DALLAS, June 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Technology is fundamentally altering education. Access to mobile broadband allows teachers to enrich the student experience and expand lessons beyond their classrooms with a new generation of educational tools. Yet, currently fewer than 30 percent of schools have the broadband they need to teach using today's technology. By launching its ConnectED online application today, AT&T is taking a step toward making this access available to more Title 1 middle and high school students.
"Technology has the ability to equalize education opportunities, which in turn leads to greater student success in the classroom and increasing graduation rates," said Stephen McGaw, Chief Marketing Officer/Business Solutions, AT&T. "We are proud to be part of the ConnectED initiative and to bring an education-based broadband solution to students who are underserved. All students deserve the tools to reach their full potential."
AT&T has pledged $100 million to this initiative. The funds will provide 50,000 middle and high school students in Title 1 schools free Internet connectivity for educational devices over the company's 4G mobile broadband network. AT&T's mobile broadband service will enable students to utilize tablets and potentially other mobile devices for educational purposes that support student learning in new and more effective ways. The company will provide:
- 4G mobile broadband data services for student access to learning-based websites, applications, and services;
- Mobile device management to support tracking and usage of devices;
- Security software to protect access, safety and security of students;
- Solution integration for schools to support device configuration, logistics and care services; and
- Training for teachers and administrators on effective ways to integrate this solution into classrooms and learning.
Schools and districts can determine their eligibility and apply for the program by visiting AT&T Aspire. The online application and selection process is being administered by Connected Nation, an independent, non-profit organization. School applications will be evaluated in three phases, with Phase 1 applications due on July 15, 2014. Phases 2 evaluations will commence in in Late Fall 2014, while Phase 3 will take place in Late Spring 2015.
"Connected Nation is honored to play a role in supporting AT&T's bold ConnectED initiative commitment," said Tom Ferree, Connected Nation's President and COO. "We believe that technology, when properly implemented, has the power to transform education in significant and meaningful ways. AT&T's commitment provides an unprecedented opportunity for schools to extend learning beyond the classroom door and fully realize the many ways in which mobile technology can enhance teaching and learning."
AT&T will assist recipient schools with identifying and curating educational sites and applications for their students within program parameters.
Participation in this program is contingent on FCC e-rate compliance requirements, and federal, state, and municipal procurement frameworks that will not prohibit or extend these types of initiatives. Eligible school locations will be subject to network congestion, availability, and performance criteria.
Through AT&T Aspire, the company's signature education initiative, AT&T is focused on school success and workforce readiness by creating new learning environments and educational delivery systems to help students succeed and prepare them to take on 21st century careers.
About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T's signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring.
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