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EdTech We Love: The “Homework Gap” and Internet on Buses

Substitute teacher and students work in computer lab

As an education related web-app, we love when we hear about other organizations doing great work to help our students. Today we’re highlighting a company trying to solve what Jessica Rosenworcel of the FCC calls, “the Homework Gap” (Source).

The Homework Gap

Whether your a teacher, an administrator, or a parent, you’ve likely noticed the influence EdTech has had on schools. The classrooms of today are far different from that which you experienced. At one time it was revolutionary for students to take computer courses. Now, with a number of devices and programs available to teachers, kids are using education technologies to help prepare for the future. Overall, the learning experience has become much more digital.

Educators say the use of these tools has several benefits. For one, they help students keep abreast on emerging technologies they will need to know for their careers. Even more, it has made it easier for teacher’s to meet the individualized needs of particular kids. With all this innovation, however, a new problem has emerged.

Since many assignments and projects require the internet these days, students who lack quality wifi connection at home are falling behind. This is the “Homework Gap”.

Kajeet Provides Internet Access

Fortunately, government officials and organizations have taken notice. One such company called Kajeet offers internet connectivity and device management specifically to k-12 education. They have introduced two innovative solutions to address the “Homework Gap” nationwide.

The first is “SmartSpot”, a transportable internet hotspot that can be used anywhere. Students can check out SmartSpot and a laptop at there school library or be assigned one by a teacher. This is a huge win for the 39% of students in low-income and rural communities most deeply effected by this internet access disparity. Not only that, but Kajeet allows schools to set k-12 specific filters and data controls so that students can focus on educational learning in a safe digital environment. In fact, many schools are already seeing the benefit of SmartSpot. Ever since implementing the solution, for example, Green Bay Area Schools have had their SmartSpots checked out almost constantly (Source). Their teachers can now use internet based lesson plans without worrying about leaving certain students behind.

The second idea came to the Kajeet team when they realized the considerable amount of time students spend commuting to and from school. According to their website, “students spend 40 minutes per day on the school bus” (Source) and for rural students, this may be even longer. That’s a lot of time when students could be getting their work done. That’s why Kajeet created SmartBus, an internet solution that provides school buses with wifi connection. With SmartBus, students can use their travel time more productively, essentially turning the everyday school bus into a study hall.

Let’s Keep Innovating

As we said, we love when we discover other companies providing solutions to improve student learning. After all, that’s why we created Tagg. We saw a growing problem with a lack of quality class coverage and thought there had to be a better way. That’s what Kajeet has done too. They noticed an ever-increasing “Homework Gap” and asked “what can we do?” Now THAT is what we call community engagement! Let’s keep coming up with original methods and ideas to support our schools.

 

 

 

 

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