There is a popular kids' song that goes "the wheels on the bus go round and round … and the people on the bus go up and down." But now they'll also be browsing the web and Facebooking and Tweeting and learning.
The buses at the northern Kansas City School District bus headquarters are fitted for the future - they have been equipped with wireless internet.
Officials hope that the change means students will learn more than ever outside of the classroom.
The school buses are now like a classroom on wheels.
"It's like a super bus," said senior Anthony Skinner. "It definitely gives you a head start on your way from school or a game on your homework."
North Kansas City School District wired four of their buses with wireless capability so students can work anytime, anywhere. Just like a smart phone can pick up a wireless signal, now so can the buses.
"Kids' lives are very compact and they have a lot of things going, a lot of activities. This allows them to use that time more efficiently so they can take the time sitting in the bus, sitting in the seat, traveling down the road to do homework, research and things of that nature," said NKC School District Assistant Director of Transportation Lon Waterman.
The idea took about two years to develop and the setup cost the district $2,800.
"I think one of the crazy things about it, when you go on field trips and, you know, especially if it was a long field trip, you could be doing your homework," senior Alex Sawyer said.
The idea came as a solution to lost instruction time while students travel to athletic or club activities.
"It'll be like really, really convenient to work on our DECA projects while we're on the way. We have huge papers to write, lots of research to do and so it'll be really helpful to us," junior Pua Hall said.
The Wi-Fi works up to a 200-yard radius around the bus, which allows for more hands-on learning opportunities.
"We have students in science clubs that do field experiments. They can take that bus to the field trip, be within the 200 yards on the bank of a stream doing their science projects in real time and be able to do research on what they're studying and send that information to the building and other students," Waterman said.
If all goes as planned, there could be more buses equipped with Wi-Fi down the road.
The next step for the school district is using Skype, FaceTime or webinars so students won't miss class time if they travel to games or other activities. That way, they'll still be able to interact via the school bus.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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