Mattawan Schools piloting Wi-Fi on buses

Two Mattawan school buses now offer Wi-Fi. (Jan. 20, 2014)

MATTAWAN, Mich. (WOOD) — The Mattawan Consolidated School district is testing out Wi-Fi on some of its school buses.

The district is piloting the program on two buses. If all goes well, Superintendent Dr. Patrick Bird says, Wi-Fi could be added to all of the buses.

Bird said the idea of adding Internet access to the buses came from teachers.

A wireless hotspot on a Mattawan school bus. (Jan. 20, 2014)
(One of the hotspots.)

After working out a plan, roaming hotspots from Verizon were installed on two buses. One of the buses will be regularly going to the technology center and the other bus will be rotated through different routes so all the students get a chance to test the Internet access out.

Bird said some students have long bus rides to and from school and that the district hopes the Internet could give them a little extra boost.

“One of the other things here in Mattawan specifically, because we’re somewhat rural, we have a number of students that don’t have access to the Internet, so this allows them to have greater access in some of the more rural areas and expands their learning opportunities and get that access during non-school hours,” Bird said.

The hotspots only work when the buses are running. Bird said there will be filters in place and students’ use will be monitored.

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