Paul Tough of the New York Times chronicled a fascinating innovation—the One-Room School Bus—in the 8th Annual Year in Ideas.

Professor Billy Hudson of Vanderbilt University started up the project, the Aspirnaut Initiative, to turn the school bus into a mobile classroom. Buses are wired for connectivity, and students receive laptops or netbooks and are enrolled in online math and science courses. On the way to and from school, children take the courses, complete assignments, do research, and communicate with instructors online. In the pilot project, other students use video iPods to watch science and math content.

What is equally fascinating is where Hudson started the project. In rural Grapevine, Ark., children spend up to three hours a day on the school bus—wasted idle hours at the moment, but also a perfect example of nonconsumption and a golden opportunity. By next fall, Hudson and his wife hope to have enrolled 2,000 students in rural communities across Arkansas.

For districts and states seeking to foster some disruptive innovations, thinking in ways similar to this is a good start. Any other similar stories out there?

– Michael B. Horn


  • Michael B. Horn
    Michael B. Horn

    Michael B. Horn is Co-Founder, Distinguished Fellow, and Chairman at the Christensen Institute.