Around New Jersey Roundup: Audible, NPower and AT&T, Comcast, Samsung

Photo: Don Katz of Audible Photo Credit: Courtesy Audible
Don Katz of Audible | Courtesy Audible

Audible: Audible, the Newark-based division of Amazon that produces and sells digital spoken-word entertainment, said it will give 15,000 Newark high school students and teachers free Audible memberships for a year, including 12 credits toward downloading and owning any of the 375,000-plus titles in Audible’s library of digital audiobooks, including digital and other forms of educational programming.

To make use of their Audible memberships, each Newark student and teacher will receive a free Amazon Fire 7-inch 8GB tablet with Alexa and headphones. Called “Project Listen Up,” this Audible initiative will provide all participants with an enhanced Audible membership experience that includes a bundle of 150-plus “recommended reading” titles identified by Newark educators and Audible experts. The students and teachers will get to keep the content, tablets and headphones, even after their memberships end.

“Audible is a better company and a better place to work because of our decision to move to Newark ten years ago and include so many Newark high school and college students and Newark-born and educated people as our paid interns and employees,” said Audible founder and CEO, Don Katz.

Photo: Mayor Fulop visits NPower in honor of the ATT grant. Photo Credit: James Orthmann
Mayor Fulop visits NPower in honor of the ATT grant. | James Orthmann

NPower and AT&T: NPower, located in Jersey City, received a $30,000 grant that will fund a one-day cybersecurity module in 2018. NPower is a nonprofit organization that provides computer training for young adults and veterans in systems management, networking and cyber security.

The funds were donated by AT&T’s nationwide “Thank Our Heroes” initiative. This donation was timed to coincide with Veterans Week and Veterans Day weekend. Althea Yancy, director of citizenship and sustainability at AT&T, and Paul Shisler, AT&T director of sales in North Jersey, were present, along with New Jersey Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

Comcast: NJ Biz reports that Comcast (Philadelphia) will invest $13 million to expand its fiber-based network into New Jersey. “Fiber optic cable allows for significantly faster internet speeds for businesses and residential customers. Comcast’s fiber optic network provides speeds as fast as 100 gigabits-per-second,” the article said.

“The $13 million investment will be used for expansion throughout the greater Philadelphia area, $7 million of which will be used to expand the network into Mount Laurel, Princeton, Somerset and South Plainfield. Comcast estimates that over 14,000 businesses will have access to the fiber network as a result of the expansion.”

Samsung: Five New Jersey schools are among the nation’s 255 state finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest , a program that encourages students to solve real-world problems in their communities using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). 

The state finalist schools were chosen based on their creative and strategic proposals for solving complicated issues that affect their communities by using STEAM learning. Teachers representing all 255 schools selected as state finalists will receive a Samsung Chromebook for their classrooms, and their schools will have the opportunity to advance in the competition, with a chance to win additional prizes and educational opportunities.

The schools were:

·       Howell Township Middle School South, Howell

·       Cliffside Park High School, Cliffside

·       Emil A. Cavallini Middle School, Upper Saddle River

·       Cape May County Technical Schools, Cape May Court House

·       Dr. Michael Conti School – PS 5, Jersey City 

With $2 million in technology on the line, the teachers from the five state finalist schools in New Jersey will submit an “activity plan” outlining how their students will tackle a local problem using STEAM skills.

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