Networking & Wireless
Kanawha County Schools Supplies Wi-Fi on School Buses
Kanawha County Schools in West
Virginia has implemented 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity to its fleet of 158 school
buses, so students can complete homework assignments while traveling to and
from home, sporting events and field trips.
"Students can spend upwards of 45 minutes to an hour on the bus each
day. Between extracurricular activities and responsibilities at home and work,
often times these students are up late at night and in the early morning trying
to complete their school assignments," said Ron Duerring, superintendent
at Kanawha County Schools, in a prepared statement.
Last year the county supplied its middle and high school students with
14,000 tablet computers to complete homework assignments and access online
reading material and educational software. The county then began evaluating
mobile Wi-Fi service providers and selected Cradlepoint, a company that delivers 4G LTE
network solutions for distributed enterprises.
Student can access the mobile network using their school-issued tablets
only, so they have the same secure and controlled network access as in the
classroom, according to information from Cradlepoint. Eventually, the district
plans to use the buses to provide local neighborhoods with free Wi-Fi.
Since implementing the mobile network on school buses, bus drivers have
reported calmer, better-behaved student behavior, said Leah Sparks, director of
technology at Kanawha County Schools.
"With WiFi-enabled buses, we are providing our students with a
controlled and monitored learning environment that gives them the flexibility
to meet both their personal and academic commitments," said Duerring. "We
believe this is one more innovative and leading-edge way we are meeting the
educational needs of our students."
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].