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Thousands of Underserved Teachers, Students Receive iPads This Year Thanks to Apple

Thousands of Underserved Teachers, Students Receive iPads This Year Thanks to Apple

Apple announced yesterday that its involvement with ConnectED has provided over 32,000 students and over 9,000 teachers in underserved access to iPads the 2016 school year.

Beyond iPads, ConnectED has also helped underserved teachers and students receive new computers and ongoing support from professional learning specialists, not to mention internet cable infrastructure to make technology use possible in the first place.

"Along with new computers, Apple's ConnectED program has helped 114 schools in 29 states across the country with ongoing support—including 4,434 hours of assistance from Professional Learning Specialists—and wireless networking upgrades that included 189 miles of internet cable infrastructure,” says Apple insider.

ConnectED is an initiative that was announced by President Obama in 2013 that Apple made a $100 million commitment to. The initiative was developed to help students across the country experience the benefits of learning through technology regardless of their zip code.

Not only has Apple given teachers and students technology they otherwise wouldn’t have--their Professional Learning Specialists ensure that faculty members have the training they need to make the technology useful. This is important because many studies have turned up evidence that despite a heavy presence of technology in classroom, poor training has resulted in most tech going unused.

The actual effectiveness of iPads in the classroom is a heavily debated topic. While some teachers adamantly argue for the technology’s usefulness, others insist they offer little educational value.

In May, Maine opted to swap out iPads for laptops in its schools after an overwhelming majority of both teachers and students said they should be replaced. Apple switched out the tables for MacBook Air laptops, but the bold move raised many questions elsewhere about the tablet’s effectiveness. 

Regardless, educators working in schools that have received iPads and assistance from Apple are claiming positive results.

"They're giving us support and we're learning. It's not a one-time thing. The learning keeps getting better,” said eighth-grade teacher Brandon Small to Apple Insider.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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