A recent article in the New York Times titled Wi- Fi Turns Rowdy Bus Into Study Hall, shows how a little creative thinking and a small investment of funds can have a big impact. Bus rides too and from school can be filled with rowdy student behavior. Matt Federoff, the district’s chief information officer for a school district in Arizona saw an advertisement in an electronics catalog offering a Wi-Fi hotspot in your car and wondered whether you could do the same with a bus.
For the cost of a $200, router and a $60 a month Internet service contract, Federoff was able to create a wi-fi bus that was tested out with a boy’s soccer team that had to travel four hours to a tournament. As stated in the New York Times article “Between games, with the bus in a parking lot adjacent to the soccer field, players and coaches sat with laptops, fielding e-mail messages and doing homework — basically turning the bus into a Wi-Fi cafe, said Cody Bingham, the bus driver for the trip.”
What started out as an experiment using Wi-Fi on busses during sports trips has been expanded for use on daily bus commutes with positive results as stated further in the article:
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.
One person with an idea and $260 dollars has made a difference in Arizona. Perhaps this idea is worth expanding to your community, what do you think?