All Aboard the Internet School Bus

In Arizona, an otherwise lengthy bus commute has been transformed by a $200 mobile router strapped to the rooftop. Dubbed the Internet Bus, Wi-Fi access has taken a 70-minute trip and turned it into extra study time-with plenty of GarageBand and Facebook breaks.The New York Timesreports this is the same district that in 2005 issued laptops instead of textbooks. At Empire High School, it allocated more than 100 wireless access points so that every single classroom, not to mention the football field, was wired.And while the verdict is still out on whether Wi-Fi access on a school bus will lead to increased academic productivity, the hope is to extend learning beyond the confines of the six-hour school day.The Times reports that the company, Autonet Mobile, which markets the router, has already sold them to other districts where students face similarly long commutes.Combined with the finding a few weeks ago that kids are spending nearly eight hours a day in front of a screen, are wireless school buses the way to go-or is this merely what was already time being wasted and is now being put to better use?Photo (cc) via Flickr user emdjt42.