For Milaca students who ride the bus, “hitting the highway” now has a dual meaning. As the wheels on the bus go round-and-round on the highway pavement, tech wheels are turning too as they connect to the information highway.
Five, ten, fifteen years ago, if you attempted to do homework on the bus it would most likely come out looking like one long EKG line, mimicking all the bumps and dips in the road. Now, rural schools like Milaca are hooking up buses with Wi-Fi so students can make the most of the lengthy travels to and from school, which can be up to 36 miles round trip.
For Milaca Public Schools Technology Coordinator Steve Bistrup, the idea to connect buses to the Internet followed naturally after the school voted to offer tablet devices to move more instruction and homework online.
“When we moved forward with the 1-to-1 iPad initiative in 2012, I had to look at what was needed to make it a success,” said Bistrup. “An obvious starting point was our community’s broadband infrastructure. We needed to make sure students had the connectivity to do what we were asking of them.”
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