Apple, T-Mobile to help California schools prepare for distance learning


SAN DIEGO — Two major companies are stepping up in an attempt to help students get ready for distance learning.

The California Department of Education has partnered with Apple and T-Mobile with the goal of connecting up to one million students with the resources they need for remote learning.

“There is nothing more important than helping our students prepare for what’s coming in just a few weeks,” Tony Thurmond, Superintendent of California, said. “By last count, we are looking at 97% of our schools opening up to distance learning.”

The department of education said Wednesday that Apple and T-Mobile will fulfill orders from districts for discounted iPads already equipped with high-speed internet connectivity.

The discounts are being praised by administrators, but implementation of the online program is still a big question mark for many parents, teachers and administrators.

Roughly 6.2 million students are set to start school in the next few weeks.

The California Department of Education said $5.7 billion has been allocated for schools to strengthen distance learning heading into the new school year.

Administrators say their priority is to funnel those funds to the students who truly need the assistance.

“We know that our students need in-person instruction. But right now, that is the best way to keep our kids safe,” Thurmond said. “Start that way and then continue to monitor conditions for when it’s safer to open in-person instruction.”

Apple will also offer weekly virtual training sessions for teachers with strategies for learning remotely.

Click here to read more about the partnership.

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