In order for students to have access to Wi-Fi on long bus rides, an anonymous business donated $25,000 to equip school buses with Wi-Fi beginning March 1.
“Giving free Wi-Fi to our students will enable them to do research, read the news or even watch educational videos each day,” Putman said. “Students cannot access any games unless they are educationally-sound, and they can’t access social sites or other sites unsuitable for young adults.”
In November, the local newspaper ran a story about Putman’s proposal to install Wi-Fi on each school bus. The router for each bus will cost $200, and the monthly service fee for each bus is $60. The donation will supply each of the 10 buses with Wi-Fi for 3 years.
“My bus ride is about 45 minutes each way,” Junior Mariah Nunes said. “Most of the time I talk with my friends or try to read a book. With wireless Internet, I will be able to do much more.”
Eighty-five percent of students rely on the school for transportation. The students will be able to utilize this new installment to do extra credit assignments. Productivity will increase on the school bus commutes, according to Nunes.
“This will make life easier for some of my students,” social studies teacher Matt Fedeor said. “My seniors in government are required to read newspaper articles dealing with political issues, and they must comment on the articles on our class blog twice a week.”
Soon, teachers will not have to worry about assigning web-based homework, since students will be able to complete these assignments on the bus, according to Principal Jeanette Rother.
“It’s not a bad idea. I just wish I had a laptop” Sophomore Jerod Reyes said. “Maybe the school can find a way to get sophomores a computer a few days a week. It sure would help me with my homework load.”
All Juniors and Seniors receive a laptop for the school year. Putman is now working to bring in more grants so every high school student can obtain a laptop as well.
“The students are lucky to have a superintendent like Dr. Putman,” Rother said. “She is always looking for new initiatives to increase opportunities for students. We may be a little, rural town West Texas, but we have big city technology.”