ConnectED Initiative

Published: July 23, 2014

Last June President Obama announced the ConnectED initiative, which is an attempt to offer K-12 students and educators across the nation more access to education technology. Over the next two years, the Obama Administration plans to invest $2 billion through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand high-speed Internet connectivity in schools across the country. Additionally, 11 companies have committed over $2 billion to promote learning through technology.

Some of these commitments are targeted specifically at Title I schools and require an extensive grant application process for selection. However, other companies have made software and other services free to all public K-12 schools. You will find a description of each company’s commitment to the ConnectED Initiative, as well as a link to each company’s website below.

While many offers have no end date, there are some application deadlines that are as early as August for the most immediate offers. Visit the ConnectED Initiative website to learn more.

ConnectEd Initiative Grant Summaries:

Adobe: No application deadline

  • Free software and professional development available to Title I Schools to foster student creativity. Applicant and secondary contact must join Adobe Education Exchange. Software includes:
      • 30 licenses of Adobe Photoshop Elements
      • 30 licenses of Adobe Premiere Elements
      • 30 licenses of Adobe Presenter
      • 10 teacher licenses of Adobe Captivate
      • 20 teacher and administrator seats Adobe EchoSign (signature tool)
      • Teacher Training Resources from Adobe Education Exchange and Adobe Youth Voices.
  • For More Information Visit:

Apple: Application due July 25 and schools must receive invitation from Apple to apply (the DOE has spoken with Apple and determined that no schools in Maine are eligible for this program)

  • Will provide iPads, Macs, software, and professional development to schools where at least 96% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
  • For More Information Visit:

AT&T: Application deadlines for Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 TBD

  • Providing 50,000 students Title I Middle and High Schools free off-campus mobile connectivity for 3 years. Target goal for populations served is 2000-4000 students per district (however you may indicate a desire to collaborate with other districts). Must be in AT&T coverage area and schools are responsible for purchasing the equipment (4G capable iPads, which are not provided through MLTI).
      • 4G data services for student access to educational purposes
      • Mobile device management to support tracking and usage of devices
      • Security software
      • Integration aids to support logistics and care services for devices
      • Technology integration training for educators
  • For More Information Visit:

Autodesk: No registration deadline

  • Free software, curricula, training and certification as part of their “Design the Future” program to every secondary school in the country. This is an effort to promote design, drafting, and engineering with the aim to aid secondary schools in teaching critical problem-solving and technical skills to students interested in STEAM fields.
  • For More Information Visit:

Esri: No registration deadline

  • Free ArcGIS Online accounts to access mapping software in every K-12 school in the country. These accounts will allow users to analyze data, create and share content, and collaborate through the cloud over any Internet connection.
  • For More Information Visit:

Microsoft: No application deadline

  • Access to affordability program open to all K-12 public schools in the country. Offering discounted Microsoft devices and software including Windows 8.1 Pro. “Office 365 Education” comes at no additional cost after purchase of Microsoft Office for educators. Microsoft is also promoting “EveryoneOn”, a program that offers at home connectivity for as low as $10 a month for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.
  • For More Information Visit:

Prezi: Application process will begin in August

  • Offering 4-year licenses for EDU Pro software to 9-12 students and K-12 educators at Title I public schools.
  • For More Information Visit:

O’Reilly Media: Available in September for grades 9-12 and January 2015 for grades K-12

  • Providing free educational content and tools to every school in the country. This includes online access to every book and video course published by O’Reilly Media.
  • For More Information Visit:

Sprint: Program begins in August 2014.

  • Offering up to 50,000 low-income students in the country off-campus connectivity for 4 years. Free wireless Internet access services up to 3GB per month on a Sprint network per student, a minimum of 250 lines will be approved per school. If your school did not receive an invitation to apply but you feel you may qualify e-mail with name, address, and zip code of your school to confirm eligibility.
  • For More Information Visit:

Verizon: Registration begins in Fall 2014

  • Offering the Verizon Mobile Learning Academy, which will provide free virtual professional development courses with the goal of helping teachers, administrators and tech coaches implement effective mobile learning. This program provides 5 courses based around the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) standards. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Johns Hopkins will be offered upon completion of the program.
      • Course 1: Evaluating and planning for the mobile learning landscape
      • Course 2: Developing Digital fluency
      • Course 3: Seamless mobile technology
      • Course 4: Implementing effective mobile practices
      • Course 5: Digital age students
  • For More Information Visit: