WiFi On The School Bus

from the the-wifi-on-the-bus-goes...-data-data-data? dept

WiFi has been showing up on airplanes and trains lately, and in Silicon Valley, it's used on the special shuttle buses that companies like Google and Yahoo use to get employees to work. But what about for high schoolers? The NY Times recently had an article about a high school out in the far reaches of Arizona that has put WiFi on a school bus, and found that the impact is really quite amazing:
Wi-Fi access has transformed what was often a boisterous bus ride into a rolling study hall, and behavioral problems have virtually disappeared.

"It's made a big difference," said J. J. Johnson, the bus's driver. "Boys aren't hitting each other, girls are busy, and there's not so much jumping around."
What's amusing here is the juxtaposition of this article with recent articles that fret about kids spending too much time online, with worries that they're becoming addicted or wasting time that could be better spent. But, here the article is suggesting exactly the opposite: that not only is more internet access leading to a less rowdy bus ride, but it's helping the students become better students.


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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 8:38pm

    No New Tech

    Just in case anyone's wondering, there's no new technology involved here. It's a 3G modem feeding a WiFi router. The difference here is that the school is paying for the connection instead of the kids paying for their own.

     

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      Jesse C. Anderson (profile), Feb 16th, 2010 @ 12:47am

      Re: No New Tech

      It alway about money! who care the bank are already get us in a hole, I'm glad that the children's get something's to do beside being bad!

       

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    Pontifex (profile), Feb 15th, 2010 @ 8:56pm

    I wish we had this when I was in High School.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 9:07pm

    Trivia Question: If a student uses the bus WiFi to infringe copyright, will the industry try to sue...

    A) The school district.
    B) The superintendent.
    C) The bus driver.
    D) The IT department.
    E) The student.
    F) The student's parents.
    G) The student's teachers.
    H) The manufacturer of the bus.
    I) All of the above.

     

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    zealeus, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 9:20pm

    not surprising

    Not really surprising. I work in IT at a school some teachers have commented that it's easier to just let students play online games in study halls because at least they stop visiting with neighbors and stop causing disruptions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 9:31pm

    Interesting (and useful) unless someone on a bus starts using the WiFi connection to run amuck with P2P involving works subject to copyright.

    Unlike state governments that are protected under sovereign immunity, such immunity does not extend to school districts.

    Doubtful a suit would ever be filed...but then again who knows what the future may hold, especially if WiFi is even installed on school buses for a large school district.

     

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    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 9:34pm

    I'm sorry, but I am NOT cracking out my macbook pro on the school bus. It is totally going to get ripped out of my hands and stomped on by my technologically illiterate peers.

    And anyway, what happens as soon as someone one the bus uses the wifi to sext and harass? School busses are abusive environments, and this new tool will lead to new abuses.

     

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      milrtime83 (profile), Feb 15th, 2010 @ 10:12pm

      Re:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/education/12bus.html?ref=technology
      "In 2005, it inaugurated Empire High as a digital school, with the district issuing students laptops instead of textbooks,"

      They are all provided school laptops.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2010 @ 4:27am

      Re:

      >And anyway, what happens as soon as someone one the bus uses the wifi to sext and harass? School busses are abusive environments,
      >and this new tool will lead to new abuses.

      These are just the old abuses with new tools.

       

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      Sean, Feb 16th, 2010 @ 5:07am

      Re:

      The article may mention this, but this school district already supplies each high school student with a lap top that has all of their text books on it. Assignments are emailed in as well. Also, because of the routes, some kids were spending over an hour on the bus.

       

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    B, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 9:40pm

    To be fair...

    What's amusing here is the juxtaposition of this article with recent articles that fret about kids spending too much time online, with worries that they're becoming addicted or wasting time that could be better spent.

    Spending all their time in front of the TV/computer is different then using the internet in a situation in which all they would be doing otherwise is pissing off the bus driver--or reading, but no one does that anymore.

     

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    McBeese, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 9:53pm

    Porn Solves Everything

    It's the only place these kids have to share their favorite porn sites.

     

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    Canolli, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 9:53pm

    Fabrication?

    Okay, admittedly, this is coming for all modes of transportation (you know, ride your Wimaxicle to work while you dictate and send urgent emails).

    However, I am waaaaayyy too cynical to believe that the rate of laptop use in high schools is high enough to quiet down an entire busload of teens.

    The New York Times article (http://nyti.ms/98Gcvh) essentially lied, as far as I'm concerned.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 10:02pm

    What's great is that kids will spend their time on the internets watching and sharing youtubes like this:

    http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=JUpMgSzY9TI

    Sometimes I worry about the future, internets.

     

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    Tom Landry (profile), Feb 15th, 2010 @ 11:09pm

    Of course they're quiet.

    If I had access to porn just before classes I'd be one well behaved rider, let me tell you.....

     

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    toddski (profile), Feb 16th, 2010 @ 12:27am

    You'd publicly crack one out on the bus? slightly worrying..

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 16th, 2010 @ 4:22am

    The internet truly is the opiate of the masses!

     

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    Jimr (profile), Feb 16th, 2010 @ 5:01am

    Kids are often calmer when look at porn.

    Our bus driver became really interested when all of a sudden a crowd formed at the back of the bus around Little Johnny and his dad's playboy...
    The kids now a days have it to easy; they can surf for porn on there way to school and no one is the wiser.

     

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    Svante Jorgensen (profile), Feb 16th, 2010 @ 5:07am

    Take a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark

    In Copenhagen most buses and all the Metro (S) trains have free WiFi. All paid for by the public transportation company (which in turn charges outrageous fees, but that's another story, and it was like that before the WiFi too).

    So here all the suburban kids can use the internet on their way to school (along with everybody else).

    @ several other comments:
    Why does WiFi have to be limited to laptops? Most people use their WiFi smartphones here.

     

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    NullOp, Feb 16th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    Great...

    Great....er, maybe. Just because it keeps the kids quiet doesn't mean its a good thing. What if it were TV. This is not using discipline, logic or psychology...its simple pacification. The little bastards don't learn a damn thing this way.

     

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    Hugh Mann (profile), Feb 16th, 2010 @ 5:22pm

    Better students?

    While I'm sure they are quieter, and therefore less of a headache for the bus driver, I really doubt that the mere presence of a WiFi signal has turned them, en masse, in to hardcore early-morning studiers.

    So, I am skeptical that this has actually provided any real education benefit. Not that there isn't some real value just for getting a busload of screaming kids to shut up for the duration of the ride to and from school...

    HM

     

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    Tuneup Vista, Feb 18th, 2010 @ 5:29am

    Wow that's good news. At least they are now behave in the bus.

     

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    reuben brock, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:28pm

    wifi on bus

     

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    infiniti jasmin, Apr 18th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    WIFI WAY

    This is a brilliant idea! I wish we have this back when I was a kid riding a school bus! Good thing is while some students go on Facebook or playing games on their phones the rest will be doing homework. Also it may provide a stable environment for students and the driver.

     

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