Apple and ConnectED

One of Apple’s core values as a company is education. Apple used this as a basis for their contribution in the ConnectED initiative. In June 2013, President Obama announced the initiative of ConnectED. According to the White House Government website, Connect was created to “empower teachers with the best technology and the training to make the most of it, and empower students through individualized learning and rich, digital content.” Apple contributes not only by supplying the technology to each classroom, but they offer a dedicated support team to ensure that each teacher and classroom is well-prepared to use the technology. Apple also offers a complete solution by working with Wi-Fi providers and education content providers to help tailor curriculum at zero cost to the schools itself.

Apple uses their own website to produce and publish real stories about teachers and schools and their ConnectED experiences. My analysis will focus on a video created by Apple about Jeanne Halderson a teacher from Longfellow Middle School in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Mrs. Halderson’s video is based off of her real-life experience implementing iPads into her classroom. The main takeaway is how she uses technology to individually cater to each and every student in her class through tailoring the students’ curriculum though custom applications. It is clear that Apple, created and paid for this video, because they use these series of stories to share on their website to connect back to their education values and efforts. Apple is strategically going out and producing these videos and articles to express their contribution to education. Apple is known for their technology, but they are less known for their help in education programs. The fact that they are sponsoring these schools and classrooms shines a new light on one of the leading technology companies in the world. For Apple’s stakeholders, employees and customers, this series and partnership with ConnectED shows that Apple truly cares. They are not trying to make money; they are genuinely trying to help students and schools who do not have the financial means to provide technology to their students. In hopes of teaching students at a young age how to navigate technology, that will lead them in the right direction to implement technology in their everyday lives as they grow older and go deeper into their education.

What makes this initiative so innovative and different then what you would usually see in a elementary or middle school classroom is the individualized curriculum. As a student, you will have your own iPad to use and take home with you while you are enrolled in class. As a teacher, you can assign students to different applications to best fit their needs. If a student is struggling with spelling, there are hundreds of applications they can download to focus on increasing their spelling competence. Same goes with mathematics, history, geography, or any other school subject. No one else in the technology industry is doing this. Apple is forming a new path for education that I believe other organizations will soon follow. Technology is not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, our world today is always looking for new ways to implement technology. Our President Obama is who created the ConnectEd initiative. Obama is also provided ConnectED Grants to schools who need financial help to use this technology.

Apple series of real-life stories have taken the education field by storm. Teachers all over the world are talking about the connected program and how it could benefit their students. Some argue that implementing technology at a young age may hinder students’ education because the students are losing face-to-face interactions from the teacher. But the teacher is who decides what applications would most benefit the student. The teacher is still there to teach and help, but they now have a huge tool in their toolbox to enrich students’ academic experience.

For more real-life stories visit Apple’s website at http://www.apple.com/education/real-stories/.