What if we actually encouraged students to use technology?


This is the headline that roped me in, at The New York Times: “Wi-Fi Turns Rowdy Bus into Rolling Study Hall.”

And a short excerpt:

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.

What would your bus drivers say?

(File under “If you teach them, they will learn — and behavior problems will fade away.”)

Don’t miss the end of the article:

A ride through mountains on a drizzly afternoon can be unpredictable, even on the Internet Bus. Through the windows on the left, inky clouds suddenly parted above a ridge, revealing an arc of incandescent color.

“Dude, there’s a rainbow!” shouted Morghan Sonderer, a ninth grader.

A dozen students looked up from their laptops and cellphones, abandoning technology to stare in wonder at the eastern sky.

“It’s following us!” Morghan exclaimed.

“We’re being stalked by a rainbow!” Jerod said.

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6 Responses to What if we actually encouraged students to use technology?

  1. yup. it was only used the one time, and now i think it’s back at the bus yard, gathering dust.

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Wait. You’re saying that the WiFi bus only ran once? Isn’t it in use every day?

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  3. oh, and the wifi bus? there’s only one, and the first time anyone used it was for that thing on the news. they’re afraid we’ll break it.

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  4. Actually, homework is done a lot more often than you would think, probably because everything that is not educational is blocked. No facebook, no youtube… virtually all the game sites are blocked, too. Everyone seems so quick to judge, when really, it’s just a regular school. We aren’t all super rich snobs, either. As a matter of fact, my family was evicted from our house recently, and we still receive food and stuff from the local church, because we can’t afford to buy it ourselves. I don’t know about everyone at my school, but most of the parents are in the military, or medical fields. only a fraction of them are rich, or work from Raytheon, or whatever. there are a lot of ranchers, though!!!

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  5. [...] Interesting … except that there is almost zero chance that much homework is getting done. [...]

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  6. [...] Interesting … except that there is almost zero chance that much homework is getting done. [...]

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