In the digital age, the old ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse doesn’t really fly. Now Google is adding free Wi-Fi and access to Chromebooks on school buses in the US, giving kids even fewer valid excuses for failing to submit work.
Seriously though, following successful pilots, Google is greatly expanding its Rolling Study Halls initiative to many more rural communities across the nation.
The firm is giving “thousands” of students access to the tech in 16 additional school districts across 12 states.
After the pilots in North and South Carolina, students in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia will now benefit from the scheme.
Google is targeting areas where students have long commutes to-and-from school, helping them make more efficient use of their time to study for exams or complete assignments.
Considering connectivity can often be patchy in these areas, Google is retrofitting the buses with mobile Wi-Fi routers as well gifting the data necessary for students to get online. Of course, there are the Chromebooks themselves too.
Significantly, Google is also providing an “onboard educator” on each Rolling Study Hall in order to help students.
For an insight into how helpful the Rolling Study Halls could be, one school which has been participating in the trials since 2016 said the average bus route takes up 90 minutes of a student’s day.
The school wrote: “Approximately 67 percent of the Gamewell Middle School population is assigned to one of the nine standard yellow buses. More than 400 miles are logged on the Gamewell Middle School buses each day, and throughout the district, the average bus route is 1.5 hours in the morning and in the afternoon.”
As someone who was lucky to have a five minute walk to school that had me done with homework and out playing football before some kids even got home, I’m not sure I can fully appreciate this. However, those poor kids travelling miles on end sure will.
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