Mobile Learning in Onslow County
The Project K-Nect Mobile Learning Initiative Creates Personalized Learning Environments for Math Students in Onslow County School System
“This is a great way for our generation to learn based on technology.”
Southwest High School Student, Project K-Nect participant, Fall 2011
Project K-Nect, developed by Digital Millennial Consulting and funded in part through Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative, is designed to increase student achievement in math and close the digital access gap for students in Onslow County School System in North Carolina. This latest report (April 2012) highlights the evaluation findings from both spring 2011 and fall 2012 and serves as a continuation of Project Tomorrow’s annual program evaluation of Project K-Nect, a project first started with spring semester 2008.
The evaluation findings in this report are especially significant for three primary reasons:
- This report focuses on the efficacy of Project K-Nect in the classrooms of three teachers who have been involved with the project since the beginning and thus represent a highly experienced set of skills in the usage and integration of mobile devices within math instruction. Project K-Nect has been the nation’s leading bellwether in the classroom use of mobile devices within instruction and the project scope and impact has evolved alongside the experiences in the classroom. The Project K-Nect teachers have had a front row seat in this evolutionary process and thus their views on the project and mobile learning in general are especially valuable.
- The graduating class at Southwest High School in June 2011 included thirteen (13) students who had been involved with Project K-Nect for all four years of high school. Thus, their math classroom experiences (which included the use of smartphones in all of their math classes) provides an interesting background for understanding both the evolution of mobile learning within Onslow County Schools and the impact of such experiences on these students.
- The migration of the project from smartphones to tablet computers was a significant development with the fall 2011 classes and this report documents the student and teacher point of view specifically on that transition and the impact of the device form and function as well as enhanced software capabilities on learning. Additionally, a specific cohort of students at Southwest High Schools had the opportunity to use the smartphones in spring 2011 and then be part of the transition to the tablets in fall 2011. Their perspectives on the value and efficacy of the two different devices are also documented in this report.
Participating Project K-Nect teachers use many of the standard features of the mobile devices, as well as algebraic problem sets and a mobile-enabled suite of tools for sharing student work, facilitating collaboration between students, and assessing student activity and growth. To help students master math concepts, teachers are encouraged to create problem-based lessons and activities that utilize the features and functionality of the devices as well as the Project K-Nect environment. Teachers have the flexibility to select the Project K-Nect components that best meet their instructional needs in the classroom and, as such, students have a variety of experiences and utilize the mobile devices and tools to varying degrees. During their participation in the Project K-Nect classes, students were initially given a smart phone with a 24/7 data plan for access to the internet; that was subsequently replaced with a tablet computer in fall 2011 that included 3G/4G connectivity options. The Project K-Nect environment enabled the students to be online and connected with their teacher and other students anytime in or out of school. This report highlights the power and promise of mobile learning initiatives where students can be connected anywhere, anytime to internet resources, their teacher and classmates, and how that personalized learning environment supports enhanced student achievement and teacher productivity.
For additional information about evaluation services provided by Project Tomorrow, contact:
Chief Executive Officer
949.609.4660 ext 15