Apple ConnectED Grants Total $100 Million in 29 States

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As part of President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, Apple has pledged $100 million in products and support to American schools.

The initiative announced earlier this year aims to connect 99 percent of schools across the United States with high-speed, reliable broadband, reports Chris Welch for The Verge.

“A lack of equal access to technology and knowledge puts entire communities and populations of students at a disadvantage, especially minorities,” reads the new site outlining Apple’s contribution. “We want to do our part to change this.”

The Apple ConnectED grants will be given to 114 schools in 29 different states. Every student that attends one of the schools will receive an iPad. The teachers and administrators each get a Mac Book Air, iPad and Apple TV for their classroom, writes Zac Hall for 9 to 5 Mac.

Each school will also get an Apple Education team in addition to the hardware. The team will assist the schools in integrating the new technology into classrooms and give tech support. Apple said they will give each school “tailored curriculum solutions”.

The schools that are receiving the Apple ConnectEd grants are ones truly in need of the donation. In all of the schools selected 96 percent of their students qualified for free or reduced priced lunches and 92 percent of the students are from Black, Hispanic, Asian, Alaskan, or Native American backgrounds, reports Darrell Etherington for Tech Crunch.

The majority of the schools receiving the grant are elementary schools, followed by middle school and high schools getting a much smaller cut of Apple’s resources. Enrollment at 70 percent of the school falls between 250 and 1,000 students. 50 percent of the schools are in urban areas and 25 percent are in rural areas.

While Apple supplies hardware and tech support for school it has partnered with companies in order to provide students with educational software. Partners include Lexia, Pearson, Scholastic, and AT&T among others listed on the Apple website.

This is not the first time Apple has focused on improving education. Earlier in 2014 they announced a series of $10,000 Inclusion and Diversity Scholarships to help bring more minorities into the tech industry.

Apple has also put more of a focus on iTunes U software to make improvements for students and teachers alike.

Apple’s mission statement for the project stresses the importance of equality for everyone.

Education is a fundamental human right for everyone.

And yet, there is great disparity in our schools and education systems. In fact, many schools struggle to provide the basics despite the dedicated efforts of teachers and families.  A lack of equal access to technology and knowledge puts entire communities and populations of students at a disadvantage, especially minorities.