Joshua Schnell, September 20, 2011
New technology is constantly changing, but when new-new technology out paces the old-new technology, we’re left wondering what happens to the older devices on the market. Sometimes those devices are destined for resale in refurb programs, sometimes they’re sold at extremely cheap prices, and sometimes they’re donated to people who could use them, and that’s just what Apple has done with the orignal iPad.
Apple has sent more than 9,000 iPads to teachers in 38 states as a part of their outreach to the Teach for America program. The program encourages recent graduates to teach at some of the most impoverished and dangerous schools in America. The often underprivileged kids who are often bereft of the latest in-class technologies are left behind and ill-prepared for life in the digital world.
Apple has donated the first generation iPad to teachers at those schools, accompanied by an email that reads: “What could an iPad do for your classroom and your students?”
The benefits of technology in the classroom, and more particularly the iPad, have been written about over the last couple of years, so we won’t rehash those arguments here, but there’s no doubt that giving access to students who have been deprived of it could be a catalyst for academic growth.
The company, and more particularly Steve Jobs, has been criticized for their philanthropic efforts recently, or more importantly, since Bill Gates started giving away his money to charities. This move flies in the face of Apple’s detractors.
It kind of makes me proud on some level. Hopefully Apple finds a way to get some of those last-generation iPads into the hands of the students as well.
Update: Peter Cohen makes an excellent point on Twitter, “ Apple facilitated the delivery, but it’s more accurate to say that iPad *owners* donated them.” The iPads that were donated to Teach for America were delivered by Apple to the schools, but the first-generation iPads actually came from a program that encouraged iPad owners to donate their last-generation devices to the teachers in low-income schools.
Source: CNN MoneyFollow @macgasm