Donation provides tech resources for SOLES students

By Brittany Carava

Due to the fast-paced evolution of technology, education can often be overlooked.

This past May, the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership & Education Sciences’ (SOLES) Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC) received $3,000,000 to go toward new resources focusing on mobile technology.

This generous donation from Irwin and Joan Jacobs providing new technological resources for students seems appropriate, as Irwin Jacobs is a cofounder and chairman of Qualcomm, a leader in digital wireless telecommunications products and services. Jacobs has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the field of education through generous donations and grants to several schools and organizations including SOLES at USD.

SOLES held a press conference to announce the gift June 17, in the Garden by the Sea, located behind the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. Dr. Irwin and Joan Jacobs, USD President Mary Lyons, SOLES dean Paula Cordeiro and superintendents from schools throughout the San Diego area were all in attendance.

This recent donation focuses on the teaching, research and technology components of the MTLC’s vision and provides the funding needed to hire an internationally recognized director. The MLTC has developed several goals to help better foster a technological environment in the classroom.With the help of donations like the Jacob’s grant, these goals can be achieved.

“The Jacobs’ share our belief that the future of education must include innovative technologies. Approximately 1.2 billion people possess mobile devices powerful enough to deliver rich web experiences, and the total number of web-enabled mobile phones eclipses the estimated one billion personal computers on earth. We must harness this technology to educate our children and our workforce,” Cordeiro said.

Students believe that increased technology in the classroom will be beneficial to both the students and teachers involved, “I think the donation will have a large impact on SOLES and will provide future teachers with the resources necessary to have a technologically advanced classroom,” senior Emily Jones, an education minor, said.

According to educators in the SOLES department, there are two main reasons why technology isn’t used enough in K-12 education systems. “First, there is poor access to schools for collaborative research. Second, there is limited funding for technology. These factors are amplified when lack of access in minority, rural and low socioeconomic student populations are taken into account.”

Drastic change is needed in understanding K-12 learning due to the major detachment between the many technologies that is currently available to K-12 educators and their actual use or penetration in schools.
Thanks to generous donations such as the one from the Jacobs family, students are able to learn to better educate their future students with these technological tools.