With the 1 to1 initiatives and the distribution of ipads, chromebooks, and laptops, how do your students get the use out of them during their daily travels?
Well first, let’s define a connected bus. A connected bus isn’t just a Wi-Fi signal for the student. You can’t just plug in an access point with a 4G card. Well you could, but you wouldn’t do it in a classroom without proper security and management, so why would you do it on the bus? The “infrastructure” on the bus needs to be planned and managed just like it would in the classroom. Protecting the student is first and foremost. Protecting them not only from bad sites and cyber security hacking but also, once you have Wi-Fi on a bus, there are so many things to consider!
- Consider a solution that can integrate with other technologies on the bus. As technology evolves GPS, video Surveillance, Telematics, Virtual Routes, Driver tracking, Emergency Services Integration are all pieces to consider and making sure all of your solutions integrate and are secured equally. If the technologies are implemented in silos, it not only becomes a management nightmare, but also a cyber security one. Your student’s safety will depend on the security of the bus overall, and just one unsecured system could lead to disaster down the road.
- Student Safety. Wi-Fi on the bus leads to op
tions that can enhance the safety of the students and communication to the parents and staff. Options include:
- Video Surveillance that can be accessed when needed
- Geo-Tagging with an App that can track the bus and give the ability to see where the bus is.
- Swipe cards when the student gets on and off the bus. Alerts can be set up to go to the parent when a student does not get on the bus or gets off on the wrong bus stop. This can save critical minutes in a missing child case.
- The driver takes roll when they get on the bus with their tablet. This is especially good for K-2.
- Plan for the future. You probably are wondering where the budget will come from? You are budget bound, but sitting down and planning the future of your student's connection is very important for when funding can be planned. Consider a workshop with the key players in the room, this not only includes the schools but even the city and public safety. How can the connected bus play into your community? How can the technology integrate with the city/county and Emergency services? It can even generate revenue with cameras that can record and Geo-tag offenders that don’t stop for the bus.
- Lastly, don’t expect the world! Connected Wi-Fi in the bus means a Wi-Fi connection for the student to do homework, not to watch Netflix and play PokemonGo! Devices are connected to support the students in their homework effort. These devices should be an extension of the classroom and part of your extended network and security. Planning for a future solution is key, if not the pieces may not fit or be secure. It’s the Internet of Things (IoT)!
As the Digital Conversion progresses and the students day gets extended, utilizing their daily commute as a resource is a good move. Presidio can help with that first workshop to determine what the future may hold. We look forward having the discussion!