Posted by: Ann Treacy | March 1, 2013

WiFi on the school buses

Yesterday I was part of a discussion on tactics to promote broadband use in East Central Minnesota. (More on that discussion as soon.) One idea that came up was Wi-Fi on the buses. It’s a win-win-win-win situation. Kids win because they can do their homework while they travel. Parents win because they might not need to nag as often to get the homework done. Bus drivers win because kids are occupied on the bus. Teachers will because they know many of their students have access to broadband – and at least in rural areas one barrier to access has been distance from town, where access is often limited. Almost by definition that’s the demographic served by school buses.

So I was pleased to see (via KMSP) that Carver County is now offering that option to students…

Thanks to a grant, students in Carver County won’t have to struggle to find a signal. The Eastern Carver County School District recently made the move to install wireless Internet on their buses to help students traveling for athletics or on field trips get their homework done on the drive.

“We are the second in the state and the first in the metro area to offer wi-fi to the students,” said John Thomas, transportation coordinator.

So far, Thomas has outfitted 25 buses, and student athletes like Bridgette Grobe say the benefits are enormous — especially as more and more homework is put on the school’s website.

So there are two counties providing this service – and 85 left to go.


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