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Year-End Funds Can Be Used to Pilot Kajeet SmartSpot® Program
With most school district’s fiscal year-end coming up on June 30th, there is still a window of opportunity left to make purchases for your school or district. According to a recent survey, 76 percent of school administrators reported they have a “Use It or Lose It” policy that does not allow them to carry over any unspent funds. Why not use these funds to pilot test a program that gives at-home Internet access to your disadvantaged students?
Investing in Technology
The use of technology in schools has been rapidly growing, with many schools now offering 1-to-1 and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs for their students. While schools have invested in hardware such as Chromebooks and Netbooks, there are still many students without a way to access the Internet on these devices after school hours, making it difficult to keep up with homework assignments.
The Kajeet SmartSpot is a portable, wireless hotspot that works with your student’s existing technology to extend the classroom and allow disadvantaged students to keep up with their peers by offering access to safe, filtered Internet content. “Sending students home from school with no Internet connectivity significantly increases their chances of failure,” says Kajeet CEO and Founder Daniel Neal. “On average, 30 percent of America’s K-12 students do not have adequate Internet access when they leave school; in some areas, it’s as high as 80 percent.”
Starting a Pilot Program
The first step in determining whether a pilot program could work for your school or district is to determine student need. Statistics are readily available concerning a district’s students who are eligible for the free or reduced cost lunch program which can be a good benchmark, but talking to teachers can also help determine your own particular needs. Once that is assessed, it’s up to you to decide how many Kajeet SmartSpots to begin with. Many of our school district partners use a library check-out model which allows you to support as many students as possible with fewer devices rather than assigning one SmartSpot per student. This can help cut down on costs while the program is being tested and until funding is secured.
Some Pilot Program Examples
While we know you’d love to give at-home Internet access to every student in your district, we also know sometimes that’s just not feasible. Here is how some of our clients have been distributing their Kajeet SmartSpots:
- Ashwaubenon School District, Green Bay, Wisconsin - The Kajeet SmartSpot is providing connectivity for students with school-issued Netbooks and Chromebooks in grades 9 through 12. Those without home Internet access will be able to check out the Wi-Fi hotspots as needed.
- Vista Unified School District, Vista, California - In this district, with approximately 25,000 students, almost 60 percent qualify for free or reduced-cost meals. The initial deployment of the Kajeet SmartSpot devices was geared towards hospitalized and homebound students. The district is providing the devices this fall to students in need with school-issued iPads.
- Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati, Ohio - In this district, with approximately 31,000 students, almost 60 percent qualify for free or reduced-cost meals. This initial deployment of the Kajeet SmartSpot devices will support its 1-to-1 Advanced Placement Blended Learning program. The district is moving more instruction and content online to allow for more interactive and customized learning.
- Lamar Certified Independent School District, Lamar, Texas - The Lamar CISD is using the Kajeet SmartSpots in combination with laptops and a pre-reading program from the Waterford Institute to give 100 struggling, rising kindergarteners a head start on developing early reading skills over the summer.
One of our trained sales engineers can walk you through how easy it is to set up a test program with Kajeet using your year-end funds. Contact us today at 1-240-482-3500 or email email@example.com.