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Google transforms Berkeley County school buses into innovative learning space for students.
Long school bus rides can be a distracting and stir-crazy environment for the growing minds of students in our region. But now, tech gurus have initiated a new way for students to make better use of their time traveling to and from school.
Rolling Study Hall (RSH) is a pilot program being offered by Google that takes advantage of long school bus commutes by creating an innovative learning space.
The program equips buses with devices and internet access in order to provide rural and low-income students with resources that many lack at home and need to stay competitive with their peers. The goal of RSH is to provide students with internet access beyond the school day in order to positively impact student performance. In February, 28 Berkeley County School buses that support six Title I Schools in the St. Stephen and Cross communities were wired with WiFi. More than 1,700 students from those schools have received backpacks with Chromebooks to participate in RSH.
RSH has also partnered with the College of Charleston who will conduct a pre- and post-pilot survey measuring knowledge gained, as well as perceptions abound technology. Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from students, parents and teachers. The survey will measure internet access, motivation to complete homework and projects, as well as completion rate of homework assignments and student performance.
Eventually, Google plans to park the buses in useful locations, such as community centers or fellowship halls, to provide internet access to students in the community and further promote education outside of school hours.
In a community where resources and opportunities can be a long drive away, the Google Rolling Study Hall is a gateway for students to continue learning outside of the classroom.
Photo: Berkeley County middle schooler, Lakaysha Governor works on her Chromebook on a schoolbus outfitted by Google in March. Credit: Associated Press/Megan Kinnard.