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Project to evaluate use of tablets in schools

Michael Flood, kajeet’s education VP, said kajeet “expects to learn a lot from this project,” particularly about what types of web activity students gravitate toward—and whether mobile device use improves academic performance.

Tablets—with their lightweight portability and interactive touch screens—have been hailed as the next “must have” as schools move toward mobile computing. But questions linger: How much network access do students need? How can schools ensure that students will use the devices appropriately? Does more time using mobile devices translate into better academic performance?

Kajeet, a cell phone carrier that specializes in kid-friendly mobile service, announced June 25 its participation in “Making Learning Mobile,” a pilot program that assesses the mobile computing needs of students and teachers.

Sponsored by Qualcomm Inc.’s Wireless Reach initiative, the project will incorporate the work of partners Common Sense Media, Emantras, and EduTone.

Every year through Wireless Reach, Qualcomm invites proposals for research-based pilot programs that study applications of wireless technology in education.

Qualcomm recognized “a lot of synergy” between ideas submitted by Common Sense Media and kajeet and suggested combining the two proposals into one project, said Qualcomm project manager Edith Saldivar.

She said this project will be the first major research study that focuses specifically on the internet privacy and security issues of one-to-one mobile computing in schools.

For the 2012-13 school year, kajeet will provide Android tablets to 120 eighth-graders in Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools and 180 fifth-graders in the Chicago Public Schools.

Students will bring their devices to all their classes and take them home each day. And because kajeet provides access to the mobile broadband network, students don’t have to search out Wi-Fi hotspots—they’ll have connectivity anywhere there is cell phone service on the Sprint network.

For more on mobile learning, see:

Helping Students Learn with Reliable Wireless Connectivity

“This is not using technology as a supplement to traditional instruction; this is using technology as a core component of instructional delivery,” said Michael Flood, kajeet’s vice president of education markets.

The devices will use kajeet’s web-based Sentinel platform, which allows schools to regulate students’ internet access at the district, school, or classroom level. Because Sentinel controls filters within the network, web access will always align with the schools’ standards regardless of the browser used or the student’s location.

The devices also will come equipped with Digital Passport, a new online tool designed by Common Sense Media to teach internet safety to elementary school students. Using an interactive, game-based interface, the program guides students through modules that cover online safety issues such as how to create a secure password or recognize cyber bullying.

Students earn up to six badges by watching short videos that integrate online safety lessons with Common Core standards and demonstrating comprehension through gameplay.

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Comments:

  1. Tomsmcdonald

    June 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    This is really interesting.

    My experience with truly personalized instruction and delivery has resulted in the following advanced learning outcomes:

    More Stimulation per Minute of Study
    300% Improvement in Retained Learning per Hour of Study
    11% less study time, 22% less test time, and 95% higher test scores

    and

    California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE); Advanced English Learners pass rates up to 78%; Advanced Special Education learners pass rates up to 50%; Advanced Traditional education learners pass rates up to 100%.

    Customized, annualized, CAHSEE, Return on Investment (ROI), economic validations, have ranged between 800% and 4,000%+

    The keys to advanced individual learning outcomes are differentiated instruction over time and differentiated reinforcement over time

  2. syeager1

    July 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Technology in the classroom when used in a way that allows individualized instruction is great. This is a rapidly growing focus in education. I mean, just look at the tablet solution that Hatch Early Learning has: http://www.hatchearlychildhood.com/pages/early-learning-tablet-for-kids

  3. edsanderson

    August 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    We recently found a new tool for our tablets. http://www.ezassessment.com

    The site lets the students grade all their multiple choice tests online. It gives them immediate feedback, and gives me their grades with an item analysis.

    It actually is quite easy, and there is a free 2 month trial going on right now.

  4. vafish

    September 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    My daughter is one of the 120 students in FCPS that will be issued a Kajeet tablet. I’ll let you know what I think of it.