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The Classroom is Ringing

ProjectKNect_cmyk Raise your hand if you’ve confiscated a cell phone being used during a class lesson? I thought so. According to a recent report by the Digital Millennial Consulting, you may have been holding back their education. Based on a year of using smartphones by 100 9-th and 10-th grade algebra students in a rural school in North Carolina, grades not only improved by 25 percent but collaboration among kids increased. Called Project K-Nect, the idea is to put smartphones into the hands of kids who have limited or no use of computers at home, build a curriculum around them and then test to see what the effect of using the phones is. The kids also get to use the phone for a limited number of calls and text messages.

Wr_projects_knect_usa The phones may be cheaper and less expensive to maintain than traditional desktop or notebook computers, but they require a monthly phone account to move data back and forth, they’re less powerful and more limited in the curriculum software available. The $1 million study, itself, may be suspect, however. Project K-Nect was paid for by Qualcomm, a maker of cell phone chips, and a company that’s likely to gain financially if smartphones take their place along side protractors and pencils.


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