Apple and T-Mobile are to supply students in California with up to one million iPads, according to a press release from the California Department of Education.
Apple and T-Mobile are collaborating to provide iPads with high-speed cellular connectivity to students across California, as planning for distance learning in the next school year takes shape. Apple and T-Mobile will fulfill orders directly from districts, offering significant discounts in addition to standard education volume pricing.
The global health crisis forced an estimated 97 percent of 6.2 million students in California to resume their education with distance learning, but many schools have experienced a shortage of devices to accommodate it. Since April, the State Superintendent, Governor’s Office, state lawmakers, and various nonprofits, have been working to remove unjust barriers to education by working directly with internet service providers and tech companies.
“As schools are working around the clock to prepare students and families for virtual learning, I want to commend Apple and T-Mobile for stepping up in a monumental way to support California’s neediest students,” said State Superintendent Tony Thurmond. “As Californians, we have a shared commitment to ensure every student has access to the basic tools needed to connect to their learning, succeed in today’s world, and pursue their dreams. This commitment provides schools across the state a unique chance to put devices in the hands of students now, while potentially making longer-term investments that can help us remove these inequities once and for all.”
Apple’s Professional Learning team will support teachers with weekly virtual training sessions, offering creative strategies for learning remotely. Apple will also offer one-to-one virtual coaching sessions at no additional cost.
“At Apple, we believe technology has the power to transform the learning experience for students at all levels,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Markets, Apps, and Services. “We are proud the State of California has chosen iPad to facilitate remote learning, and during these challenging times we look forward to working with administrators and school districts across the state to help make learning more accessible for their students.”
California has included $5.3 billion in one-time funding in the state budget for schools to support distance learning, which can be used immediately to purchase the required devices. Apple and T-Mobile expect to be able to fulfill school district demand through the end of 2020.