The Kajeet SmartSpotTM was all the “buzz” at the CoSN 2014 Annual Conference last week. Designed for education leaders to better understand the changing landscape of education technology and the new face of learning, COSN provided a unique opportunity for Kajeet to introduce the solution for keeping students connected after the school day ends.

Hyper-Connected

School districts came from all across the globe to explore how digital learning ecosystems challenge and inspire students, encourage innovation, and deepen the learning initiatives. And staying connected was a large part of the discussions. Kajeet participated in spotlight presentations and showcased its Kajeet SmartSpot solution to more than 350 education leaders.

Hall of Fame

In recognition of the his unique commitment to CoSN, Michael Flood, Vice President of Education at Kajeet, was inducted into CoSN’s 2014 Volunteer Hall of Fame. At this special event on, the CoSN Board honored volunteers, new Certified Education Technology Leaders and companies with unique vision and participation among the elite CoSN community.

Equity in the Digital Age

By far, one of the more popular spotlight sessions of the event, was presented by Michael Flood of Kajeet. His session– Equity in the Digital Age–examined the critical issues surrounding student equity in this new era including device equity, access equity and digital cultural equity. Recognizing K-12 Education is rapidly moving online, from operational systems (SIS/LMS, Parent Portals) to instructional materials, this move to digital is facilitating a new expectation for education to continue beyond the school walls. Also highlighted through this session, the challenge of available resources and solutions to assess and address these concerns within the school district. The session also discussed CIPA compliancy via industry –standard Wi-Fi under a managed platform designed for scalability and accountability.

The Kajeet SmartSpot device is a portable hotspot that provides safe mobile broadband for those students who don’t have Internet at home. Currently used by 15 school districts around the country, the SmartSpot is the single safe solution for bridging the digital divide in an environment that is rapidly moving online.

If your school district would like more information on providing safe mobile broadband to students, please contact Kajeet for more information. 

Much of the Northeast and Midwest face school delays and closures again. School administrators, teachers and parents continued to be concerned about the number of days students are missing due to weather.  While students love the days off, the cancellations mean headaches for everyone else. Snow days cost time and money and leave many students behind.

Districts are looking at ways to cram in as much instructional time as possible, including, in some places, decreasing recess to keep the pace moving so additional days aren’t added onto the calendar. Many teachers may try to prepare ahead of time, by sending home assignments with students before the snow hits.

The Virtual School Day

A recent CNN article pointed to a few school districts that are using school-provided laptops to extend the learning when staff and students are stuck at home.  Pascack Valley Regional District in New Jersey was one of the districts giving the “virtual school day” a try this winter.

The results? The work was completed. Students and teachers communicated. Attendance was higher than a normal school day.

Internet Access for All Students

Even when student are provided laptops or tablets, many don’t have access to broadband at home. In fact, approximately 40 percent of students do not have the Internet connection they need at home to support a virtual school day.  Unless a school is certain 100 percent of its students have access, it would be unfair to give assignments to only those who did.

While not all schools are ready to implement a 1:1 technology, the fact is, more will be heading that direction as new assessments are required. Snow days might be easier  for school districts to digest if students are able to keep up with work at home.  With school-issued laptops and tablets for students, comes the need for making safe broadband available at home.

For many parents who are not able to take off from work and stay home with their snowed-in kids, a great deal of peace of mind can be found in the idea that school work is continuing at home. The Kajeet SmartSpot device is a portable hotspot that provides safe mobile broadband for those students who don’t have Internet at home. Currently used by 15 school districts around the country, Kajeet is helping to make any day, including snow days, a opportunity for learning.

If your school district would like more information on providing safe mobile broadband to students, please contact Kajeet for more information. 

Do all your studenCOSN Leading Education Innovationts have Internet access once they leave school grounds? We know that they’ll need it to complete their homework.

Join Kajeet at the CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) Annual Conference on March 19-22, 2014, in Washington, DC. While attending this premier professional event for ed tech leaders, take this opportunity to meet with the Kajeet team and learn how to bridge the digital divide in your community.

Get your on-site demonstration of our Kajeet SmartSpot™ at the conference with our solution that keeps all students connected once they leave the classroom.

Meet up with a Kajeet executive one-on-one to discuss the various ways we can bridge your digital divide. Email us for an appointment. We hope to see you there.

Kajeet, smart solutions for kids™

This back-to-school season, the ‘App-ologist’ for WCET – Smartphone book conceptHigher Education gives us a list of teaching and learning mobile apps (all devices) for the start of the Fall Semester. Click here to read some of the ways your kid can use his or her mobile device to enrich the learning process!

What apps does your kid use for educational purposes? Let us know in the comments section!

What do you get when you combine the lightning-fast data speeds kids want with the safe, filtered service parents love? 4G LTE on Kajeet!

Here are three Android™ smartphones, brand new to Kajeet, that support a lightning-fast 4G LTE data connection:

LTE blog

Learn more about 4G LTE on Kajeet here!

*Mobile hotspot functionality will not work on Android devices enabled with 4G LTE. Android is a trademark of Google, Inc.

Blackboard, a leading education technology company, plans to provide schools with a free and confidential way for victims and witnesses of student bullying to inform school officials via text of the situation. The program, titled “TipTxt”, may encourage students who are too reserved or embarrassed to come forward in person to do the right thing and report incidents of bullying.bullying

“Kids have cell phones. They have mobile devices,” says Blackboard chief executive officer Jay Bhatt, whose 9-year-old daughter is already sending text messages to her friends. “They’re constantly interacting with their mobile devices.” The idea behind TipTxt is that kids will feel equally confident using their cell phones to reach out for help.

Click here to read the full article!

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The data’s in on what data means for kids and education. Myriad reports from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a research and public policy organization, confirm one of Kajeet’s core tenets: safe mobile broadband access expands and enriches the sphere of education. Below are some of the organization’s most arresting and significant findings. For more information, please visit the Joint Center’s blog here.

  • A Grunwald Associates report commissioned by AT&T asserts that most parents whose children did not use mobile devices or who were less believing of the benefits of using devices to enhance learning do not have college degrees.
  • Education professionals report lack of funding as the main impediment to widespread implementation of educational technology in the classroom.

Learn about Kajeet’s commitment to education and digital access here!

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!

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