OnQ Blog

On the road to 24/7 learning

16 juil. 2014

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

In June, I attended two important education events in Atlanta, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) annual conference and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) Emerging Technologies Forum (ET Forum).

At ISTE, I joined 18,000 other attendees from around the country to discuss some of education’s biggest issues. For those of you who aren’t familiar with ISTE, it is one of the largest membership associations for educators and education leaders engaged in advancing learning and teaching through technology in pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. SETDA’s ET Forum provided a venue for 75+ state members from nearly 50 states and the private sector to engage in meaningful conversations around education.

A key takeaway from my time in Atlanta is that as learning transitions to digital, the digital divide continues to widen and there is not an economically viable solution available today to address the gaps for those students without access. Issues such as privacy, security and especially the lack of off-campus connectivity are critical areas of interest that teachers, administrators and state directors face every day.

While data shows that up to 30% of U.S. households don’t have access to high-speed broadband in their homes (Source: IHS, Dec. ’13) and in Detroit, 70% of kids have no high-speed broadband access in their homes (Source: Kajeet, Nov ‘13), my conversations during the conference convinced me that connectivity is really a much larger issue than the statistics indicate.

Hotspots alone can’t support the needs of this transition from print to digital, which is one of the reasons Qualcomm Technologies was on-site to share its support for 24/7 learning and 3G/4G cellular to bridge the growing connectivity gap. Walking the show floor at ISTE was enough to convince me that there continues to be a growing need for simple and affordable solutions that enable all students to have 24/7 access to their learning materials. Many of the booths and conversations focused on mobility, with great emphasis on tablets, apps, web access and figuring out how we ensure that children have access to the content they need.

Qualcomm has a long history of supporting education. Since 2007, Qualcomm Wireless Reach has funded more than 40 education-based projects around the world. And, since 2000, Qualcomm Incorporated and the Qualcomm Foundation have donated more than $240 million to support educated, healthy, sustainable, culturally vibrant communities. Qualcomm Technologies is excited to collaborate with educators at ISTE and the EdTech Directors at SETDA due to their support and desire to collaborate in the connected learning space, which is now more important than ever due to the current direction of education.

To learn more about the educational solutions offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., please visit: qualcomm.com/education or email education@qti.qualcomm.com.

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Vicki Mealer-Burke

Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer

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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.

23 juin 2016