Monday, December 29, 2008

"It's Hard to Concentrate When You Have All These Kids Talking"

Learning while riding around town on a school bus? Some innovative schools provide kids with laptops or videoiPods with laptops and sets them up with online courses and educational videos providing learning experiences instead of just riding around "in a no-mans land" of gossip, talk, and fights (I should mention contests by bored students like pitcdhing crushed pop cans out bus windows) on school buses.

The program called "The Asprinant Initiative" was founded by Billy Hudson from Grapevine, Ark. The program is successful; for those who want to learn like 17 year old Ethan Clement and 8 year old Lauren Taylor. It could work anywhere providing the unions don't find ways to fault it.

Does the program have it's faults and detractors? Of course and I'll list them.
Lack of discipline on the bus. So what's new, if the classroom lacks discipline and many do, you will have a lack of discipline everywhere else including home. School buses are noisy and bumpy. What do you expect when "ease and comfort" are more important than learning. Radiation risks while using a laptop? Unproven, just as microwaves were once and still by some, to cause cancer. Still, kids can use a pad. Some people even complain that some parents who don't want their kids to come home and ride around longer. If they are learning let them sit in buses or ride around all day.

This complete article can be found on today's WSJ "Internet Access Turns School Buses Into Rolling Classrooms, by Stephanie Simon. You innovators might want to read it..

Sheridan School District, south of Little Rock is outfitting buses with big screen monitors so that kids can watch together using wireless headphones.

Do all kids participate? Heck,no, just like in the dozens of classrooms I've visited. Should it be tried in the area? Absolutely

The Hudson's are seeking grants to expand the program into other parts of Arkansas and Tennessee.

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