BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham’s growing technology sector is getting a little bigger with a new venture aimed at education in Alabama.
Apple CEO and Alabama native Tim Cook came to Birmingham Thursday to announce the launch of “Ed Farm.” Located downtown, Ed Farm will provide chances for students of all ages to learn coding, part of a push from school leaders to teach coding throughout Alabama.
Through Ed Farm, Apple has granted 400 devices for use inside Birmingham City Schools.
“While education is in Apple’s DNA, Alabama is in mine,” Cook said. “Alabama is my home, where I grew up, where I went to school, where I learned to be the person I am, both inside and out of the classroom, so it means the world to be back here with all of you.”
Through Ed Farm, the initiative has a focus on the future by looking to Birmingham’s history.
“The Ed Farm will be teaming up with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to develop digital storytelling and augmented reality tools that will bring the civil rights movement to life for visitors from around the world,” Cook said.
Mayor Randall Woodfin said the launch of Ed Farm will enhance Birmingham’s technology scene.
“You have a leader in Tim Cook, who is not only from Alabama but has not forgotten his Alabama roots,” Woodfin said. “I think he sees the city of Birmingham not only being the biggest city in the state, but leading the state on and in technology.”
Right now, Ed Farm is only working with Birmingham City Schools, but leaders hope to expand the initiative statewide next school year.
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