Kajeet is a wireless company that caters specifically to kids, well parents of kids. Their Kajeet smartphone service offers safe, affordable cell phones for kids. They offer a number of smart and feature phones direct from their website. They can also convert any Sprint phone not currently on contract to the Kajeet service.
Their smartphone offering has everything in mind when it comes to kids and parents. They offer parental controls for content and for calling. They make it extremely easy for kids to make calls to the important people in their lives, and through GPS technology parents can easily locate their child provided the phone is with them. Kajeet was even named the best cell phone for kids by mashable.com
Daniel Neal, Kajeets CEO and founder, is a career long executive in the edtech, e-learning and communications space. In 1996 he started thinking about the concept for Kajeet and when be became a dad in 1998 he set out onto a path to start Kajeet. “Thinking of our own kids, we designed a service to provide them with everything they need to safely explore the exciting new world of mobile tech. Our team of innovators realized that our patented (by 20 patents) technology behind our cell phone service could carry over to the education space.” Neal said.
Now, the same team that is bringing cell phones and smart phones for kids to the masses, is looking to solve a problem when it comes to internet access. The backbone to the current trend in educational technology is having internet.
Teachers across the country are turning to mobile apps, learning platforms, tablets, and chromebooks in the classroom. Large companies, donors and even the President’s ConnectED initiative are helping to secure devices for students to use in the classroom and even at home. The problem in many cases though is that some of the students don’t have access to the internet at home.
Many schools are holding after school sessions and working with libraries to help students get internet access after hours but even that can be hard for parents juggling multiple kids, multiple jobs and evening activities.
Kajeet can provide internet to many of these students for just a fraction of the cost of regular broadband internet. Their Smartspot service is designed to be paid for by the schools or school districts themselves and in some cases as low as $10 per month.
Just like their smartphone product, Kajeet’s smartspot has content and usage filters that give schools, administrators and school district personnel the piece of mind that students aren’t perusing inappropriate content or accessing social networks during school work time and with school equipment.
“The Kajeet SmartSpot – featuring the Sentinel Administrative Portal – is a safe, affordable, mobile broadband solution that connects disadvantaged students to the available resources needed to complete required assignments and projects outside of school. Our innovative solution enables school districts to provide CIPA-compliant, customizable filtered Internet access with insightful analytics that keeps students focused on school work and provides the connectivity without worry of data abuse.” Kajeet’s Linda Kerr told us in an interview.
There are other products available that could potentially solve the digital divide problem, but Kajeet has made significant strides in differentiating themselves from the competition. Of course Kajeet has always been about kids, wireless and technology whereas other companies are entering the space as an added vertical.
Kerr outlined some of the other advantages to Kajeet:
Our Solution Bridges the Digital Divide: Kajeet provides anytime, anywhere mobile broadband access to digital learning, allowing disadvantaged students to keep pace with their peers and receive an equitable education.
Our Solution Improves Student Outcomes: We ensure disadvantaged students have a level playing field that leads to improved student achievement, parent engagement, and academic performance.
Our Solution is Affordable: We provide a mobile, broadband solution your district or school can afford with data services for as low as $10 per month. With the Kajeet SmartSpot™/Sentinel® solution there is zero waste; your district or school controls the exact amount of data used, so there are no overages and no “surprise” monthly bills.
Our Solution is Easy-to-use, Safe and Secure: Our user-friendly administrative portal makes it simple for schools to provide customizable, CIPA-compliant filtered Internet access that will keep students safe and focused on school work.
Our Solution supports your mobile learning initiative investment. Whether you are implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), 1:1, or Technology Loan Program (TLP), Kajeet ensures that all students are able to flourish in the program. Our intuitive reporting tools augment learning analytics which is an increasing demand on district and school IT departments.
What’s next for Kajeet?
“As more districts implement digital learning programs for state academic assessments, schools are going to find themselves with additional devices for students use. As more schools improve IN school broadband, teachers are going to turn to mobile learning. Soon districts will realize that on average 30% of students don’t access at home. Those investments in mobile devices will stop at the door if students cannot take them home because they do not have Internet access. Kajeetwants to be the provider of safe (filtered), mobile broadband for schools. The need for broadband at home isn’t a nice to have it will become required and schools need to have a solution in place.” Kerr told us.
You can find Kajeet online here and at ISTE 2014 at booth 3378