Apple and T-Mobile are partnering with California Department of Education (CDE) to provide California students with up to one million discounted iPads, State Superintendent of Public Instruction announced.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, schools are shifting teaching to distance learning, but have experienced a shortage of available computing devices. The pandemic has forced 97 percent of California’s 6.2 million students to continue their school year remotely.
“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 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 and T-Mobile are teaming up to facilitate technological access to help students connect with their teachers and school communities. As part of this combined effort with the state, Apple and T-Mobile will be supplying iPads equipped with high-speed internet connectivity to school districts, which could reach up to one million students. T-Mobile will offer discounted service, while Apple is offering iPads + cellular at a special discounted pricing on top of its standard education volume pricing.
In addition, Apple’s Professional learning team will su[[port the educators in California, providing weekly virtual training sessions and making creative strategies for learning remotely. Apple will also offer one-to-one virtual coaching sessions free of charge.
With CDE committing to work with Apple and T-Mobile, the Governor’s Office and lawmakers have also added $5.3 billion in one-time funding in the state budget for schools to strengthen distance learning moving forward. The funds could be used immediately to address orders from all the school districts. Apple and T-Mobile are expected to fulfill the orders through the end of this year, with at least 100,000 devices arriving through the back to school time frame.