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Google bringing its Wi-Fi and Chromebook-equipped superbuses to more regions

Google’s new school buses may not be magical, but they could help improve the grades of young people living in rural areas of the US.

Published onApril 3, 2018

Google is expanding its Rolling Study Halls program in the US, bringing Wi-Fi and Chromebook-equipped school buses to more rural areas. The initiative is intended to help students with long bus commutes continue studying outside of the classroom.

Google discussed the high-tech buses on its education site over the weekend, stating that teachers are increasingly assigning homework that requires internet access, even though “millions” of students lack this at home.

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“This ‘Homework Gap’ disproportionally impacts low-income students, especially in more remote or rural areas, where they face additional burdens like long bus commutes,” said Google.

The Mountain View company now intends to bring the buses to “thousands more students across 16 more school districts,” though it hasn’t provided a timeline for this. As for where they will roll out, The Verge says the buses will be making stops in parts of:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Google has been piloting the Rolling Study Halls in North and South Carolina over the past couple of years and says that early results look positive. The company also noted that, as well as access to the technology, students will have access to “an onboard educator who can provide help with assignments and engaging digital activities.”

Students with longer commutes/no internet access may be at a disadvantage compared to other students—however, some people might believe encouraging more “screen-on” time in a young person’s day is a bad idea. Where do you stand? Let me know in the comments.

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