WiFi for Sale

6/29/2012 12:00:00 AM

The Alvarado ISD in Texas had a challenge: getting the community connected. The district comprises 3,400 students on six campuses spread across almost 100 square miles. About 75% of these students come from economically disadvantaged households. This community not only has difficulty meeting the cost associated with acquiring service, but some families are so rural, they don’t even have the physical ability to get service at home. With students being issued laptop devices, the district knew it had to find a way to get students connected outside of the school building.

The Solution: C.L.I.C.K.

The school worked with the community to develop community-based Internet hot spots that would allow anyone to gain access to the Internet and AISD resources for free. The result? C.L.I.C.K — Community Located Internet Connected Kiosks. The program began with five community kiosks, which are located in restaurants, retail stores, grocery stores, and anywhere there is an electrical outlet. They feature:

• Dual display
• Fully functioning PC with Internet access
• Broadband Internet hotspot
• District branding

Each kiosk displays the district colors and logos and includes advertising to generate revenue. Below the ads is a fully functioning PC that provides access to all district online sources.

Why Advertising?

Advertising on school-related items is not without its critics, but the district felt that the benefits outweighed any negatives. The kiosks allow multiple companies to advertise, and include access to an advertiser’s Web site and location mapping. Advertisers pay a monthly fee to display on all units. Businesses hosting the kiosks saw an increase in customer traffic and in the time customers spent at their location. And, the partnership between AISD and the community provides a great opportunity to promote the district’s work.

The biggest perk? The revenue generated from these ads allows the community free wireless Internet access for customers 24/7. Community members can do anything from the kiosks that you can do online; they provide Internet access to both students and their families.

Getting Connected

The community kiosk program has been in place for more than two years in Alvarado, thanks to the support of advertising and sponsorship. The community has embraced the program and the feedback from parents and students has been tremendous. The positive impact of connecting the community to the Internet was not a surprise--but the number of requests from business and other locations for kiosk units was.

One of the most interesting requests for a kiosk came from a local judge who asked the district to place a kiosk at the courthouse. The judge wanted to make this wifi access point available so parents could access information about their children, such as attendance or other issues . There would be no excuses for not knowing about their child’s school activities: the kiosk made this information readily available.

Thanks to revenue gained from advertising, the program now has the possibility of expanding to other kiosk-based wifi access points in other areas of the city. I will take this program with me as I move from Alvarado ISD to my new job at Cedar Hill ISD. We will roll out five units within the next month, and plans for more are already underway.

Connecting the community and the school district is a win-win for everyone and the community kiosks program achieves just that.

Kyle Berger has over 12 years of K12 IT leadership experience and has been recognized for his work in advancement of student technology and one to one initiatives as well as bring your own device environments. Kyle is currently the Executive Director of Cedar Hill ISD located in North Texas. Kyle.berger@chisd.net

comments powered by Disqus
Tweets
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...