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April 04, 2018 Wednesday 03:08:13 PM IST
Google's Schools on Wheels!

Colorado: Google is giving out free Wi-Fi and Chromebooks to rural school districts in a dozen states to transform school buses into rolling classrooms. This programme is an expansion of the giant's 'Rolling study Halls' project, which provides internet access and Chromebooks on school buses. The project is aiming at the benefit of the students from rural area, who might not have high-speed home Internet access and where they have long bus rides.

The program will provide service to 70 buses at 16 districts, Google said, and will be free for participants

The free bus Wi-Fi is the latest development in the ongoing battle between Google and Apple to lock new customers.  Apple last week announced new lower-cost iPads designed to compete with Chromebooks. To beat that, Google offered the "G Suite for Education," allowing teachers to give quizzes, share student data and create collaborative projects online.

Google  last year launched a pilot program with two buses at Berkeley County School District in South Carolina, and then expanded it to 28 buses.

The system works only with school-issued Google Chromebooks, which are inexpensive laptops, and limits students to school-approved Internet sites. It also blocks their access to social media. There will be a  teacher riding along with the students, assisting and guiding them whenever the need.

 The bus Wi-Fi works off traditional cell phone networks, but with a far more powerful antenna and greater data capacity.