Last Thursday telecommunications giant AT&T donated Wi-Fi service in addition to 1500 tablets to Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy School and Community Center for the purpose of supporting initiatives in technology.
“AT&T’s generous donation of wireless access and tablets for our students will literally bring the world to our students,” Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone said in a release. “It will go a long way in helping us give our kids a well-rounded education so they will be competitive for top colleges and for jobs in the high-skills job market.”
Initiatives like these are important now that New York City is giving California’s Silicone Valley a run for it’s money as the tech startup capital of our Country. “We’re in the first few decades of an information economy, and the skills that make you successful in that are different than the ones that made us successful in the past,” a spokesperson from Mayor Bloomberg’s office told Allvoices. “It wasn’t clear we had the skills that would make us a global winner… we have to prepare New York City for the future.”
Part of that preparation was creating a pipeline of talent in the tech industry through education. The Bloomberg Administration’s partnership with the Department of Education, IBM and the City University of New York spawned the Pathways in Technology Early College High School. Now in its second year of operation, attendees receive IBM Mentors, internships and Associate’s degrees free of charge. What’s more, there are plans to replicate P-TECH’s model throughout the City and State. It’s only right that our existing Harlem schools get in on the reformative action, and AT&T’s gift is just the kind to start college and career readiness early.
AT&T New York President Marissa Shorenstein expressed her agreement as quoted in the same release as Harlem Children’s Zone’s Canada. “Technology is rapidly changing how and where students learn. As a result, schools are adopting 21st century technologies including mobile applications, web-based learning, and portable computing devices to help improve learning outcomes. Our contribution to Harlem Children’s Zone should help accelerate the adoption and benefits of mobile technologies that are reinventing how kids learn and how they’re being taught,” she said.
The Wi-Fi will be available campus-wide, and don’t think the tablets are just for playing games. The teachers will be using them to enrich classroom learning through surveys, research, and lesson-aiding apps.