Should we add WI-FI on school buses?

Screen shot from PBS News Hour's YouTube video: Wi-Fi-enabled school buses leave no child offline

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In today’s world people are using more and more technology in their everyday lives. Whether it be laptops, tablets, or our phones we are glued to our technology. Our children are no exception as technology is becoming a more important part of their education. They take tests, do homework, and watch educational videos on laptops and tablets that schools provide. With this growing importance of technology in our kids’ education some people are proposing that add WI-FI on school buses so our kids will be able to do school work on the bus as they ride to and from school. This begs the question whether putting WI-FI on school buses is a good idea?

Those in favor of WI-FI being placed on school buses argue that this is a really helpful idea for our children. Many children in poor or rural areas do not have access to internet at home like other kids. This places them at a distinct disadvantage, but by having access to the WI-FI on the bus it will help even the playing field. Plus with the increased workload school kids face on a daily basis the extra internet time will help them to keep up with the standards and expectations we are placing on them.

People against WI-FI being on school buses feel that we are giving them another opportunity to withdraw into their technology and not interact with other people. They feel one of the big problems with our kids today is that they don’t know how to interact with each other, because almost all their communication is through electronic devices and not face to face. Also, they worry that students will not take advantage of the WI-FI on the bus for schoolwork, but will watch videos and play online games unsupervised instead.

Education of our children is perhaps the single most important thing in our country today. We as a society have an obligation to ensure that the children of today can have the best chance to succeed tomorrow. If we fail at that, everyone will suffer the consequences. Would having WI-FI on school buses help our children succeed academically?

PBS NewsHour did a story on WI-FI-enabled school buses.

The Issue

Should we have WI-FI on our school buses? Will the extra access to the internet help improve our kids’ education, or will it hurt them by causing them to spend less time interacting with actual people?

In support of adding WI-FI on school buses

Those in favor of WI-FI on school buses say that this gives poor and rural kids access to the internet that they would not have at home, which gives them a better chance to succeed.

In opposition to adding WI-FI on school buses

Those against having WI-FI on school buses say that the kids will not be using the added internet time for education. Plus, they will further withdraw into their electronic devices.

Do you think we should have WI-FI on school buses?

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