Meeting at Apple was far from what you would expect from Silicon’s Valley most lovable company. It was much more of a low profile visit, not at their main headquarters and although the office had a clean and white furniture that you would imagine form Apple’s design, it was not to different from a New York or Boston modernist office.
We were received by George Kane, Director – Content Relations, WW Education Markets and Cynthia Chiong.
They started reiterating Apple commitment to education, which is the core of their DNA. Apple was one of the first companies to adhere to Obama’s ConnectEd initiative, pledging $100 million to improve education and technology in schools serving low income and minority population. They will assist 114 schools in 29 states with 92% of minority students, with a complete set of solutions for students and teachers. The program has started in January 2014 and its implementation is in phases, with teacher and students complete rollout expected to finish in spring and fall of this year, respectively.
There is also a research program in place to assess the impact of the initiative and evaluate the program as a whole. The Advisory Research Board will measure its success on several metrics, including school’s principal, teacher, students achievement. examination, learning and engagement, class room observation, etc.
As per Apple’s in education as a whole, it continue to be at the core of the company’s initiative. “Like a bicycle can make human goes faster, technology can make a huge difference to humankind knowledge”. Apple is actively involved in research, funding and looking at different models to assess how technology can improve further education.
Few interesting numbers: today Apple has provided approximately 15 million IPad devices in 100 countries. Of the 1.5 million Apps developed, 200k are in education. Apple is leading and making a big push on the development and further promotion of accessibility in its devises and Apps.
In addition to the regular Apps, Apple focus on education on the iBook Store, Itunes and the Apple’s own Apps for creation such as IMovie, GarageBand, etc.
Finally. Apple has a Distinguished Educators Program from more than 20 years, identifying people all over the world who has made a significant and innovative contribution in education. The program has currently 2500 educators worldwide.
It was indeed a good meeting where they reaffirmed their commitment to the education, not only as an important sector for selling their devises, but on the belief that technology can have a substantial transformational impact on education worldwide.
Picture was not allowed, otherwise I would have taken picures of several Brazilan Flags displayed on the tables of the International Team….