Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and CEO, truly walks the talk. True to Facebook’s mission of connecting the world, Zuckerberg has been really busy in advocating Internet access for everyone.
Donation to Education Super Highway
Zuckerberg, together with his wife Priscilla Chan, recently donated $20 million to Education Super Highway. Education Super Highway is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing high-speed Internet access to every American public school classroom. This mission is in line with the organization’s belief that a high-speed broadband is essential in providing students equal access to educational opportunities. The organization reported that its efforts resulted in 20 million U.S. students gaining Internet access since 2013.
In connection with the $20 million dollar donation, Zuckerberg expressed in a Facebook post how Internet access expands the personalized learning of individuals. This, according to him, is an important element to develop if we want students to learn at their own pace. Furthermore, he said that upgrading the speed and reliability of Internet connections in public schools will provide opportunities for educators and students to improve the educational process. He notes that numerous education software programs and online tools are available, which can be utilized to improve education.
Zuckerberg’s Philanthropic Initiatives
This donation is not the first project of Zuckerberg and his wife. As early as 2010, they were initiating educational philanthropy efforts. Startup: Education is the couple’s own nonprofit grant-making organization devoted to improving students’ access to high-quality education. The organization is geared toward ensuring that smart and hardworking students have access to resources that will help them attain success. From its initial project in Newark, New Jersey, Startup: Education has now moved to nation-wide projects and grants. Through its latest grant to Education Super Highway, it aims to connect to school across the U.S.
Earlier this year, Facebook partnered with Summit Public Schools to assist in building personalized learning tools for America-wide usage. Just this October, Zuckerberg and Chan also announced that they have established a private pre-kindergarten and primary school near the Facebook headquarters. This primary school will open next August and provide free private education to low-income families.
Aside from the aforementioned works, Facebook’s Internet.org is another of Zuckerberg’s admirable initiatives. It is a Facebook-led campaign that calls for the nonprofit organization, technology leaders, and local communities to be involved in providing Internet access to two-thirds of the world that still has no broadband access.
Implications of Zuckerberg’s Initiatives Zuckerberg’s philanthropic works reflect how he values education and connectivity. Critics and cynics may view Zuckerberg’s actions as mere means to further strengthen the dominance of Facebook and increase his company’s net worth. Some may say that he is only using education as a front. While these assumptions may hold some truth in them, nothing can hide the fact that Zuckerberg is creating positive change on a global scale. His projects and initiatives are not solely focused on America but on other overseas countries, as well.
Zuckerberg’s philanthropic works place education under the limelight. If someone as high profile and influential as the Facebook CEO initiates educational efforts, the rest of social network giants will likely follow through. Whether it is genuine or just a means to an end, Zuckerberg’s initiatives are undoubtedly needed.
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