As part of its commitment to the White House’s ConnectED program, Apple has begun sending out applications to schools around the country. The Cupertino company said it will pledge $100 million in an effort to more seamlessly integrate technology and education; Apple already has the most products in use by students in U.S. schools, The Washington Post said, and will provide even more iPads, MacBooks and software going forward. Much of the program is targeted at students who wouldn’t otherwise have free access to such technology.
“We are looking to partner with schools that share our vision of using technology to transform education,” Apple’s letter said. “If a school is selected, we will provide it with Apple products, education content and wireless infrastructure, and we will work closely with teachers to further their professional development.”
Schools have attempted to provide more modern technology with limited success, mostly because students, as they tend to do, abused access by skirting restrictions placed upon devices by districts. There was a program in Los Angeles, for example, that ran into a few stumbling blocks when rolling out an iPad program to students. But many educators see technology as a good thing, and feel it’s one of today’s biggest opportunities in terms of reaching students.
Apple’s program was announced in President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union. Other companies, such as Microsoft, AT&T and Verizon are also participating. Right now, only about 30-percent of U.S. schools have the tools they need to teach today’s technology; the program aims to bring that number up to 99-percent by 2017.