In the wake of technology’s ever-expanding potential, the safe mobile broadband of Kajeet SmartSpot™ is reconciling a digital schism in education and bridging the gap between privileged and low-income students, an issue which this 2013 Pew Research survey of more than 2,400 middle school and high school Advanced Placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers confirms. Here are a few of the survey’s most eye-opening findings:

  • More than half (54%) of teachers say all or almost all of their students have sufficient accesDDbackgrounds to digital tools at school, but only a fifth of these teachers (18%) say all or almost all of their students have access to the digital tools they need at home.
  • 39% of teachers of low-income students say their school is “behind the curve” when it comes to effectively using digital tools in the learning process; just 15% of teachers of higher income students rate their schools poorly in this area.
  • 49% of teachers of students living in low income households say their school’s use of Internet filters has a “major impact” on their teaching.
  • 92% of teachers say the Internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching.
  • 73% of teachers say students use their mobile phones in the classroom or to complete assignments, and 45% report they or their students use e-readers and 43% use tablet computers in the classroom or to complete assignments.
  • 42% of teachers say their students usually know more than they do when it comes to using new digital technologies.  Just 18% feel they know more than their students.

Responses like these affirm that there are three things every 21st century student needs: access, mobility, and filtering — all of which are encompassed by Kajeet SmartSpot™!

Read the full survey here — and learn more about Kajeet’s work to bridge the digital divide here!

Kajeet loves when kids love advanced technology: it has been proven to engage students and enrich their education — in and out of the classroom! The problem, however, is that socioeconomic factors are conspiring to further polarize a current “digital divide” — and students on the wrong side are either falling behind or falling off. Kajeet believes access to a safe mobile broadband connection and up-to-date mobile devices is not an educational privilege: it is a right. To better understand the scope of this issue, take a look at these examples of the efficacy of mobile devices in the lives of special needs children:tablet edu

Four-year-old Edwin Molina was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and struggles using words to express his needs and wants. His condition also affects his mobility and fine motor skills. Edwin loves to use his tablet computer to communicate, thanks to apps that allow users with fine motor difficulties to use their fist, eyes, or voice to navigate Web pages and apps on the device.

Seven-year-old Angus Barnes has severe autism and little writing ability, but his tablet computer has changed that: his mother, Sarah, said if Angus was given a piece of paper he only drew circles, but on his tablet computer he was suddenly able to write his name.

Treyton Arnold was born with Down Syndrome. His father, Rob, is very happy with how Trey has been taking to his tablet: “[People] often make some type of surprised comment indicating or actually stating they cannot believe he knows how to use it. Listen, the kid is amazing with it. He switches between apps, flips screens, opens the Netflix app and chooses shows to watch, you name it. Give your child some time and you will see how intuitive these devices are. In fact, that is one of the reasons tablets work so well for kids with Down Syndrome and other special needs. They are intuitive, portable, customizable, and among other things very effective. They are a tool that can supplement your other efforts as well as what is learned in school.”

Learn more about Kajeet’s mission to enable students of all kinds here!

In today’s smartphone age, kids who stream, surf, and socialize almost exclusively on their mobile devices are increasingly adding schoolwork to that list!

The TRU organization, which specializes in data on tweens, teens and young adults, conducted a national online poll of 1,000 students and found smartphones are used at home for schoolwork by 39 percent of 11 to 14 year olds! In addition,smartphones1 31 percent of those surveyed said they do assignments on a tablet. The research also shows that smartphone usage increases with age, rising from 42 percent for sixth graders to 57 percent for eighth graders. And, perhaps most significantly, students questioned in the poll said they are excited about using mobile devices — that they help them learn math and sciences better!

This poll should come as great news — kids are embracing mobile technology at home and in schools. The problem, however, is that many students are on the wrong side of the “digital divide,” lacking access to up-to-date devices and the mobile connections that support them. Kajeet SmartSpot™ helps school districts close the divide by providing safe and affordable off-site internet connection to students in need. Soon, we will enable education even further with our consumer service, helping kids and schools move towards our inevitable destination: advanced technology and mobile broadband as a part of every child’s education.

Click here to learn more about Kajeet’s role in education and here to read the full article on the TRU poll!

Kajeet offers a host of solutions for families — whether it’s providing kids with safe faucetcell phones or closing the digital divide in the classroom — and we love to see other companies use technology as an agent for the well-being of kids and their parents.

Our newest friend is Pristinet, a Colorado tech startup that launched the first of its nationwide tap water tests last month in San Jose. They empower parents with pivotal information concerning unregulated toxins, which pose a serious threat to household tap water and the children who drink it. Learn more about this initiative here!

There’s no greater litmus test for our future than the quality of our education, an area defined by its most valuable asset: emerging technology. Schools everywhere are using Internet access to enliven, fast-track and enhance the educational process.

However, the same technology that galvanizes the 21st century classroom also threatens to leave many students behind. Home computers and Internet access are increasingly expected of students and essential tools in many situations. What about the kids who don’t have Internet at home? What can schools do to keep technology involved in the curriculum without inconveniencing and depriving the kids whose families can’t afford access to the Web? Articles like this affirm this disparity is a huge problem.Bridge-the-Gap

What can companies like Kajeet do to solve this divide?

Kajeet operates under the belief that the quantum leaps we’ve made in technology must be used to bridge this educational gap. We help all kinds of schools and students use advanced technology to teach and learn.

Kajeet partners with schools to give them top-of-the-line devices and a safe, filtered Internet service— a package that can be scaled to their needs and used to help kids who don’t have a Web connection at home. We provide schools with tablet computers, Mifi Smartspots™ and smartphones, so kids can safely access the Internet from home.

We provide schools a safe and simple solution so they can close the digital divide, make the most of their budget, and step into the 21st century!

Learn more about Kajeet’s role in education here and check out our affordable devices here!

Kajeet allows parents and kids to easily manage who pays for what on our service– all the while teaching valuable lessons about the responsibilities of spending.

Readily accessible from the left menu on your logged-in account, Kajeet WalletManager is a free, easy-to-use tool that divides your family funds into two wallets: one for parents and one for kids. Kids love their phones and often use up their service plans before the month is up. Once they run out of texts, minutes, picture messages or data, parents can choose to transfer funds from their wallet to the kid wallet:

wallet transfer

You can also set up one-time refills of up to $50, with a 10% transaction fee.

Don’t want to transfer money every time your kid’s wallet dries up? No problem; just set up an automatic refill that fits your service needs:

walletmenu

Just remember: Refills added to the wallet cannot be used to pay for monthly Plans or Add-ons and are non-refundable.

Parental controls are easier than ever with Kajeet TimeManager! Accessible and easy to use, TimeManager allows you to set time restrictions for your kid’s device, add exception days, and view all your kid’s time allowances on a weekly calendar. You can even decide whether you want time blocks to apply to smartphone data usage!

So how do you use TimeManager? It’s simple. Just select “Add Time Restriction” and customize the settings:

time-restriction

Want to set a special day where the time restriction is not in effect without going in and editing the weekly schedule? No problem — just select the “Exception Days” tab and select “Create an Exception:”

vacation!

And, as always, you can mark yourself as an “Always Allowed” contact in ContactManager, so even when time restrictions are applied to your kid’s device, you will have peace of mind that you’re always able to reach your kid!

Want to block a bully from texting or calling your kid’s phone? Want to cut off your kid’s phone access during the day but still allow phone calls & texts from mom and dad in case of an emergency?

With Kajeet ContactManager, you can decide whether you want to allow calls or text/picture messages. You can also determine whose wallet pays for what for calls or messages from specific contacts (like you!).

ContactManager allows parents to set up three types of assignments for their kid’s phone contacts:

Blocked: Contacts marked as “blocked” cannot talk to or text your child.

Allowed: Contacts marked as “allowed” can talk to and text your child, but NOT during TimeManager time restrictions.

Always Allowed: Contacts marked as “always allowed” can talk to and text your child during TimeManager time restrictions.

All contact information is stored on a helpful chart:

contactmanager

Remember: you and your kid will be able to text, picture message, and call each other if your number is set up as an ‘Always Allowed’ contact, even if you disable texting & picture messaging or contact each other during a time restriction. This gives you peace of mind that you and your kid can always reach each other!

stock-illustration-403281-melting-snowmanFreeze! For a limited time, take 15% off these stylish & affordable phones from Kajeet when you use promo code “FREEZE” during checkout — it’s a sale so hot, it’s melting all the snow! Shop today and choose one of these three sleek phones:

Samsung m320 Red refurb: $49.00 $42.49 w/ promo code “FREEZE“!

LG 102: $45.00 $41.00 $34.85 w/ promo code “FREEZE“!

Sanyo LX Graphite refurb$49.00 $42.49 w/ promo code “FREEZE“!

Act now to save big before this sale ends!

Promo code “FREEZE” expires 2/28/2013.

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