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President Obama is relying on the private sector to further his ambitious goal to bring high-speed Internet to 99 percent of schools.

The administration’s ConnectEd program, unveiled last Summer, aims to improve Internet access for students and bring new education technology to schools.

Fewer than 20 percent of educators across the country feel that their school’s Internet connection adequately meets their teaching needs, according to the White House.

The ConnectEd program has raised some $1 billion in funding from the private sector thus far. Today, the program received its largest single donation from software company Adobe. Adobe pledged more than $300 million worth of software to the program, giving K-12 students access to well-known products like Photoshop Elements and EchoSign.

Cloud software company Prezi also donated $100 million in software licenses for education as part of the initiative. The commitment includes licenses of Prezi Edu Pro, which usually runs at $4.92 per month.

President Obama made the announcement during the White House’s inaugural student “film festival” earlier today. Over 2,500 student teams from K-12 schools submitted short films, which showcase how technology is used in their classrooms. You can watch the 16 final student film selections here.

The administration is also putting pressure on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to bring lightning fast Internet to schools. Last year, Obama asked the FCC to revamp its E-Rate program, which subsidizes Internet services for schools and libraries, but only those that meet its criteria.

The FCC amped up its involvement in ConnectEd by pledging $2 billion to connect 20 million students in 15,000 schools over the next two years.


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