Mobile Learning in Onslow County
Project K-Nect is a pilot program in Onslow County Schools (North Carolina) where teachers utilize Smart Phones to teach selected math courses. Developed by Digital Millennial Consulting and funded in part through Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative, the program is designed to increase student achievement in math and close the digital disconnect for students in Onslow County Schools in North Carolina.
As part of the Project K-Nect classes, students are given smart phones with 24/7 Internet access which they can use at home or school. Students have full access to both the Project K-Nect curriculum, as well as the smart phone features including instant messaging, video and photo capabilities, calculators and Internet access.
During the 2009-2010 school, Digital Millennial Consulting contracted with Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit organization, to conduct a program evaluation for Project K-Nect. Project Tomorrow was selected to conduct the program evaluation because of its extensive research through the Speak Up National Research Project, which documents the use of emerging technologies for learning in and out school, as well as its expertise with incorporating students’ perspectives into discussions about the use educational technology for learning.
The program evaluation highlights the benefits to both teachers and students of incorporating mobile devices in the classroom and the power these devices have to transform both teaching and learning for our students. Key findings:
- Students participating in Project K-Nect have a greater self-perception (61%) that they are succeeding academically than their national peers (39%). And they believe that they are being better prepared for that success (55%) than other students (45%).
- Project K-Nect has provided a “safety net” of additional support for the students through the connections with classmates and teachers, and new approaches to learning math. As a result of participation in the program this year, over 90% of the students said that they are now more comfortable learning math, and 81% said that they have increased confidence talking about math and math problems.
- Almost two-thirds of the students reported taking additional math courses and over 50% are now thinking about a career in a math field as a result of participating in Project K-Nect.
- The teachers involved in Project K-Nect also report that their students are more responsible for their own learning and have developed more collaborative learning skills as a result. Additionally, the teachers note that their students are more active participants in the class, as either learners themselves or, in many cases, as teachers or peer coaches to their classmates. This was especially significant for students who are normally shy or reluctant class participants due to disabilities or limited English proficiency and can now participate more fully through the IM or blogging features.
For additional information about evaluation services provided by Project Tomorrow, contact:
Chief Executive Officer
(949) 609-4660 ext 15