Apple Joins Obama’s ConnectED Initiative

(Image: Shutterstock)

(Image: Shutterstock)

Apple launched the Everyone Can Code Initiative and Apple Teacher Program in an effort to deliver a computer science curriculum for students to learn how to code, join President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, and give $100 million to 114 schools.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said the company is donating  iPads and Macs to more than 4,500 teachers, iPads to more than 50,000 students, and Apple TVs to every classroom in 114 ConnectED schools.

Apple also launched a program to help teachers learn to use the Apple products.

“Apple made sure not to overwhelm us,” said Kirt Gordon, third-grade teacher at Salida del Sol Elementary School in Yuma, Ariz. “We could approach each session in small segments, enabling those of us who were further along to advance on our own.”

Apple met with administrators from the ConnectED schools to understand what was needed to improve technology use in the classroom.

RoseMarie Hickman, principal of Walton Middle School in Compton, Calif., said that she wanted to use technology to increase attendance to a rate of 98 percent. Hickman decided to use Apple products as an incentive to students.

“They have to be at first period in order to check out an iPad,” Hickman said. “And it’s worked beautifully.”

When Apple delivers their products to schools, engineers assess the Internet capabilities of the schools and update the systems if needed. Eighty-seven ConnectED schools received updates to their Internet service within the first year of the program.

Apple Professional Learning Specialists continue to communicate with ConnectED schools to provide support after the devices are delivered. The specialists assist with learning how to use specific programs and offer advice for how to incorporate technology into lesson plans.

The Everyone Can Code Initiative uses Apple’s Swift Playgrounds App to teach students in more than 100 schools Apple’s coding language, Swift.

Computer code has offered solutions to frequent power outages, maternal health problems, and victims of domestic violence, according to Apple. Apple said that if more students learn to code, more problems could be solved using technology.

Morgan Lynch
About Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.
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