Rob Dickson, Executive Director of Information Management Services at Omaha Public Schools, says about 18 months ago, OPS was looking at projects for its two turnaround programs at Wakonda and Kennedy Elementary Schools.
Dickson says both of those schools have technology-rich environments in their programs.
OPS staff started looking at how they could provide digital access and equity to students and find out more about their needs around digital literacy and citizenship.
In OPS’ discussions with its partner Cox, Cox offered to give those kids access to Cox’ public Wi-Fi.
Dickson says once that piece was in place, they thought about innovative ways to not only give kids access but also engagement in the community.
"There was a Title 1 bus that was used for reading, kind of a bookmobile type of unit. And it hadn’t been used in some time so we decided to write a grant that would renovate that mobile learning unit into a flexible learning space that has access to high technology but also has a space in the back where we can engage parents.”
Dickson says the Mobile IT Bus should be finished by August 1st.
He says Cox is providing Internet on the mobile learning unit for free for five years and can host as many as 50-75 connections on that bus at one time.
For regular updates, the website is Transformation.OPS.org.