ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A lot has changed since Joshua Hinerman began working with school buses over 20 years ago.

“I can remember when we had VHS camcorders inside the buses to record what was going on inside the bus,” Hinerman said.

Now there are digital high-definition cameras—and even GPS—on the buses he oversees in Robertson County. “We provide the gateway for children to receive access to a quality education.”

So when he learned Wi-Fi was coming to their school buses, he was all on board.

“[Students] are already using it before we even announced it to them,” said Hinerman. “They’re like what’s this bus Wi-Fi that you got up there?”

The district’s supervisor of technology, James Marshall, said they applied for a grant through the Federal Communications Commission’s emergency connectivity fund.

The fund is a $7.171 billion program that provides money to schools and libraries to help close the homework gap for students lacking internet access.

Marshall said they won the grant, worth half a million dollars, to install Wi-Fi on all of their school buses during spring break. “Some of our students have rather long rides, and they are literally able to do some homework right here on the bus while they’re out there.”

Marshall said this upgrade is another way for the district to help bridge the digital divide that impacts rural areas.

“Can they get in trouble with it…yes,” he said. “We have our share of that thing. All districts do, but in the end the access to the technology, the ease of use to be able to turn in assignments electronically for our teachers, all that makes it totally worth it.”

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They’re changes Hinerman never imagined would come to a school bus, but he’s glad to see them there. “Just like with cameras, or the GPS system, the Wi-Fi is yet another resource that helps everybody.”

The district was able to outfit 125 buses with Wi-Fi that students can currently use.

Marshall says they are also working on a bookmobile that has Wi-Fi included that they plan to take to different areas of the county later this summer.