NATIONWIDE CONNECTIONS: In 2013, Obama announced the ConnectED initiative, which plans to provide 99 percent of US students with access to broadband in classrooms and libraries by 2018. Two years into the five-year timeline, how far has ConnectED come?
According to a fact sheet provided by The White House, the initiative is on track to reach its goals. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has pledged a record $3.9 billion in E-rate funding to help schools and libraries provide students with access to broadband Internet in the 2015-2016 school year. Over 1,900 superintendents nationwide have committed their schools to the Future Ready pledge. Publishers, including the big five, have promised $250 million in free eBooks to create a digital library accessible to low-income students. And organizations in the public and private sector have committed over $10 billion to the initiative, including $100 million from Apple to underserved students at 114 schools, $300 million of free software from Adobe, and free access to PD and AP-level courses from Coursera and edX.