District 308 Piloting Wi-Fi on Bus Program
Wi-Fi will be equipped to four buses starting in April.
Several Oswego 308 buses are getting a tech upgrade as they undergo a pilot program to install Wi-Fi on board.
The program, called mobile classrooms, will provide Wi-Fi services to four, 71-passenger school buses that will allow students to use their personal wireless-capable devices.
Students would then be able to access the internet while on the bus to and from school or after school activities or while on field trips. Derrick Berlin, the Oswego Transportaton Director, said filters will be used to prevent students from streaming or accessing sites prohibited by the district’s Computer Network Guidelines.
The four pilot buses will be assigned to long-distance morning and afternoon routes and high school athletic trips.
“We’re going to have kids on routes for 30 minutes,” said Superintendent Matthew Wendt. “We have tournaments that end late at night. We’re moving the classroom more to the digital age. Why not have school outside the building? “
Buses in districts in Arizona and other states have equipped buses with Wi-Fi, but it is believed Oswego would be the first district in Illinois to do so.
“We don’t become world class by looking at districts with fifteen miles,” said Wednt. "We have to think internationally. But before that must think nationally.”
There will be a one-time cost of $1,640 to the district as well as about $60 a month in service fees. Berlin said district employees are installing the system, removing an additional cost.
If the pilot program is successful, a proposal to put Wi-Fi on all of the district’s buses could be brought to the board of education in the future.