The Ontario government has announced that it’s partnered with Apple and Rogers Communications to help meet the educational needs of students and families during the COVID-19 outbreak.
iPads are being purchased and distributed by Ontario school boards, pre-equipped with free Rogers LTE wireless data. Apple is providing ongoing support in French and English to teachers, parents and students, with a collection of resources to support learning and working from home.
“This important partnership will enable students to learn while making technology accessible for those that truly need it,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, in a press release. “Our government is committed to ensuring equitable access to education, so that every child – irrespective of ability, geography or socio-economic circumstance – can continue their learning while schools are closed.”
This week, Ontario school boards began distributing iPads to students who don’t have either the technology or the Internet they need to access the Learn at Home program. To date, over 21,000 will be sent to the homes of families in need. The free Rogers wireless data will be available until the end of June.
Also, Apple is providing videos, apps and books to help teachers build engaging lessons for students at home, along with activities that kids and families can do with the built-in features of the tablet. The tech giant is also offering teachers free one-to-one virtual coaching by Apple Professional Learning Specialists.
In addition to providing free wireless data, Rogers is also working with Ontario school boards to provide high-speed, low-cost Internet to subsidized tenants and members of housing partners across Ontario through its Connected for Success program, as well as the Government of Canada Connecting Families initiative. The Province has accelerated the delivery of broadband Internet access, currently on track to be in every high school in Ontario by September 2020 and elementary school by September 2021.