Why not turn bus time into learning time? Paul Tough describes the Aspirnaut Initiative, which lets achievers in rural Grapevine, Arkansas take online classes as they ride to school 90 minutes away.
Thanks to (Dr. Billy) Hudson’s project, two of the three buses that serve Grapevine are now wired for Internet connectivity. High-achieving students who are accepted into the program are issued laptop computers and enrolled in online math and science courses, including algebra and advanced-placement biology. On the way to and from school, they complete assignments, do research and communicate with instructors by e-mail. Older students use MacBooks; younger students get the hardy, bright green XO laptops being distributed in developing countries around the world as part of Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child program.
My stepson commutes to his job at Google on a wired bus. He can go through his e-mail before he walks in the door.