NEWS RELEASE - Qualcomm Technologies Donates Hundreds of Always-Connected Personal Computers to San Diego Unified School District for Distance Learning Support

Posted: Thursday, June 18th 2020



Qualcomm Technologies Donates Hundreds of Always-Connected Personal Computers to San Diego Unified School District for Distance Learning Support

June 18, 2020

SAN DIEGO - As the COVID-19 crisis struck and forced the closure of school facilities, an unprecedented move to distance learning placed an emphasis on digital equity. Maintaining its commitment to equitable access, the district’s Integrated Technology (IT) Division distributed more than 50,000 district-funded devices to students throughout the district. 

The San Diego Unified School District has not been doing it alone; the district has received 900 new personal computers (PCs) with built-in cellular connectivity, as part of a grant from Qualcomm Technologies that supports the district’s migration to distance learning and aids its efforts to close the connectivity gap. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. arranged for the manufacturing of these devices specifically for this donation.

“Qualcomm is known for cutting-edge technology that has connected the world, but the company also embodies the compassionate spirit of San Diego by continually giving back to the community,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “Thanks to this generous donation, local students will be able to continue learning, growing and preparing for the challenges of tomorrow.”

The cellular-connected PCs will soon become available for students still in need of computers, and are powered by the Company’s flagship chipset - a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ compute platform. A Snapdragon-powered “Always Connected PC” is a Windows laptop with cellular connectivity built-in to the device so users can remain connected without Wi-Fi, much like a smartphone. This cellular connectivity is a standard feature of devices featuring the Snapdragon chipset, in addition to their long-lasting battery life. The donated devices, powered by Snapdragon, will enable students to access the internet independent of their access to Wi-Fi, and experience the district’s educational resources longer than possible on a convention laptop.

“The ‘connectivity divide’ among our district’s students was made especially clear as our community turned to distance learning, and I am proud of how our employees saw a need and took action to use technology invented within the city,’” said Susie Armstrong, Senior Vice President, Engineering for Qualcomm Incorporated. “Snapdragon-powered always connected PCs are the ideal device for students and teachers, enabling them to connect and learn from anywhere by taking the classroom with them.”

Also part of the grant, Qualcomm Incorporated is making a one-time $141,000 donation to cover cellular connectivity costs for these 900 devices, ensuring students and families have access to learning materials through the summer. As the summer begins, students can use their always-connected PCs to participate in SDUSD Stories/Expanding Horizons, a new summer initiative to inspire, provide a platform to share student voices, and to keep our school community engaged. 

Bringing together industry and the public sector, this public-private partnership exemplifies San Diego’s commitment to ensuring all students have the tools they need to succeed.

“We are deeply committed to closing the connectivity gap,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten. “While we continue advocating for additional state and federal support, Qualcomm has stepped up and shown why San Diego really is America’s finest city. This partnership goes a long way at supporting our students and teachers.”

Qualcomm has previously launched an initiative to help prepare students for careers in tech by installing a Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ at their corporate headquarters and in several schools throughout the county, including Lewis Middle School. 

The grant will be presented to the Board of Education later this summer. Once approved, the district will develop a plan to distribute the Always Connected PCs. 

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. 

Qualcomm, Thinkabit Lab and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.

Related Media/Links:

Video of the donations to San Diego Unified can be found here

Photos of the donations to San Diego Unified can be found here

San Diego Unified Distance Learning FAQs can be found here

Media  Contacts:

Samer Naji, Facilities Communications Supervisor, San Diego Unified, 

Jamie Ries, Facilities Communications Liaison, San Diego Unified, 

Clare Conley, Senior Director at Corporate Communications, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., 



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