Technology is changing School Buses – Ideas worth replicating

I ran into two stories of how bus riding is better now thanks to technology. Both ideas are elegant in their simplicity and the quality of life benefits make them worth exploring.

First – Mille Lacs County-Wi-Fi on School Buses

Mille Lacs County is a Blandin Broadband Community. One of their successful projects, was putting Wi-Fi on the school buses. Here’s the story, cogged from one of their final reports…

In 2012, Milaca Public Schools was looking into the viability of adding wireless access routers to a small number of District school buses. The year prior, the school rolled out a one-to-one iPad initiative and were actively looking for creative ways to utilize this new technology and expand the boundaries of learning.

The goal was to increase a student’s ability to access the Internet outside of the boundaries of the brick and mortar buildings and traditional school hours. To that end, the pilot program was a success. Students were grateful to have access on their long bus rides to and from home. We heard from student athletes who were able to access digital curriculum and resources to and from activities. We heard from teachers who were able to engage students while on field trips. And we heard from bus drivers who noticed a remarkably positive change in the bus atmosphere.

Second – Where’s my bus (or kids’ bus)? There’s an app for that.

MinnPost reports

Robbinsdale Area Schools is rolling out an app that will tell parents and students where their school bus is and how long it is estimated it will take to get to their stop. In real time. On their cell phones. On frigid corners and in idling cars.

You access the app on your phone, tablet or computer, sign in and there’s your bus, blinking along its route on a map. Unless you missed the bus, in which case — sad panda — the app lets you know it has come and gone.

This entry was posted in education, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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