Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared in a pre-recorded segment on ABC’s Good Morning America program Monday morning, and he discussed the company’s participation in the ConnectED educational program spearheaded by the White House.
Cook talked about the program in a pre-recorded segment with show host Robin Roberts. The interview was set in an Alabama elementary school, and intercut with scenes of teachers and students using iPads to learn about the reconstruction period after the American Civil War, including shooting a mock newscast.
Apple announced a $100 million contribution to ConnectEd last fall, making grants to 114 schools in the United States. The contribution allows students at each school to receive iPads, while administrators and teachers receive both MacBooks and iPads. Apple TVs are also available in every classroom.
Cook spoke with “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts about the company’s goals within the program.
“I think technology has to be a key part [of education] and that’s why we’re here,” Cook said. “Too many times today kids aren’t given the right for a great public education and this isn’t right. It’s not fair.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without a great public education,” added Cook, who was named CEO of Apple in 2011.
Cook discussed Apple’s attempts to encourage racial diversity in the company, as well as the digital shock many children are faced with, as they are surrounded by technology at home and other locations, but are faced with an “analog” world at school.
“Kids today, they’re born in a digital world, but too many kids, when it comes time for the 8 o’clock bell to ring, go to an analog world,” he said. “It’s not engaging.”
The ConnectEd program aims to link 99% of American students to high-speed Internet access by 2008. A number of companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon are working with the Federal Communications Commission on the program.