With no Internet at home, PA school district uses AM radio to reach students

Check out the following story and video from WTAE Pittsburgh:

BUTLER, Pa. —As the coronavirus shutdown continues, the is going back to an old technology to help kids from falling more behind than they already are.

AM radio is making a comeback.

“We were trying to figure out how to create some normalcy for all of our students,” said Superintendent Brian White, “and we thought what better way than grabbing onto AM radio?”

White says he got the idea from a conversation with his father, also an educator, as they were setting up ways to communicate.

White says several students in the geographically large district don’t have access to the internet.

“When he was talking about that, I thought why aren’t we doing this for all of our students, that would be great. But let’s go to radio instead,” White said.

Elementary and secondary school teachers record lessons the night before and send them in. Then, 680 AM WISR in Butler broadcasts the lessons. Secondary students get their lessons at 9 a.m. and elementary students at 9:30 a.m.

“I thought the idea was great. It kind of takes you back in a way to think about the days of fireside chats,” said Hope Hull, the principal at Connoquenessing Elementary School.

Hull says she thinks this exercise improves listening skills for students. She added that her teachers are excited to put these lessons together.

White says there are plans in motion to get more students laptops and Wi-Fi capability.

Click here to read the full story and watch the WTAE video.

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5 thoughts on “With no Internet at home, PA school district uses AM radio to reach students

  1. Michael Black

    So this is like they used to (still do?) in Australia? For kids in the outback they’d go to school via radio, except it was two way, they could transmit and speak to the teacher and other students.

  2. mangosman

    You will find if you are outside of the USA geo tagging applies on many sites particularly for copyright reasons in the media. For example in Amazon from Australia, they only show products which they sell from their Australian distribution centre. This is to stop us buying it cheaper from another country.

  3. Des Walsh

    I am disappointed to find that the WTAE video about student station WISR 680 kHz , Butler , is ‘not available ‘ in my region ( Ireland) . I wonder why ?
    For instance the New York Times is available here , but not the Washington Post .
    Des Walsh EI5CD


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