Apple and ConnectED

Giving products, support, and opportunities to schools that need them most.

Apple has been part of the ConnectED initiative since 2014, pledging $100 million of teaching and learning solutions to 114 underserved schools across the country. We’ve donated an iPad to every student, a Mac and iPad to every teacher, and an Apple TV to every classroom. And we’ve implemented a process that provides planning, professional learning, and ongoing guidance so every school can experience the transformational power of technology.

Learn more about the impact of the initiative in SRI Education’s research report

Establishing Goals

“We all met to come up with our vision, mission statement, goals, and challenges.”

Every school faces unique challenges. That’s why we meet with administrators from each Apple ConnectED school to craft a vision for the role of technology in their classrooms. As part of this planning, we work with school leadership to form a core group of individuals responsible for defining clear and measurable goals.

At Berkley Campostella Early Childhood Education Center in Norfolk, Virginia, Principal Dr. Doreatha White leads her faculty with a powerful vision — that children are capable of anything if you give them the right tools. “Our motto is: College begins in prekindergarten,” she says. “We have to guide a student’s whole thinking toward being successful beyond pre-K. But to truly start closing the digital divide, we have to get our parents and the community to believe in what we’re doing as well.”

With that challenge in mind, Dr. White created a community outreach program to help parents understand the transformative power of technology in learning. And one of her first goals was to get 100 percent of the students’ parents to attend How to Use iPad with Your Child workshops, which she achieved with surprising ease. “In the community’s eyes, it was a big thing. We could demonstrate how this would benefit their children and prepare them for lifelong learning. That not only are they doing ABCs and 123s, they’re also learning how to analyze and synthesize instruction. And now they’re excited about learning, which they’ll remember going into kindergarten and beyond.”

Learn more about Berkley Campostella Early Childhood Center’s journey with ConnectED in a free book written by Principal Dr. Doreatha White.

View on iBooks

Building Infrastructure

“If you can understand the system, you can maintain it.”

Many Apple ConnectED schools do not have a strong network or a dedicated technology department. So before any products are delivered, Apple Project Engineers conduct a full survey of the school’s existing wireless infrastructure and help install or upgrade a network.

In the remote village of Nanwalek, Alaska, the K–12 school was making plans to improve its slow, satellite-provided Internet connection. Our engineers consulted with district officials to ensure that the school’s wireless infrastructure would not only be fast, but would also be ready to support the arrival of over 100 new Apple products. In addition to working with the district’s offsite IT team, Apple Project Managers needed to find someone local to handle day-to-day management of the devices. Tommy Evans, an aide and parent in the village, volunteered for the role. “They showed us where a signal goes and how to tailor equipment around students’ needs,” he says. “When things were put in place, it took off like a rocket.”

The new wireless infrastructure has profoundly affected the school, especially students like Evans’s daughter, Tessie, who is hearing impaired. “Because we’re so isolated, she felt like she was the only one who is deaf.” But soon, Tessie was using FaceTime and other iPad apps to communicate with students and mentors all over the world.

Learn more about how access to technology connected Nanwalek students to the world beyond their shores in a free book written by Principal Nancy Kleine.

View on iBooks

Preparing Teachers

“I’ve had to slow down because I get so excited about all you can do.”

To help every teacher become comfortable with new technology, the Apple Education team provides a series of workshops designed specifically for educators. We start by helping them integrate iPad, Mac, and Apple TV into their curriculum and lessons, then show them how to create original and engaging books, presentations, and other learning materials.

“Apple made sure not to overwhelm us,” says Kirt Gordon, a third-grade teacher at Salida del Sol Elementary School in Yuma, Arizona. “We could approach each session in small segments, enabling those of us who were further along to advance on our own.”

Inspired by his professional learning workshops and the agricultural community that surrounds the school, Gordon teaches a lesson about the Archimedes screw, an irrigation device invented in ancient Greece. Using animated simulations in apps, the lesson enables students to rotate iPad for a 3D look at how the machine works so they can create models of their own.

In 2017, Gordon became part of the Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) program, which celebrates pioneers of classroom technology. He is one of 13 ConnectED teachers to join the global ADE community.

Learn more about Apple Distinguished Educators

4,400+ teachers are using iPad in Apple ConnectED schools

Delivering Devices to Students

“When something’s on iPad, it’s automatically fun.”

With a strong infrastructure and inspired teachers, schools are ready to put an iPad into each student’s hands.

All over the country, students at Apple ConnectED schools are using iPad to learn in ways they never could have imagined. Daveon was a ninth-grader at Riverview Gardens High School in St. Louis, Missouri, when he used iMovie on his new iPad to direct a documentary about the misconceptions surrounding his school and community, narrated by teachers and fellow students. Creating the film gave Daveon a way to share his perspective publicly. “It was like I stepped into a new reality,” he said.

In Mr. Nunez’s Language Arts class in Yuma, Arizona, students are learning about rhyme and meter by directing and recording screenplays using GarageBand. Tyrell, who was a sixth-grader at Westview Middle School in St. Louis, created a multimedia presentation in Keynote about the Bahamas after he used Flyover in Maps to take a tour of the islands. And in Nanwalek, Alaska, a student named Severan discovered how important math is in pursuing his dream of being a pilot. He used apps like IXL and Notes to learn about angles and multiplication tables, concepts he planned to put into action flying supplies and people to his village.

55,000+ students are learning with iPad in Apple ConnectED schools

Providing Ongoing Support

“It’s not just ‘Here are the devices, figure out how to use them.’ We’re learning how to do it for life.”

After each student receives an iPad, we continue building relationships with the schools. Apple Professional Learning Specialists, many of whom are former teachers and maintain teaching certificates, provide administrators, teachers, and students with tailored, onsite support and guidance to help them reach their goals. We also support teachers with online classroom workshops taught by Apple Distinguished Educators and Apple Retail team members. And with Apple Teacher, educators have a free, self-paced learning program to build skills on iPad and Mac.

At Westview Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri, eighth-grade teacher Brandon Small’s relationship with his Apple Professional Learning Specialist continues to evolve. At first, his APL Specialist was a resource for questions about his new technology. “It was nice sitting down with an expert on Keynote and Pages to learn everything about them,” he remembers. “It gave us something we could use right away in the classroom.”

Now Small looks to his APL Specialist for ideas to enhance his lessons and his students’ learning. Through a series of workshops, he’s discovering how other apps can help him incorporate interactive games, graphs, and films into his classes. “They’re giving us support and we’re learning. It’s not a one-time thing,” says Small. “The learning keeps getting better.”

Learn more about Apple Teacher

2,190 days of Apple Professional Learning have been delivered to ConnectED schools since 2014

Apple and ConnectED Partner Schools

View the full list of schools