11 March 2013

Some school buses now have wi-fi

As reported in the Star Tribune:
As more classes go digital, wireless access is no longer confined to brick buildings but is spreading to school buses.

Forget snoozing or socializing. En route to athletic games or other events, Chaska and Chanhassen students can now do their homework online, upload photos from field trips and read Web articles from their bus seats. Their school district, Eastern Carver County, is the first in the Twin Cities and second in the state to bring Wi-Fi to buses, joining a trend nationwide of turning raucous rides into quiet study time.

“It’s the future,” said transportation coordinator John Thomas.

This month, the west-metro school district finished outfitting 25 buses with the technology and plans to expand it to all 110 buses so kids — some of whom have 45-minute rides from rural homes — can also connect...

The 25 Wi-Fi buses are in use every day by the two high schools and three middle schools, he added. It cost about $13,000 to start up the technology and there will be about $5,000 a year in service fees from the district’s $4 million transportation budget. While Chaska schools mostly use the Wi-Fi buses for activities, the Bemidji buses are used more on daily routes, which can average an hour each way in the sprawling district.
Who else benefits from the technology?
“The bus drivers have said it’s been some of the quietest trips they’ve been on,” Thomas said.


  1. It's probably tough to enjoy using a laptop in a seat that barely accommodates your legs. Still, an extra opportunity to read or work before school would not have hurt. Hope this tech catches on.

    1. Look at the picture, laptops are so 2011! :)

      Tablets fit on your lap without frying your private bits just fine.

  2. Are they limited to doing school stuff, or can they just roam the web? That would alter my opinion on it completely.

    1. In the first place, how would you limit web access to "doing school stuff"? Some of them probably do, many probably don't. Almost all of them will likely be quietly occupied doing whatever stuff they want. Limiting them to "doing school stuff" is like telling them they can't read what they want, they can only read textbooks. The only rule I think would be a good idea is requiring the use of earphones.

  3. Meanwhile, many districts in Texas can't afford to upgrade their school buses to include seatbelts. I wish education spending were more equal in this country...


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