Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford has announced a new partnership between the province, Apple and Rogers that is giving more than 21,000 iPads to students in low-income families across the province.
All of the iPads include free wireless data and are pre-loaded with access to the Ontario government’s learn-at-home portal. It’s unclear what specific iPad model will be given to students. The tablets are set to start arriving “next week,” according to Rogers. All iPads included in the program will come with free Rogers wireless data that runs until June 2020.
“With schools closed right now, we’re collaborating with the Ontario Ministry of Education and school boards across the province to support Ontario’s Learn at Home program and help close the digital divide for some of the province’s most vulnerable young people,” said Rogers in a recent press release.
Students and teachers everywhere are doing incredible things. We are glad to work alongside Ontario’s Ministry of Education and school boards to help students access the technology they need to stay connected and #LearnAtHome https://t.co/RVq47Kiq4s
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 17, 2020
Rogers say that this an additional initiative separate from its Connected for Success program that provides high-speed internet access to 250,000 rent-geared-to-income and subsidized tenants through agreements with 350 housing partners across Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
The carrier says it’s also offering internet through fixed wireless access points to seven homeless shelters across Toronto.
“At Apple, we believe education is the great equalizer and we are proud that the Ministry of Ontario and school boards have mobilized to deploy iPad as part of the Learn at Home program to enable equitable access to remote learning for all students. We are committed to supporting teachers, parents and students because we know powerful technology paired with great teachers can unlock the creative potential in every learner,” said an Apple spokesperson in a statement regarding the partnership.
It’s unclear if this program will eventually expand to more provinces.