Turning School Buses Into Classrooms

Arkansas considers expanding a pilot program for rural college-prep students.

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Two researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville want to turn school buses into virtual mobile classrooms across Arkansas after a successful yearlong pilot program. The Aspirnaut Initiative, launched in April 2007 by Vanderbilt professors Billy and Julie Hudson, would equip more school buses in rural parts of the state with laptop computers and iPods and allow more students to take math and science courses online while commuting to and from school. U.S. News brought you the story in January. Now, state lawmakers are considering the researchers' request for additional funding to expand the program at a rate of 2,000 students per year, the Arkansas News Bureau reports. Many students attending rural schools have limited opportunities to take college-prep classes, especially in math and science, and the program's supporters see the Wi-Fi technology in school buses as a solution. Students in the pilot program completed 14 semesters of study during the course of their 90-minute daily commutes. One student even took an Advanced Placement biology course and earned a passing score of 4 on the AP test.

Vanderbilt University