- Apple will distribute iPads, Macs and Apple TVs to more than 4,500 teachers, 50,000 students and classrooms across 114 ConnectED schools participating in the White House ConnectED initiative.
- THE Journal reports the donation comes as part of Apple’s own Everyone Can Code initiative and supports its ConnectED commitment, for which Apple pledged $100 million of teaching and learning solutions to underserved schools.
- Beyond announcing its tech donations, Apple launched the Apple Teacher Program, which teachers can sign up for to get product tips, stories from the field, app ideas and other teaching materials.
Apple created the Swift programming language as an easy-to-use coding option for beginners. Swift Playground offers an even more streamlined and game-like environment for students to get excited about. Schools across the country are trying to bring more coding experience to young students, helping light a fire that could stick with them through college and place them in the high-demand career. Girls and minority students are underrepresented in the computer science field and experts have identified late exposure as a critical barrier. If these groups can be excited by computer science at a young age, perhaps the diversity trends will change.
Key to the success with technology in ConnectED schools will be an implementation plan that gets classrooms ready for the new tools before they arrive. Schools have routinely spent millions on new devices only to have them sit in classrooms unused or replicate assignments that could have been done on worksheets.