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California school students are getting 1 million iPads for back-to-school

Education tools on an iPad. (Source: Apple)

To support virtual learning programs in the fall, Apple and T-mobile are teaming up to provide up to one million discounted iPads for California's neediest students and families.

Alongside its own regular Back to School promotions, Apple is teaming up with T-Mobile to help the California Department of Education (CDE). With most schools expected to stay closed for the start of the new academic year, the aim is to provide computing devices to facilitate distance learning for as many people as possible.

Ultimately, Apple is expected to provide up to one million discounted cellular iPads. It and T-Mobile are starting with 100,000 iPads that will reach schools for the beginning of term.

"As schools are working around the clock to prepare students and families for virtual learning, I want to commend Apple and T-Mobile for stepping up in a monumental way to support California's neediest students," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond in a statement.

"As Californians, we have a shared commitment to ensure every student has access to the basic tools needed to connect to their learning, succeed in today's world, and pursue their dreams," he continued. "This commitment provides schools across the state a unique chance to put devices in the hands of students now, while potentially making longer-term investments that can help us remove these inequities once and for all."

As well as providing cellular iPads at an unspecified discount, Apple has also committed its Professional Learning team to provide weekly virtual training sessions for California teachers. The company is also offering one-to-one coaching online, and free access to its Apple Teacher Learning Center.

"At Apple, we believe technology has the power to transform the learning experience for students at all levels," Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of Markets, Apps, and Services, said in the statement. Prescott has most recently announced Apple's latest update to Logic Pro, but she has also been involved in the company's education and training efforts.

"We are proud the State of California has chosen iPad to facilitate remote learning," she continued, "and during these challenging times we look forward to working with administrators and school districts across the state to help make learning more accessible for their students."

T-Mobile is to provide discounted cell service to schools and students through the program. Details of the discounts from both Apple and T-Mobile are to be shared with school districts, along with instructions for how to apply.