Internet service has become such a necessity that no matter where we go or what we do, being “connected” is now a typical part of our daily lives. Whether we get our online “fix” through our phones, iPads, or even our watches, knowing that we can get information with a click of a button is almost second nature to us all.
With this in mind, La Joya ISD has taken the lead in a new initiative that will enable the school buses in our district to provide Wi-Fi service to students. During the months of December and January, 2 buses will offer free internet (as part of a 2-month pilot program) to test out several components before taking the jump of equipping more school buses.
Throughout the 8-week period, district network administrators will monitor speed, connectivity, bandwidth, and types of sites visited, to gain a better understanding of the project and thus make an informed decision.
“Our district believes in providing the best learning experience in and out of the classroom,” stated Ms. Clem Garza, Director of Instructional Resources and Technology at La Joya ISD. “Where technology is concerned, this Wi-Fi service on school buses will continue to connect our students with the world – really extending the learning opportunities at La Joya ISD,” Garza added.
Advantages such as completing schoolwork, getting a head start on homework, help with college coursework, or even communicating with parents, are main points of which students can benefit from. For students who stay afterschool, or attend weekend and late night games or meets, having Wi-Fi on the bus allows them to capitalize on that bus ride time by keeping up with school work.
By venturing into this new territory of WiFi on school buses, La Joya ISD will be the only school district of its size (in the Rio Grande Valley) to offer this amenity to students. Additionally, the “tutoring on wheels” project serves as a giant Hot Spot for neighborhoods and areas where there is no Internet, as Wi-Fi will cover a 700 ft. radius around the bus.