Friday, March 07, 2008

Smartphones in Education: Project K-Nect in North Carolina

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If you serve on an RTI or Problem-Solving Team at the high school level, you know how difficult it is to find evidence-based resources for interventions that are geared for students beyond the elementary school level.

The project currently targets ninth grade students in Onslow, Durham, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth counties in North Carolina.

Ninth grade is important grade to target, since ninth grade historically is the level with the highest percentage of students who are required to repeat a grade. Failing Algebra is often one of the reasons behind this phenomenon. Ninth grade is also the level that experiences a significant increase in suspensions. Students who fall into one or both of these categories have a higher risk of dropping out of school.

Project K-Nect is something that is worth following:

"Project K-Nect is design to address three core needs that include the lack of at-home Internet Access for our country's poorest families, 21st century skills development, and the math and science deficit."

The project is a collaboration between the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, DMC -Digital Millennial Consulting, and Wireless Reach (Qualcomm).

From the website -

"Goals & Objectives:

To develop, implement and test an integrated system that will deliver supplemental digital instructional content and foster peer to peer collaboration through mobile devices to increase
mathematic achievement for 9
th and 10th grade students in the State of North Carolina.
To test the efficacy and viability of mobile devices as digital assets that can be utilized as both a social communications tool and educational resource for students in US secondary education institutions.
To foster the design of a system that enables safe closed social, educational communications between students, teachers and parents.
To empower students with 21st century skills through secondary education institutions
To determine if mobile devices can be utilized as a mechanism for reducing the disparity between those who are and are not connected with particular attention on rural areas within the State.

The project targets 9th grade "at-risk" students who have limited math proficiency, limited or no access to a home computer or the internet at home."

Research questions involved in this project, according to the website:
1.Do positive correlations exist between cell phone usage and student performance?
2.Does cell phone usage and student performance correlate positively to the implementation and technology?
3.Can education delivered through mobile devices increase access to e-learning for students with no home access otherwise?
4.Can mobile devices be utilized as a mechanism for increasing student achievement among academically at-risk students?
5.Can math curricula delivered through comfortable and familiar cell phones increase students’ levels of interest in math?
6.Do positive correlations exist between peer-to-peer social networking for mathematics support and student achievement?
7.Do students’ report satisfaction and useful learning support from the social networking systems?

NCDPI Press Release


NCDPI Contacts:
Vanessa Jeter, Communications Director
Phone: 919.807.3469

Digital Millennial Consulting Contacts:
Shawn Gross, Project Manager
Phone: 919.386.0341

Qualcomm Contacts:
Yennie Rautenberg, Corporate Communications
Phone: 858.845.5959

John Gilbert, Investor Relations
Phone: 858.658.4813

Note: For more information about the use of hand-held devices for education, do a search on this blog as well as the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog.

1 comment:

Megan said...

It will be interesting to see if delivering curriculum through cell phones/social networking will help students in mathematics. While I can see students being interested in this form of familiar technology, I wonder if it truly will help their achievement. How will this change in achievement be measured?