The Magic Bus

Posted by Sam Churchill on

An experimental program called Aspirnauts (aspire, seek, achieve) connects kids on a school bus to the Web through donated, Wi-Fi-enabled laptops.

It was started by Vanderbilt University medical scientist Billy Hudson, who was looking for a unique way to give back to his hometown. One day he tagged along for the bus ride – upwards of an hour and a half each way – and realized a lot of time was not being utilized.

Hudson passed out 15 laptop computers, donated by Vanderbilt, for middle and high school students to use during their 60- to 90-minute bus rides to and from school every day. Broadband Internet access is supplied via cell-phone towers.

The Magic Bus may already exist in your community. It could be self-actualized with a simple plan. Imagine a mobile studio for live events. Cheaper than loft space, better than a classroom.

To wit:

The bus might also be drafted in the event of natural disasters or alien invasion. The first 12 episodes might be bankrolled for $12K with funding from local newspapers, foundations, tech firms and educational organizations, who all stand to profit from the venture.

Is it worth a Ning discussion and a 12 page pitch? Sure.

Let’s get this show on the road. Dock it at the solar array Earth Station. Ready to fly.

UPDATE: Matthew Klug tells me he’s on the bus. The Babbs had Furthur 2 up at his place last summer. Prankster style.

Here’s a streaming video showing WiMAX on a luxury bus in Baltimore utilizing a large flat screen with 4 Mbps connectivity. How about a mobile investigative unit staffed with a mix of experienced print journalists and students? Charity Begins at Home.

Social networks like Twitter have created a networked community of active, vital people. That’s where groups like Mercy Corps and Humaninet come in. They have real-world experience and know what’s needed in an emergency.

InSTEDD is all about humanitarian collaboration through technology innovation such as SMS Geo-Chat which hooks a cell phone to your laptop for receiving and responding to mapped SMS messages.

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Posted by Sam Churchill on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 at 11:27 am .

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