Mobile Learning? School Disctrict Lifts iPad Ban on Buses


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Students lobbied to have a ban removed so they can use their iPads on the way to and from school.

The Manatee County School district in Florida had obliged kids to take the journey to and from school unplugged from iPods, iPads and the like.

But kids say they wanted to use that travel time to do homework and since more and more of them are being kitted out with laptops from the school, it makes sense not to stymie them on the bus. At one of the elementary schools in the district, for example, all of the fourth and fifth graders has a laptop for schoolwork.

“The school bus is now an extension of the education process,” said Don Ross, director of vehicle maintenance and transportation.

Even if a good percentage of those kids will be playing Angry Birds rather than working on that history report, officials say better an electronic babysitter than kiddie chaos on the big yellow bus.

“Some of the children are on the bus for a very long time,” Principal Bill Stenger said. “When kids are busy doing something and not fooling around, it’s safer on the bus.”

Schools are struggling to decide how to regulate students and gadgets — as tech gets smaller and cheaper, they’ll be as common in backpacks as pencils and notebooks. Some try to ban them, others ask kids to be bring their own devices to class.

Source: Herald Tribune

  • Frank Lowney

    They have WiFi on the bus?  Or do the kids have 3G iPads and laptops?  Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Joshua

    They are probably just playing angry birds or watching a film. I wish this stuff was around when I use to have a 1.5 hr bus ride. I had a CD player that continually skipped so it wasn’t even worth it.

  • Neil Anderson

    My kids use Pages and Notes to write stories or study their spelling words on journeys to and from school. iBooks is a huge favourite too.

  • CharliK

    most things don’t require being online.