Networking & Wireless
Miami-Dade Transports Learning with School Bus Wi-Fi
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A major Florida school district is piloting a new mobile hot-spot service on its school buses. Miami-Dade County Public Schools, which transports almost 60,000 students by bus, has added "WiFi-on-the-Go" in
district-owned buses using a service from Kajeet.
The new Kajeet SmartBus system includes the Wi-Fi gear, software and data access. The program includes
Cradlepoint COR IBR1100 cellular routers, which are
cloud-managed networking devices specifically for vehicles. That comes with antennas and software for CIPA-compliant filtering, time-of-day
controls, URL allow/deny controls and reporting and analytics.
For data access school systems buy data "in bulk" from Verizon and Sprint and place it into a Kajeet account that's made available for use
in all buses. According to the company, access to the data doesn't expire, and it can be added to any time.
Miami-Dade added the program to extend the school day and allow students extra time to study or research a project while in transit.
"Advanced technology has made Internet connectivity in the classroom fundamental to teaching and learning," said Superintendent of Schools
Alberto Carvalho, in a prepared statement. "But connectivity in non-traditional spaces is becoming increasingly relevant. Our students will
benefit from Wi-Fi on the Go, transforming school buses into vehicles for learning and expanding opportunities to learn before and beyond the
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.