NY Times had a really fascinating article about an experiment in Arizona. Essentially, the challenge was formidable. You have teens enduring long boring bus rides to and from school. Eventually the noise level cranks up and the social jousting begins. Everybody can imagine what this sounds and feels like.
The great Arizona experiment:
WI-FI on the bus.
Students endure hundreds of hours on yellow buses each year getting to and from school in this desert exurb of Tucson, and stir-crazy teenagers break the monotony by teasing, texting, flirting, shouting, climbing (over seats) and sometimes punching (seats or seatmates).
Morning routines have been like this since the fall, when school officials mounted a mobile Internet router to bus No. 92’s sheet-metal frame, enabling students to surf the Web. The students call it the Internet Bus, and what began as a high-tech experiment has had an old-fashioned — and unexpected — result. Wi-Fi access has transformed what was often a boisterous bus ride into a rolling study hall, and behavioral problems have virtually disappeared.At Project Coach, we think about engagement and motivation all the time. How do we secure a teen's interest and provide them with activities that are both immersive, but also productive. The Arizona experiment transforms dead and unproductive time into something potentially useful.