Adobe and Prezi pledged today to chip in a combined $400 million worth of products and services to a White House effort to improve school technology, the latest private-sector commitment on that front rounded up by the Obama administration.
The announcement follows on promises made by seven other companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Verizon, earlier this month to devote $750 million toward the Obama administration effort, branded “ConnectEd.”
The new commitments are being announced as part of the White House Student Film Festival, an event in which meant to highlight students’ innovative use of technology in the classroom.
As Education Week has reported, while the corporate tech pledges have generally won praise in the school community, the overall plan has also drawn sketpicism from those who question how easily the technology will be delivered to and implemented in schools—and what strings will be attached.
The White House says the new commitments, which bring to total tech contributions through the ConnectED to more than $1 billion, have the potential to improve schools’ access to high-quality software.
Specifically, Adobe will make $300 million in software available for free to teachers and students. The software will include Photoshop, Presenter and Captivate, and Echosign.
Meanwhile, Prezi, a provider of presentation software, is promising it will devote $100 million in licenses for Edu Pro to schools.
The student film festival was launched last year by the White House. Students create short films through a competition about tech use in schools, and how it will help education in the future. More than 2,000 videos were submitted. A livestream of the event, which will highlight students’ creations, is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m., Eastern.