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Districts Receive State Funding to Connect Students Outside the Classroom
MCLEAN, Virginia—Feb. 27, 2017—Kajeet, the industry leader for safe, mobile student Internet connectivity, announces its most recent partnerships as a result of money allocated by the Minnesota Department of Education. Minnesota appropriated $500,000 to fund broadband connectivity to students without Internet outside the classroom. Up to $50,000 was available for each recipient. Of the 12 school districts awarded the Internet Broadband Expansion for Minnesota Students grant, six have already partnered with Kajeet to provide Internet access to their rural students.
“Part of our district has high-speed fiber, and part has nothing. But, with high poverty rates, people can’t always afford Internet,” said Matt Grose, superintendent for Deer River Public Schools. “Now we provide Internet connectivity for homework to kids in our district who didn’t have access at home.”
All applicants applied for the first grant, “Broadband Expansion and Off-Campus Learning,” which aims to enable student access to learning materials available on the Internet through a mobile broadband connection, such as a Wi-Fi hotspot. If eligible, applicants could apply to a second grant, “School Bus Internet Access,” designed to make Internet access available on school buses, enabling students to complete homework while commuting.
Deer River also connected their entire bus fleet, as some students spend over an hour commuting to and from school. “It’s a long time to be on the bus, which breeds trouble and wasted time. This [Kajeet] program is a natural extension of our student device initiatives,” said Grose. “We’re taking advantage of student time spent on the bus.”
Kajeet Education Broadband™ met the criteria for both grants with its Kajeet SmartSpot® and SmartBus™ solutions. “We’re thrilled that Minnesota is stepping up to alleviate the growing Homework Gap as technology use inside and outside the classroom increases,” said the CEO and founder of Kajeet, Daniel Neal. “Rural students are at a disadvantage to their urban peers if their Internet connectivity is lacking. And providing educational filtering keeps students on task to help them succeed.”
Grant winners partnering with Kajeet include: Deer River Public Schools, Fertile-Beltrami Public Schools, Lake of the Woods Public Schools, Lake Superior School District, Princeton Public Schools and Rothsay Public Schools.
When we started Kajeet in 2003, we wanted kids to be agile with technology, to be empowered and safe, and we wanted to help them respond with confidence to what's happening in their world. Not incidentally, we want parents, educators and guardians to be involved too. Being part of the mobile world is not just fun, it’s a shared responsibility.