Google on Monday said Rolling Study Halls, its pilot initiative to add Wi-Fi to school buses in rural communities, will roll out to thousands of more students in 16 counties in North and South Carolina.
Google said its project connects students to school work assigned through internet apps, who otherwise wouldn't have access to connectivity at home. Google is also providing Chromebooks to students to access learning material online like worksheets, videos, and articles, during their (sometimes very long) bus ride home.
Google wrote on its website:
While teachers increasingly assign schoolwork that requires access to the internet, millions of students lack connectivity at home. This 'Homework Gap' disproportionally impacts low-income students, especially in more remote or rural areas, where they face additional burdens like long bus commutes.
After initial pilots in North Carolina and South Carolina, early results indicate promising gains in reading and math proficiency, and increased digital fluency.
Google is already looking for ways to make the high-tech buses useful outside of school hours, working with the school district and community on places the buses can go once the school day is done to bring connectivity elsewhere, such as a community center or fellowship hall.