iPads, MacBooks, Windows 2-in-1s, teacher training, and wireless broadband have all been promised as part of a wide-ranging commitment from US companies to support Barack Obama's ConnectED plan. The US president is set to fully announce the news in a speech at a Maryland school today, but most of the participating firms have already detailed their contributions.
AT&T and Sprint will offer multiyear wireless broadband access to underprivileged students across the US. Verizon and Microsoft will contribute to teacher training, with the latter also partnering with PC makers to offer tablets, laptops, and other devices "at substantially lower pricing." Apple is reportedly committing $100 million in the shape of iPads, laptops, and other educational tools. With Autodesk contributing $250 million in 3D design software and training, the overall total is estimated to be around $750 million. There's a clear focus among all these investments on the STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — which the Obama administration sees as crucial for ensuring the future prosperity of the US. Together with the FCC's doubling of broadband spending for schools, today's news should significantly bolster access to technology and connectivity in American schools over the coming years.