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."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].