Thanks to Dr. Laura Ruth Johnson, Northern Illinois University’s Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA) donated 21 iMacs to Jobos Elementary School in Loiza, Puerto Rico. As Dr. Johnson recalls, “I was introduced to Mayor Nazario and others working with students and their families in Loiza, at an event in Chicago. They spoke of resource needs in the wake of Hurricane Maria and I immediately thought of the computers no longer in use and languishing in storerooms.” With the support of ETRA department chair, Wei-Chen Hung, and College of Education Dean Laurie Elish-Piper, Dr. Johnson petitioned state entities for approval of the donation – the delivery of which was considerably delayed due to the pandemic shutdown in 2020.
Another obstacle —the shipping and configuration of the donated computers, was resolved with the assistance of Michael D. Nieves, HITN President and CEO. The computers were shipped to Loiza in February and installed and imaged by local HITN staff and Executive Assistant Luis Alejandro Molina.
Johnson, along with HITN Head of Learning Maryann Marrapodi, plans on building a long-term relationship with the school. Dr Johnson also plans to involve ETRA colleagues who can provide professional development in the area of instructional technology. A press conference in Loiza is scheduled for May 11th.