Monday, December 29, 2008

Internet Access Turns School Buses Into Rolling Classrooms

What do you think about this?

Internet Access Turns School Buses Into Rolling Classrooms

By STEPHANIE SIMON

As part of his economic-stimulus plan, President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to wire more schools to provide high-speed Internet access.

Ethan Clement, a student in rural Arkansas, has some advice: Don't forget to wire the buses.

[School Buses Connect to the Internet] Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A program providing wireless Internet access on buses enables high-school senior Ethan Clement to do classwork online during long rides to and from school in rural Arkansas, and offers her advanced classes and far-flung mentors.

Ethan, a 17-year-old high-school senior, has been taking math and science classes online during her 90-minute ride to school as part of a pilot project to turn old-fashioned school buses into cutting-edge classrooms.

The project, known as the Aspirnaut Initiative, gives some high-performing students laptops or video iPods and sets them up with online courses and educational videos during their long bus rides to and from school -- a round trip that often starts before dawn and ends after dark. (more....)

7 comments:

Jinxie said...

I can remember those long bus rides when I lived in Kentucky. By the time we got home it was getting dark (winter) and seemed like it was almost time for bed. lol Doing homework while riding would have been nice.

I don't mind this program as long as it is structures as such. I wouldn't want wifi available for any child to whip out their laptop.. they could be chatting not doing homework. Seen that too many times.

Waynette said...

I am glad you blogged about this. I think the internet can be a great tool. However, I am not sure the kids would actually be using it for learning.

If they blocked out all of the sites except educational sites, I would be all for it. Another problem that might arise would be theft. There will always be kids that want what they don't have, and I'm not sure 1 bus driver can police all that.

I think it does have great potential, but not without more thought on how it is going to be implemented.

Great Blog Ann

Chris W. said...

Wow, how the times have changed. When I rode the bus to school there was no way any homework was going to get done. There was too much goofing off taking place. It is an interesting concept however.

Sue said...

That's a great initiative, but I don't know that anything can really compensate a student for 1 1/2 hours worth of time on a bus. I had no idea this was going on and that rural schools were closing at the rate they have.

Jim said...

I really hope we see fiber optics run to every home in the country so that we can compete with the rest of the world. I'm not sure kids would use the internet productively on the bus however. I can't imagine a kid having to spend an hour and a half on a bus. That's the problem that needs fixing because it's absolutely unacceptable in my opinion.

MoreMobile said...

Yes the technology is very easy to set up, all you need is a Verizon Card and a Mobile Router in each bus, but as others said, I don't know how much homework would get done on a bus...but at least it is an option. To see a video of this technology, go here: http://moremobileinternet.com/video-reviews/#CTR500

Ann said...

I also have mixed reaction to this concept for the very reasons most of you have mentioned. But I do think that Distance Learning is absolutely the wave of the future.

I'm pretty sure that the entire face of education will look very different in 10 to 20 years. There will be a lot less bricks and mortar.....

I listed a couple of websites that talk about Alabama's ACCESS Network. This is a mixture of videoconference and web-based classes. Alabama is leading the way in this type of classes but it's hard with the Internet technology so far behind (slow - lots of lags, etc....)

Plus we have to get High School counselors to buy in and understand.

http://governorpress.alabama.gov/pr/pr-2008-07-08-01-ACCESS_early-video.asp

http://accessdl.state.al.us/showaccess.php?lnk=aboutaccess