Kajeet, the only wireless service provider dedicated to kids and education, recently announced its partnership to deploy Kajeet SmartSpot™ devices to Detroit Public Schools. A total of 450 portable Wi-Fi hotspots, enabling students to have access to essential academic and education resources on the Internet anytime, anywhere, are currently being deployed in eight schools as part of the district’s take-home Netbook program.
As one of the country’s largest school districts, Detroit is confronting the same issue as many other schools in safely and affordably connecting students off campus with student-issued devices. Currently, 70 percent of the district’s students do not have Internet access once they leave school. The Kajeet SmartSpot™ offers an affordable and simple option to close the digital divide.
When students from Mark Twain School for Literary Scholars learned their Kajeet SmartSpot™ devices are travel-friendly, their faces lit up with excitement.
Aaron Miller, an 8th grade student at Mark Twain, currently has at-home intern access but says “the Kajeet SmartSpot™ device makes it easier for students who are constantly traveling and do not currently have any type of internet access to get their homework done on time, anytime.”
Mr. Wendell Massey, Science and Social Studies teacher at Mark Twain, says students now have the resources to get their homework done anywhere.
“As a teacher and knowing that all students have access to the internet, I can challenge them with higher order questions because I know they can pull up any search engine and find an answer,” Massey said.
Utilizing a 21-Century Learning approach, a number of DPS programs require internet access in all subject areas.
“Study Island and Glory Math are just two on-line programs that we offer at Mark Twain that are internet-based, and with the new Kajeet SmartSpot™ devices, I am excited that all of our students will now have access to these fun activities at home to aid in their educational success,” said Mumtaz Haque, Assistant Principal at Mark Twain.
Lynn Chudy, a middle school science teacher at Carver S.T.E.M. Academy, says that having these devices enables teachers to use different teaching methods, instead of just traditional book work.
“Teachers can incorporate sites such as NBC.learn and SEFMD.org (Science and Engineering Fair of Metro Detroit) into their lesson plans and rest assured that students have the appropriate means to complete homework and projects,” Chudy said.
Chudy says that Carver also incorporates ‘Go Green’ into the curriculum and the devices will be a great aid to delete paper turn-in. With the Kajeet SmartSpot™ devices students will eventually be able to turn in their assignments online.
“My favorite school subjects that I use the internet for are Social Studies and Writing. I use the internet for Social Studies by researching specific people and getting facts. For Writing, I can look up grammar facts that help me with my papers,” said Jamya Richardson, Mark Twain 8th grader.
More than an internet tool
Tanisha Hill, a middle school English Language Arts teacher at Mark Twain, is optimistic that access to these devices will become more than just an internet tool, but will help close the communication gap for her students.
“It is extremely hard for students and parents to stay on track when they do not have access to the web outside of school,” Hill said. “The Kajeet SmartSpot™ device will be a great opportunity for families without internet access to not feel penalized because they do not have the resources at home.”
James Whittaker, 8th grade student at Carver S.T.E.M. Academy, says one of the struggles of having limited internet access at home is getting homework done outside of school.
“For me, having limited internet access at home makes it a lot tougher to get homework and projects done in a timely manner. With these devices, it will be a lot easier.” Whittaker said. “Now that we can have internet access available to us 24/7, it makes us not have to worry about going somewhere to find internet access.”