Monday, February 22, 2010
This is highly fascinating.
Scanning the comments to that post is equally fascinating, if not more so. People do love to put down a potentially bright idea.
Well, at least I think it is a bright idea. Sure, those kids on the bus are probably facebooking or tweeting. Both of those activities involve reading, writing, and interacting with peers. School internet connections have HUGE firewalls (so huge that you can't even access youtube - that plethora of teaching resources unfortunately, is also a plethora of soft porn) so it's safe to say that the bus kids aren't doing anything overtly inappropriate like that.
And then, there's Big Brother in the kid sitting behind you on the bus. The kid who will shout, "Ew! He's looking at pr0n!" for the entire bus to hear. The threat of that should quell the rest of those savy enough to get around the firewall.
Cyber-bullying is the only serious contender for concern here. That's something to be addressed anyway, even without a wi-fi enabled bus.
A quiet bus means the bus driver is not distracted by what's happening inside the vehicle, so they can focus on what's going on outside.
In defense of the argument that students become less aware of their surroundings with their faces melded to monitors: Just because a kid is aware of what is happening on the outside doesn't mean they can can handle that kind of situation with a level head. They most definitely can't prevent a drunk driver's determination to plow into the side of the bus. On the off chance of it occurring, there will be plenty of screaming and hysterics. Heightened, in fact, if the kids were screaming and acting near-hysterically to begin with, as opposed to relaxing while catching up on the latest LOLcats.