Wifi Coming to School Buses

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Wifi Coming to School Buses
By Alyssa Meisner, Digital Journalist/Anchor,

KANAWHA COUNTY-  Kanawha County has found a way to squeeze in more learning time. This week the district will install wifi on 158 buses. Students will only be able to use their school-issued iPads on their ride.

"A lot of kids have a 30-40 minute ride home and when you look at that, they can knock it out before they get there, it's an opportunity for some children who don't have internet at home to use wifi on the bus," said Brette Fraley, the Executive Director of Transportation for the Kanawha County School District. 

Students who spoke with 13 News agree. The modern student is balancing after school activities, part-time jobs and commitments. So they need to take advantage of any free time they have.

"So it's a lot easier to get the stuff done at, I mean wherever we can get it done, cause I mean a lot of people don't even have wifi at their own houses," said Kaitlyn Cunningham a local sophomore in the Kanawha County School District. 

Installing wifi on district buses means the typical ride to school will be transformed into a classroom on wheels, allowing for continual education. For those skeptical parents, school officials told 13 News, wifi limitations ensure the internet is used for school purposes only. 

"it's all for education, there's no YouTube, there's no access through our own internet service here. It's set up the same way, tunneled the same way," said Jerry Young an electrical technician for the Kanawha County School Transportation Department. 

But not everyone agrees.

"I think spending money on it probably takes away from spending money on more educational prospects of things for the kids. I'm sure they have restrictions, but kids today know how to get around the restrictions," said Tashena Adams, a cheerleading coach at Chapmanville High School. 

"most kids sleep in the morning and then maybe do one assignment once in awhile on the bus if they really need it done if their grades are low, but no one's going to do their homework," added Nitro High schooler Cobey Garbin. 

But officials over district transportation said they ran a trial run of the wifi program. They found most students were using the bus internet and they were getting school work done. An added bonus- bus drivers are happy as the increased iPad use keeps kids focuses and better behaved.