PULASKI COUNTY, Ark.- With the new school year comes new technology. About 20 Pulaski County Special School District buses will be equipped with WiFi, and students are on board with it being available on the ride to and from school.
“I feel really excited. I can finally do my homework on school buses,” says Sydney Hood, 8th grade student.
Having WiFi available on the bus will benefit those who have a longer trip on the road. This puts students at an advantage to knock out their assignments.
“Some of my friends don’t have internet at home so it’s kind of like a challenge to get their homework done on their chromebooks,” says Sydney.
As for Sydney, she’s excited to get her homework done while traveling to a sporting event, that way she doesn’t have to worry about it after her game. Meanwhile, PCSSD plans to collect data to see how much of an impact WiFi has on student learning.
“If we show that it has shown a gain in our student achievement, then we will try to increase the usage to increase the number of buses that have WiFi,” says Charles Blake, PCSSD Transportation Director.
Charles Blake points out kids can’t browse whatever they want online. This is filtered internet.
“We have a list of acceptable sites that students can log on to as well as other recommended sites that our schools would like our students to view,” says Blake.
It’s a good feeling at the final stop, knowing how much time they’ve saved, thanks to WiFi.
“It will encourage them to get their homework done on school buses,” says Sydney.
Money from last school year’s operating budget is taking care of WiFi costs. Starting the first week of September, PCSSD will alternate which school buses will get WiFi. They will be in buses with longer routes home, going to away sporting games and field trips.