Wi-Fi School Bus Promotes Good Behavior

A school district in Arizona is testing out a new method for expanding study time and keeping the peace on school buses.

A school district in Arizona is testing out a new method for expanding study time and keeping the peace on school buses.

After installing a wireless router on one of their school buses, the Vail school district has found that rowdy behavior has dropped, and students are actually getting work done on the ride to and from school.

The New York Times reports:

Morning routines have been like this since the fall, when school officials mounted a mobile Internet router to bus No. 92’s sheet-metal frame, enabling students to surf the Web. The students call it the Internet Bus, and what began as a high-tech experiment has had an old-fashioned — and unexpected — result. 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.”

On this morning, John O’Connell, a junior at Empire High School here, is pecking feverishly at his MacBook, touching up an essay on World War I for his American history class. Across the aisle, 16-year-old Jennifer Renner e-mails her friend Patrick to meet her at the bus park in half an hour. Kyle Letarte, a sophomore, peers at his screen, awaiting acknowledgment from a teacher that he has just turned in his biology homework, electronically.

“Got it, thanks,” comes the reply from Michael Frank, Kyle’s teacher.

New York Times: “Wi-Fi Turns Rowdy Bus Into Rolling Study Hall”

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