School buses and other vehicles are being equipped with wireless internet access in an emerging trend that has enormous implications for students. Proponents of the trend say wireless connectivity on buses could turn what is often a dull ride into another opportunity for learning. Students can keep their laptops just as mobile and fully charged with a Laptop Cart by Bretford. Just visit www.worthingtondirect.com.
In one example of this trend, a Vanderbilt University professor is helping rural students with long commutes to school by turning their buses into mobile classrooms. Students will be able to download lessons from the internet via cell-phone towers.
Billy Hudson, a professor of medicine and biochemistry, got inspiration for the project from his own childhood in rural Arkansas. He said he never took a science or math class in high school and dropped out after 11th grade, planning to work on a cotton plantation until he was old enough to join the Army. But his life changed when a teacher intervened, arranging for him to take summer classes at a small college in a distant town.
Children in his hometown of Grapevine, Ark., still are so isolated that, for some, the bus ride between their homes and school lasts 90 minutes each way. But Hudson plans to turn those long hours to the students’ advantage by using technology to give them science and math instruction while they ride. Hudson returned to his hometown recently to launch a three-year pilot study of what he calls the Aspirnaut Initiative.
In a ceremony at their school, students who have chosen to participate in the program received video iPods they will use to view educational videos and podcasts. A select group of 15 students received laptop computers that will allow them to have a back-and-forth exchange with Vanderbilt professors who are designing individualized lessons for them. continue reading