The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Spaces4Learning.

Connected Nation Joins ConnectED Initiative to Select Schools for AT&T's $100M Commitment of Free Mobile Connectivity

Connected Nation launches online application and will serve as independent, third party evaluator of school applications

WASHINGTON, DC – Connected Nation is proud to announce that it will join the ConnectED initiative by administering AT&T’s selection process for its $100 million commitment to provide free mobile broadband Internet access to select middle and high school students in Title 1 schools across the country. Earlier today, Connected Nation launched an online application portal that will allow school districts to compete for an award under the program. Districts can visit to review program guidelines/restrictions and submit an application.

In February, President Obama announced commitments totaling more than $750 million from technology companies to support the ConnectED Initiative, which aims to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the digital age through next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries. As mobile devices create new opportunities to personalize learning and extend it beyond the classroom, AT&T’s three-year $100 million commitment will provide 50,000 middle and high school students in Title I and other low-income schools with an opportunity to connect, learn, and interact no matter where they are.

“Connected Nation is honored to play a role in administering AT&T’s bold ConnectED initiative commitment,” said Connected Nation President Tom Ferree. “Connected Nation has long championed that unlocking the potential of digital learning requires that students have the ability to connect both on and off-campus. This program provides an unprecedented opportunity for schools to extend learning beyond the classroom door and fully realize the many ways in which mobile technology can enhance teaching and learning.” 

Connected Nation is a national non-profit organization focused on closing the digital divide and promoting the power of broadband and related technology to energize the economy, transform communities, and improve lives. For more than eleven years, its programs have successfully boosted broadband adoption among vulnerable populations and have paved the way for greater connectivity in unserved and underserved areas.

As part of the ConnectED Initiative, Connected Nation will serve as an independent third-party administrator for AT&T’s commitment — establishing and operating the online application portal for schools, reviewing and evaluating all submitted applications, and ultimately selecting final awardees.

When connected to AT&T’s mobile broadband service, students will be able to utilize tablets and other school-provided mobile devices for educational purposes that support student learning in new and more effective ways. Specifically, AT&T’s ConnectED contribution will include:

  1. 4G mobile broadband data services for student access to learning-based websites, applications, and services;
  2. Mobile device management to support tracking and usage of devices;
  3. Security software to protect access, safety, and security of students;
  4. Solution integration for schools to support device configuration, logistics and care services; and
  5. Training for teachers and administrators on effective ways to integrate this solution into classrooms and learning.

School applications will be evaluated in three phases, with Phase 1 applications due on July 15, 2014.  Phase 2 evaluations will commence in in late fall 2014, while Phase 3 will take place in late spring 2015. Schools are urged to check the application portal frequently for future program updates and submission guidelines.  More information about AT&T’s commitment can be found by visiting the AT&T Aspire website.

About Connected Nation
Connected Nation is a leading technology organization committed to bringing affordable high-speed Internet and broadband-enabled resources to all Americans. Connected Nation effectively raises the awareness of the value of broadband and related technologies by developing coalitions of influencers and enablers for improving technology access, adoption, and use. Connected Nation works with consumers, community leaders, states, technology providers and foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked.

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