Project to evaluate use of tablets in schools

After earning all six badges, the student receives a “digital passport,” which functions as a “stamp that allows school folks to say, ‘OK, you’ve had the proper education to use online tools in a safe and responsible way,’” said Mike Lorion, vice president and general manager of education for Common Sense Media.

As schools increasingly introduce devices into their classrooms, “it’s not just about knowing how to use [these tools], but also about how to act responsibly and to be safe around their use,” Lorion said.

Although several other one-to-one programs, such as the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, have used Common Sense digital literacy curricula, the kajeet project marks the first time students will be able to access the Digital Passport games as a mobile app.

To access the apps provided by kajeet and the school districts, students and teachers will use EduTone’s Passport and its Global Grid for Learning Content Library. EduTone’s Passport creates a single sign-on (SSO) environment, so that a user can log into all of his or her license-dependent apps using the same school ID and password.

For more on mobile learning, see:

Helping Students Learn with Reliable Wireless Connectivity

The SSO function “converts [devices] from consumer- to school-centric” by “enabl[ing] personalization” because after sign-on, “each device becomes populated with applications entitled to that particular user,” said Robert Iskander, CEO of Edutone.

Teachers using the kajeet devices also will be able to use Emantras’ MOBL21 platform to create mobile lessons, conduct formative assessments, and access instructional content.

Before, during, and after the pilot program, non-profit research group Project Tomorrow will evaluate and measure the program’s success. Saldivar said Qualcomm expects to release an evaluation report sharing data and findings from the program in summer 2013.

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, when and how often students like to use their devices, and most importantly, whether mobile device use improves academic performance.

“There is no single silver bullet—we need collaboration from schools, families, and companies in the private sector,” Flood said.

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