ConnectED Stories August 23, 2015

Just as many students and teachers around the country are preparing to start or already have started the new school year, Apple is set to announce a new education program that aims to ‘end America’s public schools’ digital divide’. The new plan will be unveiled tomorrow morning with ABC’s Good Morning America program airing an exclusive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook discussing the company’s latest education initiative with Robin Roberts (seen wearing an Apple Watch in the promo shot). expand full story

ConnectED Stories February 25, 2015

Note: Kickstarter currently appears to be down possibly because of a certain new smartwatch

The iPhone-connected smart lock market is getting a new player today as Candy House introduces a new, competitively priced device called Sesame—a play on the phrase “open sesame”—that retrofits your existing deadbolt lock with modern smarts.

While current smart lock options carry higher price tags and require replacing existing hardware, Sesame starts at $99 ($89 early bird special) and adds smart lock features to most existing door locks. Check below for an excellent video demo and more info: expand full story

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

ConnectED Stories January 13, 2015

LA Unified School District ‘iPad for every student’ plan doomed from the start, says federal review

A federal review of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s plan to give an iPad to every one of its 640,000 students concluded that it was plagued by problems right from the start, reports the LA Times.

The report criticizes the scheme for unclear goals, use of school construction bonds to fund the scheme, failure to consider cheaper options, lack of teacher training, failure to upgrade Internet connections, poor security and poor support for lesson-planning around the iPads. So, er, pretty much everything, really.

“Among the most significant gaps we identified was the absence of district-wide instructional technology leadership,” the report stated.

The first public glitch in the program was when students figured out how to bypass the security restrictions designed to limit the devices to educational use. Next it was suggested that the school district had gotten its sums wrong on the true cost of the scheme.

A subsequent review backtracked on the plan to standardize on iPads, before the program was suspended and then permanently closed as the FBI opened an investigation into whether any laws had been broken.

Apple remains strongly committed to the education sector, last October creating a microsite to highlight its support for the ConnectED program focused on bringing Internet access and technology to schools in need. Tim Cook said in July of last year that Apple has an 85% share of the tablet market within US education.

ConnectED Stories October 27, 2014

The White House shared earlier this year that Apple is a participant in President Obama’s ConnectED education program focused on bringing Internet access and technology to schools in need, and today Apple has provided a micro site profiling its effort in the program.

While it was already known that Apple has pledged $100 million to provide iPads, MacBooks, and other products toward the program for schools across the United States, Apple has shared that Apple ConnectED grants are being received by a total of 114 different schools across the country with these schools spread out across 29 states. Apple added that “92% of students from our partner schools are of Hispanic, Black, Native American, Alaskan Native, or Asian heritage.” expand full story

ConnectED Stories February 5, 2014

President Obama uses iPad to take class videos during school visit [Videos]

President Obama, who has been seen on several occasions carrying an iPad, used one to take class videos during a visit to an Adelphi school to promote the ConnectED program.

The program, designed to bring high-speed Internet to 99 percent of schools within five years, is being supported by Apple, which is donating $100M worth of iPads and other equipment.

Obama has also been seen using a Mac (with a Presidential seal covering the logo), but says he is not allowed to use an iPhone for security reasons.

ConnectED Stories February 4, 2014

A student looks at his iPad as his class watches a live broadcast of a lecture given by Shenzhou-10 spacecraft astronauts on the Tiangong-1 space module, at a primary school in Quzhou

While it was announced briefly during the President’s State of the Union address last week, Associated Press reports today that Apple along with other tech companies are pledging around $750 million in an initiative to bring high-speed internet to schools. Called ConnectED, the program was officially announced by the White House today with the goal of connecting “99 percent of America’s students to the internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within 5 years.” For its part, Apple is reportedly providing around $100 million in iPads and other equipment: expand full story

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