The Blandin Foundation recently got word on a project they funded. I thought it was worth sharing the view from the frontlines…
This grant enabled Moose Lake School to enhance our goal of providing one to one learning opportunities for our students. At Moose Lake School we give Chromebooks to each student who attends our school. The grant gave us an opportunity to provide WiFi on one bus in the district. When we started the grant I was skeptical whether students would even use the WiFi and I was also met with resistance from our bus drivers who were required to have it on their bus. What I found out was that once the students knew that they had WiFi on the busses the usage shot up to almost 700 MB per month, which was the maximum usage that we were paying for. The resistance from the bus drivers also went away as when they saw that the students were engaged in work on the bus. The bus drivers were reporting that the students were using their devices consistently on the bus. We used the money specifically for equipment and telephone service to enable the WiFi to work.
We placed the WiFi on the bus with the longest route. Some students ride for one hour on the bus to be picked up and dropped off. We also used that bus on sporting activities that are long rides such as to Grand Marais or other cities.
The grant covered WiFi on busses in in several communities. We found that the project worked best where leadership (Super independents) were involved.