Apple donating $100 million in equipment for Obama’s ConnectED initiative →

The Associated Press:

Apple is pledging $100 million in iPads, computers and other tools. AT&T and Sprint are contributing free Internet service through their wireless networks. Verizon is pitching in up to $100 million in cash and in-kind contributions. And Microsoft is making Windows available at discounted prices and offering 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office software.

Obama was to announce the commitments Tuesday at a middle school in the Maryland suburbs near Washington. Also in the pipeline: an addition $2 billion that the Federal Communications Commission is setting aside from service fees over two years to connect another 20 million students to high-speed Internet.

The ConnectED Initiative is designed to connect 99 percent of America’s students to high-speed Internet access within 5 years:

“We are living in a digital age, and to help our students get ahead, we must make sure they have access to cutting-edge technology,” said President Obama. “So today, I’m issuing a new challenge for America – one that families, businesses, school districts and the federal government can rally around together – to connect virtually every student in America’s classrooms to high-speed broadband internet within five years, and equip them with the tools to make the most of it.”

When I was in school in the 90s and early 00s,1 the technology used in classrooms was minimal, but even what we had was behind the times. With the US education system slipping further and further behind what other countries are doing, bringing the wealth of information on the Internet to students on devices like the iPad is an important piece of the puzzle.

  1. Somewhere, Dr. Drang just rolled his eyes. ↩