Wi-Fi Turns Rowdy Bus Into Rolling Study Hall
NYTimes VAIL, Ariz. — Students endure hundreds of hours on yellow buses each year getting to and from school in this desert exurb of Tucson, and stir-crazy teenagers break the monotony by teasing, texting, flirting, shouting, climbing (over seats) and sometimes punching (seats or seatmates).
On buses equipped with Wi-Fi in Vail, Ariz., officials say more homework is getting done, and there's less rowdy behavior. Armando Lagunas finds the bus a place for quiet pursuits, even when he isn't online.
But on this chilly morning, as bus No. 92 rolls down a mountain highway just before dawn, high school students are quiet, typing on laptops. 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.
Up Next: Wi-fi access from the bookmobile?