OnQ Blog

Making Learning Mobile project empowers 5th grade students in Chicago

Jan 22, 2015

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Greater student engagement in learning. Improved reading and writing skills. New teaching practices that better prepare students for college and careers. These are a few of the exciting successes from year two of the Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ Making Learning Mobile (MLM) project.

A collaboration between Wireless Reach, Kajeet for Education and Project Tomorrow, MLM is a three-year study exploring the impact on learning when every student in a classroom has a tablet with 4G/LTE access at school and at home.

This week, I had the privilege of announcing the study’s latest findings to IT leaders, administrators and educators during the FETC Executive Summit in Orlando, Florida. I also shared how the study was designed using the strategies discussed in “The 8 Essentials for Mobile Learning Success in Education.”

The MLM project is currently being implemented at Falconer Elementary School within the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system. Low-income 5th grade students with limited to no Internet access at home and their classroom teachers each received a Samsung Android tablet to use at school and at home to extend their learning.

Use of the mobile tools is enabling the students to develop important college and career readiness skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communications, collaboration and digital citizenship. For the 2013-2014 school year, the powerful combination of the tablet with 4G/LTE access generated impressive results. Some examples include:

  • 80 percent of the students said having the tablet made learning more fun and interesting.
  • 60 percent said they did more reading and writing this school year because of their personal access to the tablet and Internet; 72 percent said they believed that their reading skills improved due to having the tablet; and 62 percent said that the tablet helped them improve their writing skills. 
  • 78 percent said they accessed the Internet on a daily basis at school in 5th grade, up from 4 percent in 4th grade.
  • 99 percent said they used their tablet regularly to look up information on the Internet when they had a question about something.
  • The teachers’ increased comfort using the mobile devices was evident by the level of integration of the tablets into everyday instruction and the new project-based learning orientation within the classes.

Through my role on the Wireless Reach team, I help bring mobile broadband to underserved communities globally. What excites me most about the MLM project is the connection I feel to the student population—93 percent are Latino and 44 percent qualify as English Language Learners. I can only imagine how much I would have benefited from resources like this as a Latino English language learner myself. I enjoy seeing how advanced wireless technologies are empowering the students, transforming the learning experience for both students and teachers, and enabling enhanced learning outcomes. It is a perfect example of how to effectively integrate tablets within education.

To learn more about the MLM project, download the case study and the MLM 2.0 Evaluation Report.

Join the webinar on February 18, 2015 when MLM project team members discuss the study’s results.

To learn more about the Wireless Reach initiative, please visit our website.