Obama administration's ConnectED Initiative gets two more backers in Prezi and Adobe

February 28
10:03 AM 2014

Prezi and Adobe have committed to help President Barack Obama's ConnectED Initiative, TechCrunch reported.

The program is geared towards helping US education system stay in step in an increasingly technology-driven world. A fact sheet about the initiative on the White House website said that its goal is to "get high-speed Internet connectivity and educational technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantage."

TechCrunch reported that Prezi had pledged to give hundreds of thousands of high schools and teachers with Edu Pro licenses worth $100 million. For its end, Adobe will give teachers and students free software worth more than $300 million. These software programs that will be provided as part of its investment in the initiative include Photoshop and Premier Elements which are used for creative endeavors, Presenter and Captivate to enhance e-learning and EchoSign to help manage the workflow at school. Adobe will also provide a wide variety of resources for teachers, the report said.

With the latest commitments, investment to ConnectED has reached over $1 billion. With its quest to link 99% of students in America to the latest broadband and wireless technology in five years, the initiative hopes to change education in the US, the report said.

Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Autodesk and O'Reilly Media are the other private sector backers of the ConnectED Initiative. According to the White House, they had committed a total of $750 million to the project, the report said.

The fact sheet from the White House website further revealed that the FCC's E-Rate program gave a $2 billion downpayment to link over 20 million students to cutting edge broadband and wireless devices starting this year. Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture also pledged more than $10 million in distance learning grants to schools located in the rural areas.

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