Golden Hills connects buses with wifi
Those long bus rides to and from schools for Golden Hills School Division students may be a little more tolerable thanks to the addition of wifi to buses.
The school division began the project some time ago and Superintendent Bevan Daverne says so far they are close to having about onethird of their buses outfitted.
“We are trying to start with the routes that are out of town and, especially runs where students have a longer time on the bus,” said Daverne. “It will do a number of things in the long run. In the short term, students are very happy with it. They have Internet, and it gives them an opportunity to use it like they would at home.”
He says students can access homework, but they do not limit it to scholastic endeavours.
“I think students and parents are quite appreciative of the whole thing,” he said, adding the connection is governed by the school division’s standards.
“Even though these things are on the bus, they are still
connected to our overall larger network, all of the Internet has the same filtered, and protected environment the kids would have at school. There is no difference between the Internet they use on the bus or in their classroom.”
Beyond simple Internet connectivity, there is a logistic and safety component to the wifi.
“It allows functionality in a whole bunch of different ways,” he said. "One thing we may look at is GPS location on buses. That could be very helpful to parents and our system. Another thing we could look at is diagnostics on mechanical issues with the bus, it also gives us speed. It gives us lots of information on how the bus is working and if there is a problem with the bus it could provide diagnostic information for our mechanics and maintenance personnel to deal with it more effectively.”
He says the school division is implementing the program in as cost effective way possible.
Golden Hills School Division buses are being equipped with wifi, giving students access to Internet on long bus trips, as well as logistics and safety functionality.