Students can now get high-speed internet access to educational content from home for less than the monthly price of a couple of Big Mac meals.
Education broadband provider Kajeet announced a new service package this past week offering students access to 6 GB of educational content over Verizon’s Wireless’s 4G LTE network, using a portable Wi-Fi hotspot device, for just $9.99 per month.
The new Kajeet Essentials package is aimed at students who face a disadvantage in not having internet access from home and who otherwise have to rely on public Wi-Fi networks to complete their homework.
“We have many prospective [school] clients who are trying to connect low-income students on tight district budgets,” said Linda Kerr, Kajeet’s director of marketing.
A growing number of districts are “beginning to budget for off-campus connectivity or use grants and other monies for broadband,” she said.
But the portable Wi-Fi service also brings other advantages, including the ability to filter noneducational material and provide insights on user behavior, Kerr said.
“Districts typically want to filter out noneducational material when providing connectivity to students so it allows them to pay only for the data needed to do homework … and not to watch Netflix,” Kerr told EdScoop.
Kajeet accomplishes that through a patented filtering process and device management controls. Schools and districts purchase or lease the Wi-Fi hotspot devices to send home with students who need internet access at home.
That gives school officials control over what content a student’s device can access, when it can access the internet and how much data can be consumed. The service also offers analytic tools to better understand how students are using the technology to tackle their homework.
“We have been able to negotiate lower costs from our carriers and fine tuned our solution—making it more affordable,” she said. “This new 6 GB plan provides more than enough data for the vast majority of students to access educational content,” she added.
“A resource like the Kajeet SmartSpot is ideal because it’s easy to use, works well, and takes the onus of connectivity away from our parents,” said Donna Teuber — team leader for technology integration at Richland School District Two in Columbia, South Carolina — in a testimonial on Kajeet’s website.