Obama reveals nearly $3 billion in Ed-Tech dollars

Earlier this month, President Obama announced nearly $3 billion in education technology commitments from various private technology companies and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), according to U.S. News & World Report. The resounding goal is to “close the technology gap in our schools.”

The Department of Agriculture will provide more than $10 million in distance-learning grants for rural schools, according to documents shared by the White House.

The FCC committed $2 billion that acts as a down payment for providing high-speed broadband Internet access to 15,000 schools, fulfilling part of the President’s promise to expand broadband access and wireless Internet.

Among the donations is an investment of $1 billion worth of Microsoft products, according to the software company. Microsoft pledged to also deeply discount several of its digital devices for all K-12 public schools. In addition, the company has offered more than 12 million copies of Microsoft Office for free to students at low-income schools.

Teachers will also receive professional development to guarantee they know how to properly use the technology in their classrooms.

Verizon wants to see increased professional development opportunities for teachers, says Rose Stuckey Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation.

She tells U.S. News in a statement; “One key result we found from training teachers on mobile technology in the classroom is that their students learn better problem-solving skills. These skills are essential for 21st-century-education and an ability to compete internationally.”

During the announcement, President Obama stated that the commitments would help “put the world and outer space at every child’s fingertips, whether they live in a big city or a quiet suburb or rural America.”

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