school buses

Texas district launches connected school buses

As the need for wi-fi access and safety monitoring increases, buses are getting smarter

Smartphones, wearable technology, always-on mobile devices–now, school buses are following suit, offering wi-fi connectivity and real-time monitoring to extend learning and create safe environments.

The Huntsville Independent School District in Texas is deploying wi-fi connectivity on its school buses to help extend students’ internet access in a rural area where many students lack home connectivity.

The district covers a large geographical area of nearly 650 square miles, and some students spend up to 90 minutes one-way on a bus to school. Because approximately 3 hours of the day might be spent on a bus (more if students participate in extracurricular activities requiring travel), district administrators wanted a way to give students access to the internet and to learning resources during such a long stretch of time.

Huntsville has deployed a one-to-one Chromebook initiative, and district administrators said they want students to use their Chromebooks as much as they can.

“We really wanted to be able to provide wireless access to our students, because some students are on the bus quite the length of time,” said Dr. Howell Wright, superintendent of the Huntsville School District.

Next page: How the Texas district brought its vision to life

Laura Ascione

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