Kajeet® (www.kajeet.com/education), wireless service provider for education, announced today a partnership to deploy Kajeet SmartSpot™ devices to Detroit Public Schools. The portable Wi-Fi hotspots, enabling students to have access to academic resources on the Internet, are currently being deployed in eight schools as part of the district’s take-home Netbook program. The Kajeet SmartSpot™ program, which was awarded through a competitive application process, is paid for by a series of grants.
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 without requiring the individual families to apply for at-home broadband or the student to even be at home.
“As a teacher, if only 30 percent of a class has Internet access, it limits what can be assigned to students outside of class, especially considering that many textbooks are now online,” said Mark Bartoski, executive director of technology infrastructure and design at Detroit Public Schools. “With Kajeet, we know our program costs upfront and can report on how the students are using the Internet. We also have a simple way to deploy the devices with our existing Netbooks.”
Detroit students in grades 8 through 12 use take-home Netbooks, and students in grades 6 and up have access to Netbooks in school. The Kajeet SmartSpot™ can be customized and managed in real time by the schools, giving teachers or administrators the ability to set access hours and filter out non-educational content.
“We are pleased to provide this opportunity to our students and remove obstacles that impede their ability to extend their learning capacity beyond the classroom,” said Diane Jones, chief information and strategic officer at Detroit Public Schools. “This tool provides us with a simple way to assist our teachers by removing a barrier for students.”