Maui News

900 Maui Intermediate Students to Get New Tablets

October 13, 2015, 3:37 PM HST
* Updated October 13, 3:58 PM
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Image credit: Verizon Digital Promise.

Image credit: Verizon Digital Promise.

Nine hundred students from Kalama Intermediate School on Maui will receive their own personal tablets, equipped with a 2-year wireless 4G data plan for around-the-clock access to the internet at school and at home.

The tablets will be presented by Hawaiʻi legislators, community leaders, and representatives from Verizon this Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, as part of the company’s national Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Program.

The program aims to extend learning beyond the classroom through mobile technology.  Representatives say, “The VILS program brings technology to young people to encourage the qualities in students that fuel innovation – creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and entrepreneurism – and to prepare students with the technology proficiency they will need to compete in today’s economy.

The VILS program also instructs teachers on how to effectively use technology for learning.

A similar presentation will be conducted for 600 students at Lokelani Intermediate School the following weekend on Oct. 24, 2015.

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Kalama and Lokelani are among just 32 schools in the nation selected for the program. Representatives say access to technology can help to level the playing field for low income families and those who do not have a high-speed internet connection at home.

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Among those scheduled to participate in the Kalama School event include: Governor David Ige; Kalama Intermediate School students; John Costales, Jr., Principal of Kalama Intermediate School; Stephen Schatz, Deputy Superintendent, Hawaii State Department of Education; Ian Yahya, Executive Director of Sales Operations, Verizon Hawaiʻi; and Jim Beeler, Chief Learning Officer, Digital Promise.

By the Numbers:

According to Pew Research, roughly one-third or 31.4% of households whose incomes fall below $50,000 and with children ages 6 to 17 do not have a high-speed internet connection at home. Every year, more than 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the US. That’s a student every 26 seconds, or 7,000 a day.

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