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Lamar CISD Provides Preschoolers with Laptops and Portable WiFi

Lamar Consolidated Independent School District in the greater Houston area will provide students in a pre-kindergarten summer program with laptops and school-managed WiFi hotspots to access online educational content.

Students in the program need extra preparation before they start Kindergarten in the fall, so the district has launched a pilot program to help them work on their early reading skills over the summer while they are at home or away on vacation.

Each student will receive a laptop and a Kajeet SmartSpot WiFi hotspot on the Sprint 4G LTE network, so they can access educational resources on the Internet anywhere the Spring 4G LTE network is available.

“We want to help these students work on early reading skills in an online, fun environment," said Chad Jones, director of technology development at Lamar CISD, in a prepared statement. "Our hope is that this program will stop any sort of summer regression these students may experience, while also hopefully increasing their skill level.”

The district will use Kajeet Sentinel to filter student Internet access, controlling which sites they can access and when. The district will be able to limit access to educational content only and turn off the hotspot at night. Filtering Internet content and hours of access is intended to help keep the kids safe online and also control program costs.

Approximately half of the students in the district are financially disadvantaged and qualify for the free or reduced-cost lunch program, and Kajeet describes SmartSpot at "an affordable and simple option to bridge the digital divide."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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