Esri, a developer of geographic information system (GIS) software, has pledged free licences to all of the over 100.000 elementary, middle, and high schools in the United States as part of the ConnectEDU initiative.
At a licence price of $10k the pledge is worth over $1 billion. Esri joins other leading companies like Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and AT&T.
Launched in February by US President Barack Obama, the ConnectEDU initiative aims to enrich K-12 education for every student in the country by empowering teachers and learners with the latest technology, fast Internet connection and rich digital content.
In order to support STEM education, Esri offers a free ArcGIS Online account to all K-12 schools. As part of the pledge Amazon Web Services agreed to provide the cloud infrastructure for the next three years.
“Geographic Information System technology gives students powerful tools for understanding our planet, and teaches them to become problem solvers. It is a perfect complement to STEM courses and many other classroom activities, while preparing students for further education and expanding career opportunities in fields that can help better manage our world, build better lives for more people, and design a better future.”
states Esri president Jack Dangermond in the press release.
The FCC announced in February that it will invest $2 billion over the next two years to dramatically expand high-speed Internet connectivity for America’s schools and libraries, potentially reaching more than 20 million students.
Esri’s pledge to ConnectED is one of the biggest from the private sector so far. Other sizeable pledges include
- Adobe, which will provide more than $300 million worth of free software to teachers and students, including Photoshop and Premiere Elements for creative projects; Presenter and Captivate to amplify e-Learning; EchoSign for school workflow; and a range of teacher training resources
- Apple, which will donate $100 million in iPads, MacBooks, and other products, along with content and professional development tools to enrich learning in disadvantaged U.S. schools
- O’Reilly Media, which is partnering with Safari Books Online to make more than $100 million in educational content and tools available for free to every school in the U.S.
- Prezi, which will provide $100 million in Edu Pro licenses for high schools and all educators across America.
A full list is available on the White House website, linked below.
via Education Dive
- Esri Pledges $1B in Cloud-Based STEM Software to White House ConnectED Initiative | Esri
- ConnectEd | The White House