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 firstname.lastname@example.org.