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Study: Tech access in, outside classroom boosts engagement


Project Tomorrow, Kajeet announce results of two-year tech engagement study with Chicago Public Schools

mobile-techStudents are more engaged in their learning and tend to show more achievement in certain areas when they have access to technology during school and at home, according to a study from wireless service provider Kajeet and Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit.

The two-year-long study focused on the impact of mobile devices on teaching and learning. The Making Learning Mobile 2.0 study continues taking an in-depth look at the impact of one-to-one tablet implementation, including internet access outside the classroom, with Chicago Public Schools students.

As part of the Making Learning Mobile 2.0 study, 127 Chicago 5th grade students and their four teachers were provided with Android tablets using Kajeet Education Broadband to connect kids in school and at home. The objectives were to evaluate how the students used the devices, in and outside the classroom, to support their schoolwork and extend learning beyond the classroom, focusing on increased literacy. Ninety three percent of the students in the Chicago focus school were considered low income and 45 percent were qualified as English Language Learners. Just over one-third of the students noted they did not have internet access at home.

Next page: Highlights from the study, including how student achievement responded to at-home tech access

Results from the Making Learning Mobile study included:
• The school-issued tablet increased at-home internet access for this cohort of students by 53 percent. This is especially significant given the persistence of the digital divide in home internet access within our communities.
• The teachers felt more comfortable and assigned more reading and writing homework because the students had home internet access. This resulted in increased reading and writing fluency, which is especially important for English Language Learners.
• Sixty percent of the students agreed their reading increased because of their personal access to the tablet and the internet; 60 percent noted they did more writing this school year than in previous years and that the tablet helped them improve their writing skills.

The project was sponsored by Kajeet with funding from Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Qualcomm Wireless Reach initiative.

“We wanted to evaluate how access to these devices for communication with teachers and classmates increases comfort with technology, extends the learning day, and allows students to develop digital citizenship skills within a safe and secure learning environment,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. “During the second year of the study, we were interested in learning how the teachers would integrate the devices into instruction and how that integration would help the students develop stronger research skills.”

“As technology spreads through schools, students are proving eager to embrace it. But that same technology increasingly demands mobile internet connectivity–preferably broadband–to be fully effective as a tool,” said Daniel Neal, CEO and founder of Kajeet. “There are still many schools without adequate wireless internet connectivity to allow mobile devices to function to their full capability. Studies like this one show teachers, students, parents and administrators the value of not only the technology, but the necessity for connectivity as well.”

The Making Learning Mobile study is continuing this school year within Chicago Public Schools. Download the complete report from info.kajeet.com/downloadmlmreport.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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