Today, in classrooms across the country, students will file into their seats and listen to their teachers’ carefully crafted lessons. It is a scene that has played out for generations and is so entrenched that one might not notice a quiet revolution taking place that is changing the way students are learning. As technology expands across the globe and into education, it not only provides teachers with new capabilities, but also has the potential to create meaningful change.

As a company, AT&T places special emphasis both education and technology. Aspire, our company’s signature education initiative, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. Across the country, AT&T’s core technologies have helped to enrich the classroom experience and expand its reach into the home.

The concept of E-learning – essentially receiving education conducted via smart devices and broadband internet – is a growing phenomenon across the globe that presents unique opportunities to expand access to education while enabling a reduction in carbon emissions.

We are also focused on sustainability. We strive to manage our consumption of water and energy as well as reduce our emissions. Further amplifying our impact, we are working to leverage AT&T’s technology solutions to help customers better manage their own carbon footprint.

While separate issues by themselves, an area where technology, education and sustainability come together is on “E-learning”. The concept of E-learning – essentially receiving education conducted via smart devices and broadband internet – is a growing phenomenon across the globe that presents unique opportunities to expand access to education while enabling a reduction in carbon emissions. According to the GeSI #SMARTer2030 Report, released in June and sponsored in part by AT&T, there are myriad benefits in the global expansion of using connectivity as a tool in education.

According to the report, information and communications technology will connect half a billion people to e-learning tools by 2030, helping to mitigate 0.1Gt CO2e per year globally – that is the equivalent of emissions from 21 million passenger vehicles and enough energy to power 9 million homes for one year. Beyond just emissions, the uptick in E-leaning can save 91 million tons of paper through replacement of hard copies of study materials with electronic books. It can also save 5 billion liters of fuel by reducing the need to travel to education facilities.

One of the most critical benefits is, of course, the educational opportunities afforded to millions of people who might otherwise not have access to it. We are seeing a revolutionary change unfold in how students are learning, with a large expansion in access that simultaneously has the potential to realize significant environmental benefits. As long as they don’t toy with summer vacation, it’s a revolution we should all welcome.

About the Author

Jessica Filante

Area Manager - Public Affairs, AT&T

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Jess Filante is an Area Manager in Public Affairs at AT&T.  She manages one of AT&T Aspire's philanthropic programs related to Ed-tech and conducts strategic communications for a company initiative that aim to address the digital divide. 

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