economy."
Each of the schools chosen, representing 29 states, has a student body that qualifies for free or reduced lunch at a rate of at least 96 percent. Ninety-two percent of the combined student body of the recipient schools "are of Hispanic, black, Native American, Alaskan Native or Asian heritage," according to information on Apple's ConnectED page.
"Technology paired with passionate and well-supported teachers enables deeper creativity and learning," the site adds. "That's why every student at our ConnectED schools will receive an iPad, allowing students to connect with topics and express themselves like never before. Every teacher and administrator will receive an iPad and a Mac to help support and inspire their students. And every ConnectED classroom will have an Apple TV to help students immerse themselves in the educational content they discover and the work they create."
The company will also assign an Apple Education team to each school to make sure their needs are considered and strategies implemented effectively. A professional development specialist will help ensure that the technology is implemented appropriately.
In addition, Apple has partnered with providers of educational content, cellular and Wi-Fi access, classroom workflow tools and mobile device management to ensure access to "tailored curriculum solutions at no cost to the schools."
"As a participant in the selection process, NASSP congratulates those schools and wishes them well on the exciting journey ahead" said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), in a prepared statement.
"NASSP has long promoted the power of mobile technology to enhance student learning, and has been deeply committed to ensuring that schools are able to take full advantage of their technology," continued Bartoletti. "We are delighted that Apple shares this goal. Apple will provide ongoing professional development and ensure a sufficient broadband infrastructure—essential elements of the genuine digital conversion to which these schools aspire. This very much reflects the comprehensive approach to technology that our NASSP Digital Principal Award winners practice in their schools."
More information about the grants is available at Apple's ConnectED page. To see a full list of all schools selected, visit apple.com.
Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.