AT&T Offers $100 Million Grant to Promote Digital Equality

Right around the time that our friend―and Tech&Learning content director Kevin Hogan―wrote about getting help applying for education grants, telecom giant A&T announced a $100 million commitment to help provide free off-campus mobile connectivity and related services to middle school and high school students.

As part of President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative, the grant application is now available online with the first phase applications are due by July 15, 2014. AT&T has partnered with Connected Nation to administer the application process and select schools to participate.

The following are applicant qualifications and restrictions:

  • Applications can be submitted for middle schools and high schools only.
  • The target contribution size will be between 2,000 students and 4,000 students per school district. Applications should not be submitted for significantly larger or smaller contributions.
  • Contributions can be split among multiple schools within a single district as long as:

1) the maximum number of connections is not exceeded; and
2) all students within each applicant school are eligible to receive service (i.e., partial school deployments will not be considered).

  • An applicant school must either be eligible to receive Title I funding or one in which more than 50% of enrolled students are eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program.
  • All applicant schools must have at least one dedicated IT support professional on staff.
  • All applicant schools must be physically located within AT&T’s 4G or 4G LTE coverage areas.
  • Applicant schools must be willing to verify that all teachers have completed any applicable training.

Specifically, AT&T’s contribution will include:

  • 4G mobile broadband data services for student access to learning-based websites, applications, and services;
  • mobile device management to support tracking and usage of devices;
  • security software to protect access, safety, and security of students;
  • solution integration for schools to support device configuration, logistics and care services; and
  • training for teachers and administrators on effective ways to integrate this solution into classrooms and learning.

School applications will be evaluated in three phases. Following the July 15, 2014 Phase 1 deadline, Phase 2 evaluations will commence in late Fall 2014, while Phase 3 will take place in late Spring 2015.