ST. MARYS, OH — Kyle Menchhofer, technology coordinator for the St. Marys City Schools, wants the kids in his school district to succeed in a technology-based world. With only four computers in each elementary classroom and an average of 22 students per class, Menchhofer knew the time students got on the classroom computers wasn't enough to prepare them for a world in which computer fluency is mandatory.
"What we wanted to do was to level the playing field for these kids," said Menchhofer, "To give them the most positive education experience possible, we knew we had to get creative and look for support from the community."
With the help of Verizon Wireless and GoKnow!, Inc., a provider of educational software designed specifically for mobile devices, the St. Marys School District established a trial program through which 600 Verizon Wireless devices equipped with high-speed wireless broadband service were provided to the elementary classrooms. The district is currently the largest in the country to deploy mobile learning devices.
Students now have access to the schools' wireless local area network, can create multiplatform projects, read e-books, exchange and share documents, take photographs, draw and create animation-all from their wireless devices.
"Our vision is for students to experience learning anytime, anywhere," said Menchhofer. "Thanks to Verizon Wireless' generosity plus their solid network coverage in the area, we can achieve that vision."
As a result of this pilot, the school district is seeing improvements in test results. For example, a participating third-grade classroom increased its overall math score by an average of 3.36% in 18 weeks, compared to 1.65% achieved by a non-participating class at the same school.
"The combination of Verizon Wireless' largest, most reliable 3G data network and GoKnow!'s innovative software has turned wireless devices into dynamic learning tools," said Roger Tang, presidentOhio/Pennsylvania/West Virginia Region, Verizon Wireless. "The feedback not only from the students but teachers and parents as well has been overwhelmingly positive. We're excited to be a part of this pilot and look forward to continuing to provide St. Marys with the tools they need."
Ultimately, the goal is to put mobile learning technology in the hands of every third- through-twelfth grader in the district.
About St. Marys City Schools
Located in St. Marys, Ohio, the St. Marys City Schools have an enrollment of 2,158 students in grades K through 12. St. Marys City Schools received an Excellent District Rating awarded by the Ohio State Board of Education. St. Marys City Schools has been recognized nationally for its efforts using mobile learning devices in the classroom.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving 89 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 85,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NASDAQ and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About GoKnow!, Inc.
GoKnow!, Inc. is the premier provider to K-12 of educational software, curriculum and professional development designed expressly for mobile computers. GoKnow!'s products provide new opportunities for teaching and learning with mobile technology. For more information, visit www.goknow.com.