EDUCATION

“If we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible — from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.”

—President Barack Obama

EDUCATION

Knowledge and Skills for the Jobs of the Future

ConnectED

In June 2013, President Obama announced the ConnectED initiative, designed to enrich K-12 education for every student in America. ConnectED empowers teachers with the best technology and the training to make the most of it, and empowers students through individualized learning and rich, digital content.

Preparing America’s students with the skills they need to get good jobs and compete with other countries relies increasingly on interactive, personalized learning experiences driven by new technology. Yet fewer than 40% of America’s schools have the broadband they need to teach using today’s technology. Under ConnectED, however, 99% of American students will have access to next-generation broadband by 2018. That connectivity will help transform the classroom experience for all students, regardless of income.

The President also directed the federal government to make better use of existing funds to get Internet connectivity and educational technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantages. And he called on businesses, states, districts, schools, and communities to support this vision, which requires no congressional action. Following the 2014 State of the Union address, the President announced major progress on the initiative, highlighting commitments by the FCC and the private sector.

Read all the ways we're connecting America

Get more details about those commitments – and if you’re a school administrator, teacher, or student, find out how you can take advantage.

How ConnectED Works

  • Upgrading Connectivity
    • The ConnectED initiative will, within five years, connect 99 percent of America’s students to next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon are already providing their support, collectively pledging to connect more than 20 million more students over the next two years.

      ConnectED will also provide better broadband access for students in rural areas, by expanding successful efforts to connect parts of the country that typically have trouble attracting investment in broadband infrastructure.

  • Training Teachers
    • Our teachers need better tools to help them succeed – and technology can play a central role. For example, new digital education tools can allow for real-time assessments of student learning, provide faster feedback to drive professional development, and enable the creation of interactive online lessons, helping teachers understand each student’s strengths and weaknesses and design lessons and activities to better meet their needs.

      ConnectED invests in improving the skills of teachers, ensuring that every educator in America receives support and training in using education technology tools that can improve student learning. ConnectED will also lead to new resources for teachers from any school to open their classrooms to interactive demonstrations and lessons from world-renowned experts, and to collaborate with other educators worldwide.

  • Encouraging Private-Sector Innovation
    • Educational devices supported by high-speed networks are the portal to the world of online learning and interactive content, to personalized software that adapts to students’ needs, and to breakthroughs in assessing understanding and mastery. These devices give students access to more rigorous and engaging classes, new learning resources, rich visualizations of complex concepts, and instruction in any foreign language. They also allow students to work more at their own speed and receive additional one-on-one help.

      Leading technology companies can produce feature-rich educational devices that are price-competitive with basic textbooks. And a robust market in educational software can unlock the full educational potential of broadband investment, while creating American jobs and export opportunities in a global education marketplace of more than $1 trillion.

Resources for Schools, Teachers, and Students

If you’re a school administrator, teacher, or student, get more details below about these companies’ commitments — and find out how you can take advantage.

Note: These are private funding programs administered by the respective sponsors. These are not government grant programs. The availability and administration of these funding opportunities, including the selection of recipients and all other decisions of the funding program, are not endorsed by any federal agency or office. No federal funds are being used in or for the administration or awarding of these private funding opportunities.

For schools:


Adobe

Adobe will deliver creative tools in the form of free software, and teacher professional development, to Title I schools across the United States — with the goal of helping youth express their creativity and build their skills for future success.

Click here to complete the application form to apply for free software from Adobe.

 


Apple

Apple has selected 114 high-need schools, where 96 percent or more students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, to receive a ConnectED grant.

With an Apple ConnectED grant, Apple will provide iPads, Macs, and the very best educational content students need to personalize learning and inspire their best thinking. Apple will also provide Apple Professional Development, giving teachers the training they need to implement these powerful tools.

Click here to learn more about Apple's grants.


AT&T

AT&T has committed to provide a broad array of services that enable a comprehensive tablet-based education capability to 50,000 students in Title I districts. Schools and districts can apply now for this AT&T Aspire program.

Click here to learn about the application parameters and to apply for comprehensive tablet-based education capability from AT&T Aspire.


Autodesk

Autodesk, a designer of leading advanced software products in design, drafting, and engineering, has committed to expand the company’s “Design the Future” program to be available to every secondary school in the country in 2014. The program, which offers free 3D design software, project-based curricula, training, and certification, will help secondary school teachers teach critical problem-solving and technical skills in demand, in high-paying STEM fields like engineering and architecture.

Click here to learn about “Design the Future” and register your school.


Esri

Esri is providing free access to ArcGIS Online Organization accounts — the same GIS technology used by government and business — to every U.S. K-12 school in America. These allow users to map and analyze data, create and share content, and collaborate in the cloud — via computers, tablets, or smartphones, anytime, anywhere connected.

This commitment expands on Esri’s successful program in pilot schools at all levels across the country, and will allow students to do projects of unlimited content, from global to local, so that they can build community, as well as build knowledge and skills for college and career.

Click here to learn more about Esri and download a request form.


Microsoft

Microsoft created a new affordability program open to all U.S. K-12 public schools to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the digital age within five years. The program includes options for schools of all sizes and with varying levels of need for cost, technology, and services.

This program includes a range of discounted partner and Microsoft devices built with Windows 8.1 Pro; communication and collaboration tools with Office 365 Education; teacher training and resources through the Microsoft Educator Network; ad-free search with Bing in the Classroom; broadband as a critical component to connected learning through Microsoft’s nonprofit partner EveryoneOn; and student training and resources for fundamental technology skills through Microsoft IT Academy for up to 2,000 high-needs academic institutions and their educators, students, and staff with digital curriculum and certification.

Click here for full details on Microsoft commitments.


Prezi

Prezi, a platform for creating memorable presentations, has committed $100 million in Edu Pro licenses for high schools and all educators across America. Click here to learn more about Prezi and their ConnectED-related software commitment.

Click here to apply to Prezi's ConnectED commitment in presentation software.


Sprint

Sprint has committed to provide high-speed wireless broadband service for up to 50,000 students at schools across the country starting in August 2014 and over the next four years.

Click here to submit an application for participation in Sprint’s ConnectED commitment. Upon selection, the applicant will receive additional information, including a secure website to manage their account.


Verizon

Verizon is investing up to $100 million in cash and in-kind services over the next three years to reach more than 1,000 schools across the U.S.

In partnership with the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) and Johns Hopkins University, the Verizon Foundation is launching the Verizon Mobile Learning Academy – a virtual, moderated professional development course offered to teams of educators for free. Course modules are designed to help teachers, administrators and tech coaches implement effective mobile learning initiatives in their schools and classrooms.

Click here to receive more information about the program.

For teachers:


Adobe

Adobe is providing a range of free teacher training and curricular resources from the Adobe Education Exchange and Adobe Youth Voices.

Click here to access Adobe’s teacher resources.


Autodesk

Autodesk, a designer of leading advanced software products in design, drafting, and engineering, has committed to expand the company’s “Design the Future” program to be available to every secondary school in the country in 2014. The program, which offers free 3D design software, project-based curricula, training, and certification, will help secondary school teachers teach critical problem-solving and technical skills in demand, in high-paying STEM fields like engineering and architecture.

Click here to directly connect with teacher training or professional development resources from Autodesk.


Coursera

Coursera, an education platform that partners with the top universities to provide more than 50 free online teacher professional development courses, will offer free Verified Certificates for district-approved professional development courses to all U.S. teachers. These certifications, which are issued by universities and institutions like Vanderbilt, the Relay Graduate School of Education, and the American Museum of Natural History, can be used to attain continuing education credits.

Click here for more details.


Open eBooks

Major publishers, including Bloomsbury, Candlewick, Cricket Media, Hachette, HarperCollins, Lee & Low, Macmillan, National Geographic, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster are committing to make available thousands of popular and award-winning titles to students over a three-year period. These contributions will create a new book collection for students aged 4-18 from low-income families. Teachers and caregivers who predominantly serve low-income children will be able to access the materials and provide them to their students. In addition, teachers, librarians, and after-school counselors primarily serving students in military families will qualify for access.

The New York Public Library is playing a central role in creating this collection by developing a cutting-edge e-reader app that will provide access to this universe of digital books, including contributions from these publishers as well as hundreds of classics already in the public domain. This effort will be supported by the Digital Public Library of America, who will work with librarians to make sure books reach the most appropriate audience, Firstbook, a book-donation non-profit that will provide authentication and delivery services to ensure eBooks reach the students who need them most, Baker & Taylor, a books and content distributor who will provide the distribution technology to deliver the titles via the app and the Institute of Museum and Library Services who have provided a multi-million dollar grant to support these activities.

Click here to learn more about Open eBooks.


edX

EdX, an online course provider, has committed to provide more than a dozen free online teacher professional development courses from leading universities like Rice, Teachers College, Columbia University, and UT Austin, as well as free ID Verified Certificates to all teachers for one year and all teachers in high-need schools for five years.

Sign up here to receive more information.


Esri

Esri is providing free access to ArcGIS Online Organization accounts – the same GIS technology used by government and business – to every U.S. K-12 school in America. These allow users to map and analyze data, create and share content, and collaborate in the cloud – via computers, tablets, or smartphones, anytime, anywhere connected.

This commitment expands on Esri’s successful program in pilot schools at all levels across the country, and will allow students to do projects of unlimited content, from global to local, so that they can build community, as well as build knowledge and skills for college and career. You can start learning even before your school has access to its free software.

Click here for an instruction manual, ready-to-use maps, and career info.


Microsoft

Microsoft created a new affordability program open to all U.S. K-12 public schools to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the digital age within five years. The program includes options for schools of all sizes and with varying levels of need for cost, technology, and services.

This program includes a range of discounted partner and Microsoft devices built with Windows 8.1 Pro; communication and collaboration tools with Office 365 Education; ad-free search with Bing in the Classroom; broadband as a critical component to connected learning through Microsoft’s nonprofit partner EveryoneOn; student training and resources for fundamental technology skills through Microsoft IT Academy; and more.

Click here for full details on Microsoft commitments.


O’Reilly Media

Through a partnership with Safari Books Online, O’Reilly Media has committed to over $100 million of e-books and videos that will teach the next generation of students vital technology skills like coding, web design, and more. This commitment can provide students at a range of grade levels with the technological skills they need to be prepared in a globalized, digital economy.

Click here for more details on how every K-12 student in the U.S. can now sign up for free, unlimited access to books and videos from O'Reilly Media.


Prezi

Prezi, a platform for creating memorable presentations, has committed $100 million in Edu Pro licenses for high schools and all educators across America. Click here to learn more about Prezi and their ConnectED-related software commitment.

Click here to apply to Prezi's ConnectED commitment in presentation software.


Verizon

In partnership with the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) and Johns Hopkins University, the Verizon Foundation is launching the Verizon Mobile Learning Academy – a virtual, moderated professional development course offered to teams of educators for free. Course modules are designed to help teachers, administrators and tech coaches implement effective mobile learning initiatives in their schools and classrooms.

Click here to receive more information about the program.

For students:


Autodesk

Autodesk, a designer of leading advanced software products in design, drafting, and engineering, has committed to expand the company’s “Design the Future” program to be available to every secondary school in the country in 2014. The program, which offers free 3D design software, project-based curricula, training, and certification, will help secondary school teachers teach critical problem-solving and technical skills in demand, in high-paying STEM fields like engineering and architecture.

Click here to access free software and learn how to use the software.



Open eBooks

Major publishers, including Bloomsbury, Candlewick, Cricket Media, Hachette, HarperCollins, Lee & Low, Macmillan, National Geographic, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster are committing to make available thousands of popular and award-winning titles to students over a three-year period. These contributions will create a new book collection for students aged 4-18 from low-income families. Teachers and caregivers who predominantly serve low-income children will be able to access the materials and provide them to their students. In addition, teachers, librarians, and after-school counselors primarily serving students in military families will qualify for access.

The New York Public Library is playing a central role in creating this collection by developing a cutting-edge e-reader app that will provide access to this universe of digital books, including contributions from these publishers as well as hundreds of classics already in the public domain. This effort will be supported by the Digital Public Library of America, who will work with librarians to make sure books reach the most appropriate audience, Firstbook, a book-donation non-profit that will provide authentication and delivery services to ensure eBooks reach the students who need them most, Baker & Taylor, a books and content distributor who will provide the distribution technology to deliver the titles via the app and the Institute of Museum and Library Services who have provided a multi-million dollar grant to support these activities.

Click here to learn more about Open eBooks.


edX

All students will have free access to online Advanced Placement-level courses offered through edX by partner institutions like UC Berkeley, MIT, and Georgetown. Students in high-need and rural school schools around the country will also be able to earn free verified certificates in any of the more than 40 courses and modules edX university partners are developing.

Sign up here to receive more information.


Esri

Esri will provide free access to ArcGIS Online Organization accounts — the same GIS technology used by government and business — to every U.S. K-12 school in America. These allow users to map and analyze data, create and share content, and collaborate in the cloud — via computers, tablets, or smartphones, anytime, anywhere connected.

This commitment expands on Esri’s successful program in pilot schools at all levels across the country, and will allow students to do projects of unlimited content, from global to local, so that they can build community, as well as build knowledge and skills for college and career. You can start learning even before your school has access to its free software.

Click here to learn how to use online maps and build your mapping skills.


O’Reilly Media

Through a partnership with Safari Books Online, O’Reilly Media has committed to over $100 million of e-books and videos that will teach the next generation of students vital technology skills like coding, web design, and more. This commitment can provide students at a range of grade levels with the technological skills they need to be prepared in a globalized, digital economy.

Click here for more details on how every K-12 student in the U.S. can now sign up for free, unlimited access to books and videos from O'Reilly Media.

 


Commitments

Since the President’s announcement in February 2014, there has been more than $10 billion of total value committed as part of the five-year program to transform American education. This includes Federal Communications Commission (FCC) funding for school and library connectivity with $2 billion specifically for Wi-Fi, and $1.5 billion more in annual funding, and more than $2 billion in private-sector commitments. These commitments will dramatically expand high-speed Internet connectivity for America's schools and libraries — connecting 20 million more students to next-generation broadband and wireless.

Participating hardware, software, wireless and professional development companies include:

  • Adobe, which will provide more than $300 million worth of free software to teachers and students, including Photoshop and Premiere Elements for creative projects; Presenter and Captivate to amplify e-Learning; EchoSign for school workflow; and a range of teacher training resources
  • Apple, which will donate $100 million in iPads, MacBooks, and other products, along with content and professional development tools to enrich learning in disadvantaged U.S. schools
  • AT&T, which pledged more than $100 million to give 50,000 middle and high school students in Title I districts free Internet connectivity for educational devices over their wireless network for three years
  • Autodesk, which pledged to make their 3D design program "Design the Future" available for free in every secondary school in the U.S. — more than $250 million in value
  • Coursera, which will provide no-cost online professional development at every school district over the next two years, including opportunities for teachers to earn Coursera’s completion certificates that may be used for continuing education credits
  • edX, which will provide all students with free access to online Advanced Placement-level courses offered through edX by partner institutions like UC Berkeley, MIT, and Georgetown in addition to more than 40 other courses and modules
  • Esri, which will provide $1 billion worth of free access to ArcGIS Online Organization accounts – the same Geographic Information Systems mapping technology used by government and business – to every K-12 school in America to allow students to map and analyze data
  • Microsoft, which will launch a substantial affordability program open to all U.S. public schools by deeply discounting the price of its Windows operating system, which will decrease the price of Windows-based devices
  • O'Reilly Media, which is partnering with Safari Books Online to make more than $100 million in educational content and tools available for free to every school in the U.S.
  • Prezi, which will provide $100 million in Edu Pro licenses for high schools and all educators across America
  • Sprint, which will offer free wireless service for up to 50,000 low-income high school students over the next four years, valued at $100 million
  • Verizon, which announced a multi-year program to support ConnectED through up to $100 million in cash and in-kind commitments

In April 2015, the President announced commitments from the following publishers and technology companies, who will help provide thousands of eBooks — valued at over $250 million — to youth in need and students on military bases:

  • Baker & Taylor, which is providing its digital content distribution and management technology to power the Open eBooks app and deliver the collection of titles at no cost
  • Bloomsbury, providing unlimited access to over 1,000 of its most popular titles
  • Candlewick, providing unlimited access to all relevant children’s and young-adult e-book titles in their catalog
  • Cricket Media, offering full digital access to all of its market-leading magazines for children and young adults, including Ladybug and Cricket
  • Hachette, offering participating students access to a robust catalogue of their popular and award-winning titles
  • HarperCollins, providing a robust selection of their award-winning and popular titles
  • Lee & Low, the leading independent publisher of multicultural books, is providing unlimited access to over 700 of its titles
  • Macmillan, providing unlimited access to all of the K-12 age-appropriate titles in their title catalog of approximately 2,500 books
  • National Geographic, providing unlimited access to all of its age-appropriate, compatible eBooks, digital magazines, and educational videos.
  • Penguin Random House, committing to provide a robust offering of their popular and award-winning books
  • Simon & Schuster, providing access to their entire e-catalog of books for children ages 4-14, comprised of 3,000 titles

 


Investing in Next-Generation Professional Development

To support teachers as they use new technology to improve learning enabled by ConnectED, the President has asked Congress help school districts and schools as they provide high-quality professional development and transition to digital learning. The proposed Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) Program would enable more school districts to support teachers to deliver high-quality, digital learning resources and content; use a wide range of devices and digital tools; leverage data to personalize learning; and increase engagement with families and collaboration with other teachers.

In addition, the Department of Education has released guidance to states, school districts, and schools on ways that existing federal funds can be best leveraged immediately to support schools and educators in the transition to digital learning in support of the President's ConnectED Initiative. Specifically, the guidance letter outlines ways in which current federal education funding available to states and school districts can be used to provide professional development, access to high-quality digital content, and devices for learning.

 


The ConnectED Library Challenge

In April, 2015, the President announced the ConnectED Library Challenge, calling upon library directors to work with their mayors, school leaders, and school librarians to create or strengthen partnerships so that every child enrolled in school can receive a library card. Over 30 major cities and counties have announced they are taking the challenge, which will also include a commitment to support student learning through programming that develops their language, reading, and critical thinking; provide digital resources, such as eBooks and online collections of traditional media; and provide broadband connectivity and wireless access within library facilities.

To support the implementation of the ConnectED Library Challenge, there have been several important commitments: the Institute of Museum and Library Services will host a national convening to identify and share best practices in reaching universal library card use among public school students; the Urban Libraries Council will lead an initiative that provides a forum for community, library and school leaders to work together to meet city and county education goals by leveraging resources and measuring outcomes; and the American Library Association will align the challenge with existing support and technical assistance provided through their Every Child Ready to Read initiative as well as using its 55,000 members to drive adoption across cities and counties nationwide.

Click here to learn more about the ConnectED Library Challenge.


 

Guidelines for Logo Use

  • The ConnectED Initiative logo may not be used to endorse any commercial product or service, nor may the logo be used in advertising or in any manner that could give rise to the appearance of endorsement.
  • The ConnectED Initiative logo may not be used in any matter that could give rise to the appearance that the U.S. Government owns, operates, or is affiliated with any nongovernmental entity or its programs, products or services.
  • The ConnectED Initiative logo may only be used in connection with distribution of information about the White House ConnectED Initiative, as found on the ConnectED Initiative website. Any other uses are unauthorized.