The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and other advanced wireless technologies, and Digital Millennial Consulting (DMC) today announced Project K-Nect, a pilot education program using Smartphones with advanced mobile broadband technology to deliver educational material to high school students to improve test scores and education in North Carolina.
The Project K-Nect program was announced at CTIA Wireless 2007 in Orlando today and will be discussed in detail on March 29 at the CoSN 12th Annual K-12 School Networking Conference in San Francisco, Calif.
“Project K-Nect gives us a tremendous opportunity to use a device as common as a cell phone to help close the digital divide,” said Frances Bradburn, director of Instructional Technology at the NC Department of Public Instruction. “Students sometimes see their school work as unrelated to current developments and technologies or uninteresting to altogether. We hope that by using current technology in a new way, we can re-engage students and help them reach important academic goals.”
Project K-Nect is designed to create a supplemental resource for secondary at-risk students to focus on increasing their math skills through a common and popular technology - mobile Smartphones. Ninth graders in several public schools in North Carolina will receive Smartphones, giving them access to supplemental math content aligned with their teachers' lesson plans and course objectives. Students also will have the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with each other and access tutors outside of the school day to help them master math skills. The Smartphones and service will be free of charge to the students and their schools due to a USD1 million grant provided by Qualcomm, as part of its Wireless Reach™ initiative.
The project's goals are three-fold: to increase math achievement as measured through state assessments and improved classroom performance; to better engage students who have struggled with math; and to narrow the current digital gap by providing supplemental learning opportunities through mobile Smartphones.
“Qualcomm is highly motivated by how our technologies can improve people's lives and education through connectivity,” said Shawn Covell, senior director of International Government Affairs for Qualcomm. “This project will provide voice and data services to students with limited or no Internet connectivity, and enable learning communities among students and their teachers through advanced wireless services on Smartphones. By focusing on math, Project K-Nect will play an important role in addressing the nation's math and science skills deficit. We hope this program will demonstrate how technology can play a role in improving test scores and education, as well as empowering students to develop advanced math skills.”
The project will target approximately 250 students who have limited home access to the Internet, qualify for free or reduced-price school meals and have below average math performance. Safeguards will be in place to assure that students are able to communicate only with authorized users and that they observe acceptable use policies for the Smartphones. Students will be provided with Smartphones enabled by Qualcomm's CDMA2000® 1xEV-DO technology that will allow them to access mobile broadband services with a maximum peak data rate of 2.4 Mbps. Participating schools will be selected through a grant application process this spring.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 100 charter schools serving approximately 1.4 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
Qualcomm believes access to advanced wireless voice and data services improves people's lives. The Company's Wireless Reach initiative supports programs and solutions that bring the benefits of connectivity to developing communities globally. By working with the Company's partners, Wireless Reach projects create new ways for people to communicate, learn, access healthcare and reach global markets.
Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 500 Index and is a 2006 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market® under the ticker symbol QCOM.
Digital Millennial Consulting (DMC) is a cross-sector consulting firm specializing in the education technology sector. The company serves both public and private entities by delivering focused solutions for schools, state and local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit or for-profit organizations. DMC's core mission is to effectively develop and implement technology strategies and systems to maximize academic achievement for our millennial students.