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Arkansas school district brings WiFi to school buses, making them fit for homework

Adding WiFi to school buses creates extra time to do homework for those who spend a lot of time on buses for after-school activities.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As technology changes, so does the way our kids learn.

This year, the Pulaski County Special School District added WiFi to some of their school buses.

The district has 20 routers that can be moved from bus to bus.

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They hope this will help students who don’t have WiFi at home, and those who spend a lot of time on buses for after-school activities.

“Baseball, football, beta club, Student UN, Student Congress,” Junior Wesley Guy said.

Students at Mills High School said an average day can start at 6 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.

This could mean squeezing in homework whenever you have a WiFi connection.

“Last year, I was actually in the 'Driven' program, which is where basically all my work is online. I really didn’t do anything on a bus because I didn’t have any way to connect,” Guy said.

This year, that’s all changed. PCSSD used a grant to purchase 20 routers. Guy said this is great because most of his work is online.

“It’s all on computer basically, like Google classrooms, being in Odyssey Wear, having Google Docs,” Guy said.

Wesley has WiFi at home, but not all students do.

Their assigned tablets or Chromebooks will automatically connect to the routers.

“With students who don’t have WiFi at their homes, I think it will give them an added advantage to complete their homework,” Operations Specialist Charles Anderson said.

They will be on buses that have longer commutes.

“It gives them time to occupy their minds, to engage their minds, and continue to learn,” Anderson said.

The district will monitor the initiative before it purchases more routers.

“How does it affect the students? Is it helping them with their homework, with their assignments? And if their numbers are up, the percentage, then I’m pretty sure they’re going to have more,” Anderson said.

School bus safety is always a priority, even when it comes to the routers.

“We always advocate safety, even when using WiFi, we understand that. Even on the WiFi, there are filters so they won’t be able to go just anywhere they want to go,” Anderson said.

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This could mean when kids get off the bus, they have more time to be a kid.

“I think it’s much needed, I think it will help out a whole lot,” Anderson said.

Some of the students who ride the bus everyday are on-board for over 45 minutes at a time.

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