Until the coronavirus becomes more manageable and preventable, society as we know it is literally changing with each week. Along with offices and businesses closing down in favor of remote operation, schools across the country have also shut their doors.
With education officials suddenly trying to figure out how to best instruct students remotely, AT&T launched its new Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund to give parents, students, and teachers the tools they need for at-home education. The fund also has a goal of providing resources to maintain meaningful connections and bonding opportunities for folks isolated from family and friends.
“Our country is grappling with an unprecedented challenge,” said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. “Now more than ever before, connecting people with the resources they need to maintain a sense of normalcy is paramount. For students and teachers, that means creating the best digital learning environment. For families, that means simply staying connected to loved ones. Over the coming weeks and months, we’re committed to standing alongside the communities where we live and work, as we navigate through this trying time.”
The first contribution of $1 million will go to Khan Academy, an online resource that offers educational practice exercises, instructional videos and a personalized learning dashboard that empowers students to study at home. Khan Academy also provides free tools for parents and teachers to assist them with tracking student progress. In addition, Khan Academy will receive another $1 million contribution from Google.org for its online learning initiative intended to promote distance learning.
“AT&T and Google.org have been committed supporters of Khan Academy,” explained Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy. “We’re grateful that they’re helping us respond quickly to school closures so everyone can keep learning at home.”
The Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund is working alongside families, educators and community leaders to understand the obstacles they will face in the days and weeks to come.
“These donations are important because they will help students and families maintain some normalcy as our communities respond to the outbreak of this virus,” explained Sindy M. Benavides, chief executive officer, League of United Latin American Citizens. “It is important that people are able to continue their education as they cope with this rapidly changing environment. We thank AT&T for acting swiftly and for their leadership.”