WiFi-equipped school buses help students get online

Dubbed “the homework gap” by researchers, students without the use of reliable internet access at home find This particular harder to complete in addition to submit homework assignments, further expanding the inequality already seen in low-income communities.

While some US schools provide their students with laptops or iPads, according to Pew Research Center, almost 5 million American households with school-aged children lack broadband from the home. Low-income homes with children are four times more likely to lack broadband as middle or high income families.

With the gap widening, some school districts have taken This particular upon themselves to change This particular dynamic by introducing an innovative solution.

WiFi school buses are one brand-new approach to help students without access to fast broadband at home get connected. The school buses are equipped with routers in addition to students use a public network to connect to the internet. This particular allows children who have long commutes, which can be two hours each day, to finish homework assignments on their journey.

Are these the schools of the future?
Richmond County School System in Augusta GA will be one of the school districts piloting a WiFi school bus program. According to a national survey in 2012, 24.4% of Richmond County’s population lived in poverty using a high school graduation rate of just 61.8%. Many households from the community did not have broadband access so the district, which has more than 30,000 students, introduced two WiFi school buses in 2016.

Kaden Jacobs, Richmond County School System’s director of communications, says in which the WiFi buses were introduced to close the digital divide students from the district were facing.

“Our goal will be to offer all students in Richmond County equal access to broadband in which will be required for students to meet academic rigor in addition to obtain 21st-century skills,” says Jacobs.

The buses transport children to in addition to through school in addition to were parked at two community centers daily during the summer. The district will be currently analyzing how the program has impacted grades.

A global issue

yet the homework gap will be not just an American problem — schools all over the planet are trying to battle the digital divide.

Cell phone ownership in developing nations will be increasing substantially. According to a report by Pew Research Center, cell phones are as common in Nigeria in addition to South Africa as from the United States.
A report by Ericsson Mobility suggests in which by 2020 around 70% of the planet’s population will be using smartphones.

Using This particular brand-new trend to their advantage, schools around the planet are implementing mobile learning programs as a tool to connect students outside of the classroom.

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One example will be a program in Niger in which used exercises on a mobile phone to improve reading in addition to numeracy in adult education. In South Africa, a Nokia program called MoMath Project let children answer math problems via their cell phones in addition to reportedly enhanced math skills by an average of 14%.

Equal opportunity

Keith Krueger will be the CEO of Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) a nonprofit professional association for education technology leaders. He strongly believes the homework gap will be a major issue in which needs to be addressed all around the planet.

“Teachers expect in which students can do their homework through home, which requires Internet. While many low-income students [from the United States] have a phone, This particular typically will be on a data plan. Imagine trying to write your senior thesis or apply for college on a smartphone using WiFi at a McDonald’s,” says Kreuger.

Innovative solutions like the WiFi school buses are crucial in helping to end This particular divide, says Kreuger.

Who are the planet's most valued teachers?

Kreuger continues: “This particular makes bus time a brand-new study hall to do homework. in addition to, This particular will be equally true for times when students are transported to sporting or some other school activities.”

Until last year Coachella Valley Unified School District in California used WiFi school buses. The buses were then left overnight in low-income neighborhoods for students to use. Google also recently granted money to a school in South Carolina to equip their buses with WiFi access.

Innovations to bridge the homework gap might even help create more equal societies. As Kreuger puts This particular: “This particular will be today’s civil right — ensuring in which all students have access to equal educational opportunity in a digital world.”

WiFi-equipped school buses help students get online

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