June 24, 2011
Is your kid connected in the classroom?
If not, it likely won’t be long before he or she is. Recent data reveals that more and more schools and libraries expect to implement or expand their use of digital textbooks or wireless devices sooner rather than later. And as technology continues to grow, so does the need for a safe, secure mobile solution in the classroom.
Michael Flood, Vice President, Education Markets of Kajeet for Education, recently shared his views on why mobile should be a top priority with EdNET Insight. A leader in K-12 and higher education technology, Michael explained how the growth of new school, district, state and federal strategies, mobile devices and platforms are causing students, educators and parents to start looking at learning in new ways.
Click here to read more about what Michael believes is ahead for mobile technology and education – and let us know what you think about it!
August 12, 2010
Safety, safety, safety… At kajeet, keeping your kids safe is as important to us as it is to you. And this never gets easier. Rapidly changing technology and an increase in our kids’ media use leads to new worries and new challenges you face as a parent every day. It sure can be overwhelming! That’s why we’re always working to make sure our cell phone service is the safest one for kids.
And why we like to make sure you know about other products that we believe can also help keep your kids safe, like Safeguard Connect, featuring My Child Safeguard. This unique service uses your cell phone to safeguard your kids, their identity and property by allowing you to be contacted directly without revealing any personal information or your phone numbers.
How does it work? Think of My Child Safeguard as your kid’s new ID tag – but better. Your child’s personal information (name, address and phone number) is replaced by a toll-free 800 number and a unique member ID# for emergency situations. Wristbands with the ID# can also be worn in case of separation. To directly reach a parent or guardian, a caller dials the toll-free number and references the ID#. The call is immediately transferred to both parents’ cell phones (up to 4 phones) for the safety, health and welfare of your children. Safe and secure – just like kajeet.
May 19, 2010
Kajeet has been named a runner up in the 2010 Mobile Merit Awards! These awards recognize organizations whose work has helped to grow and shape the global mobile marketplace. We’re proud to have been acknowledged in the Mobile Services, Mobile Entertainment Technologies category!
Mobile Merit Award winners were evaluated on industry impact, innovation, technologies, social importance, implementation and overall success factor by a panel of industry leaders. We’re thrilled that kajeet was recognized for this prestigious honor.
December 16, 2009
by Carol Politi
How much does it cost to get kajeet for an entire family? Combine the new Parent Plans we are testing with our kid-optimized rate plans and it’s the most affordable solution around.
1) Family with 3 communicators (e.g., family with a parent and two teens who are all social): ~$80/month
- Parent uses the kajeet unlimited Talk and Text plan – $49.99 per month
- Each teen uses our 60 anytime minute/unlimited text plan: $14.99 per month per line
Total? Only ~$80/month for 3 lines for heavy communicators! And the teens can use more minutes for only 10 cents per minute (or they can upgrade to our $19.99 plan and get an additional 90 anytime minutes for just $5 more).
2) Family with 3 light communicators (e.g., a mom with modest usage and two kids that each use 20 minutes and 20 texts per month): ~$36/month
- Parent uses the kajeet Parent 500 minutes and 100 texts plan: $19.99 per month
- Each kid uses the kajeet $4.99 Basic Plan (with 10 included minutes). They take advantage of the low 10 cent rate for additional minutes/texts to purchase 10 extra minutes and 20 texts. Each spends only $7.99/month
Total? Only ~$36 per month for 3 lines! Plus, you can change plans at any time – and there are no annual contracts.
Who wants to worry about what cell phone company their friends (or kids’ friends) have? And who wants to be concerned with exactly how many minutes everyone in the family is using at any point in time just to make sure you don’t get hit with expensive overages?
Those days are ending with affordable pay as you go plans. And kajeet allows you to manage them all from a single account. Simple.
What’s the catch? Well, for now this is a test of kajeet Parent Plans, so it is a limited time offer. You must sign up for a Parent Plan before 1/26/10 to take advantage of these plans. If you are a new customer, this means you need to purchase by 1/5/09 in order to get your phone, activate it, and select the plan.
If you want to take advantage of our parent plan options, call care at 1-866-452-5338 to purchase your phone or select your plan. (If you prefer to purchase online, select “this is a gift” during purchase and call care to activate and get put on these Parent Test plans.) As always, if things go well with the test we consider making these plans part of our standard rate plan options.
Thoughts? We appreciate your comments and feedback on all our plans.
March 10, 2009
by Carol Politi
That was the unlikely title of a recent NPR podcast about the benefits of small periods of exercise for both kids and adults. One of the segments discussed how incorporating exercise in the classroom (by having kids stand when they read or do jumping jacks while practicing math) was showing positive benefits – especially for those kids that have difficulty staying on task.
I think most parents are proponents of more movement – both during and outside school hours. However, many parents struggle getting kids to move while they are at home because the kids want to be connected to their friends via apps on their computers. I extended the Club Penguin timer last night because my son had discovered yesterday that he could “find” his friend – and by the time he actually found him there was no time left to play with him. Given that his friend was next door and the two of them must have run about 2 miles in the find process by physically going back and forth between each others computers, extending it was actually upside when it came to inspiring exercise. But when he gets the hang of this is he going to want to stay tethered to the computer for hours?
Does the cell phone inspire kids to get outside by allowing them to be connected while they are mobile? If we enable what many of us consider to be the “optional” apps on our kids phones – Facebook, Twitter, etc – will kids be more comfortable leaving their computer and heading out to skateboard or ride their bike?
As with most things, there is no black and white here. On the plus side, when these apps are a mobile extension of on-line applications many of the safety settings and monitoring tools we have in place will work. However, much of the safety monitoring I do consists of watching my kid in the kitchen with his computer. Taking the apps mobile certainly raises the bar a bit. How do you approach monitoring of social applications while your child is mobile? Do you restrict them, have a tool that monitors the applications, or just use your eyes in the kitchen?
The other part of the NPR segment was about the benefits of small periods of exercise at the workplace. An untethered phone definitely makes this easier – we all might need to start pacing during calls!
February 25, 2009
by Carol Politi
The Washington Post recently wrote a fascinating article discussing kids and texting. It included some interesting points of view on whether the current texting phenomenon is negatively impacting the social and educational development, and family life, of today’s kids. There were several reasonable expert sources pointing out the benefits texting can have in keeping kids and families socially connected.
Our experience at kajeet is that while parenting styles differ, virtually all parents believe the social, educational, and family connections their kids make are extremely important. Some limit texting to accommodate these goals and others enable texting to accommodate them. Even experts can’t agree on the topic so we should expect to see this kind of variation among parents.
I do think in 20 years we will all think about texting very differently than we do today. Regardless, I would also bet that virtually everyone might believe some level of moderation is a good idea. For example, it would be great if both dinner and a nights sleep could be uninterrupted.
kajeet offers flexible parental controls that help parents set limits when rules alone might not work. For example, TimeManager will block texts and calls at certain times of the day and night (both sent and received). WalletManager provides usage limits so parents and kids can set a budget and kids can make choices on how much calling or texting to do – within the budgeted limits.
What’s your view on texting? Do you see advantages to letting your kids text? How much is too much?
February 16, 2009
by Carol Politi
Consumer Reports just did an analysis of the Best and Worst Cell Phone Deals. Their takeaway: “A Two Cell Phone Family Could Save $220 Per month By Going Prepaid”. They also noted that prepaid allows you to cut your expenses by decreasing usage and changing plans when you happen to need your phone less or if you want to decrease expenses any one month. Of course, I’m not unbiased – at kajeet we have always been advocates of no contract plans – especially for kids whose usage tends to be moderate.
The message is getting out – more than 45% of new mobile subscribers this year are predicted to be prepaid (Strategy Analytics). However, there is still a perception by many that the extra family plan line costs only $10 per month. The reality is that second lines cost an average of $35/month (iGr Research did a detailed analysis of this when they studied kid phone use). Why? The $10 is just the carrier service fee. It turns out that carriers actually give you fewer minutes with a family plan than they give you with an individual plan. Let’s say you have been paying $59 for your individual plan. In many contract plans you would receive 900 minutes. Move to a contract family plan and you are paying 69.99 for 700 minutes – that’s $10 more for 200 less minutes. If you really needed those minutes you would have to move up – but the next plan you can get is actually the 1400 minute plan that costs $89.99!
So families add a cell phone but actually get fewer minutes for a higher price. And contract plans encourage “supersizing” as they have overages charges that are expensive and costly. So families end up not using all their minutes every month. On top of this you incur taxes, line fees, and charges…
No wonder many people are moving to prepaid. On a prepaid plan, when the budgeted allowance is used up, the phone no longer works. This is great for budgeting and why almost 40% of parents buy prepaid phones for their kid’s first phone.
Good for budgeting, but a significant downside when you are talking about a safety phone for kids. That is why the kajeet service offers two “wallets”. One – the kid wallet – can be used to set a budget with your kids. The second – the parent wallet – can be used to pay for calls and texts to and from parent numbers so that these always go through.
Also – with kajeet there are no expensive overages and no extra fees assessed – what you see on the price plan is what you see on the bill. And if you do purchase a pak and run out of minutes, you simply pay the standard 10 cents per minute.
A bit of a sales pitch today! I am happy to see Consumer Reports assess cell phone contract plans and become a prepaid advocate. What is holding you back from considering a prepaid plan?