OnQ Blog

Adopting and Adapting Emerging Technologies for Learning

14 de Abr de 2010

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Unlike computers, a majority of children in the U.S. have access to a mobile device (93% of 6 to 9 year-olds already live in a home with a mobile phone) and cellphones are a simple, affordable and readily available tool for enabling improvements in education.

To prove this point, panelists from Qualcomm, Lenovo, Sprint, Verizon as well as authorities in the field of educational technology highlighted the benefits of mobile technology in K-12 education and, at the same time, created a real-time interactive learning environment for attendees. Attendees were invited to keep their phones ready. And, like the students who currently participate in pilot projects using mobile devices in the classroom, attendees were encouraged to participate during the panel via their mobile device, by “tweeting” their thoughts and answering polling questions via text messages.

What happened was remarkable but not surprising to the panelists. Attendees didn’t simply sit and listen to industry experts wax poetic on the benefits of mobility; instead they were actively engaged in the learning and conversation. SMS responses to the poll scrolled live on screens, which panelists used during their presentations – pulling responses from the screens in order to confirm a position or demonstrate a point. Attendees were excited to see their thoughts appear on the screens and the panelists’ reaction to their postings.

The Twitter feed and the SMS poll provided attendees with a sense of what a personalized, interactive and wireless classroom experience might be like for high school students in North Carolina’s Project K-Nect who use their phones to learn mathematics. Project K-Nect, a pilot that began during the 2007-2008 school year as part of Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative, has shown how wireless technology allows the classroom to move beyond the traditional lecture model and change the way kids learn and interact with their teachers, peers and curriculum. Just like the Project K-Nect students, attendees found that it’s fun to see your thoughts posted on a big screen (or in the students’ case on a website).

Just as we saw with the panel attendees, Qualcomm believes that active exchange with teachers and peers and continual interaction with content engages the student.

And with this belief in mind, Qualcomm and its partners are exploring ways in which wireless can address some fundamental challenges in improving education. Wireless communication has already changed the way we live and work as business professionals – now it’s time to leverage this technology to deliver an effective 21st century educational experience.

For more on this panel and what Qualcomm is doing in mobile education, go to http://www.qualcomm.com/products_services/mobile_content_services/mobile...

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Christine Trimble

Vice President, Public Affairs

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Qualcomm and Virginia Tech collaborate on a new maker space

Earlier this year President Obama included Virginia Tech and Qualcomm’s new collaboration in a list of promising educational initiatives he highlighted while recently announcing his Computer Science for All initiative. The national Week of Making, also encouraged by the President’s call to action to “lift up makers and builders and doers across the country,” is an opportunity for educators and industry to make a commitment, together, in support of a brighter future!

The heart of this new collaboration with Virginia Tech, a leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) institution, lies in expanding Qualcomm’s San Diego-based Thinkabit Lab, which develops curricular and programmatic activities to facilitate the long-term engagement and development of both students and teachers. A second hub, the first on the east coast, will be located in the National Capital Region at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, Virginia — in close proximity to Washington, D.C. — will serve as a center for school-to-work activities for students, pre- and in-service teachers, and public school administrators.

Bev Watford, professor of engineering education in the College of Engineering, and Susan Ganter, professor in the school of education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, lead the Virginia Tech program with Qualcomm. We asked both to share their thoughts on the collaboration and the opportunities the Thinkabit Lab will foster.

Why is the Virginia Tech collaboration with Qualcomm on the Thinkabit expansion so critical?

Watford: Nationally, we don’t have enough high-school students planning to study engineering or computer science in college. A large reason for this problem is the lack of properly trained K-12 teachers — people able to expose students to engineering concepts by integrating them into the existing science and mathematics courses. Over the last two years Qualcomm’s San Diego Thinkabit Lab has served more than 8,000 students and more than 500 teachers actively participated. THAT track record speaks for itself.

How is the collaboration unique to Virginia Tech?

Ganter: This collaboration will forge a unique path for developing teachers who will stimulate their students’ excitement for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — STEM — through career-based, hands-on experiences. We agree 110 percent with Qualcomm on its desire to reach out and help build a “teacher pipeline” for STEM education and teach the next generation how they can create and build a better world.

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