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Imagine this scenario: You have a van full of student ski racers and you have to be gone for three full days.  The kids all need to work on their laptops while connected to the network because they’re expected to complete and submit all their homework – even while on the trip.   Or, this scenario: You are on a cultural train trip with your students going to Rome, Paris or Grütli field, and you are expecting your students to be maintaining a weblog (blog) of their impressions throughout the trip.  How will you give your students access to the network while in the hostel or on the train?

9TO5Mac just wrote about a new device that will let you connect up to 8 WiFi devices to your GSM (Natel, Handy, Cell) network of choice.  There have been a number of units like this on the market, but what makes this one unique is that it can be used as a stand-alone hotspot – and also serve as a shared hard drive for all your class handouts.  You simply plug it into your van’s “cigarette lighter” USB charger and you have a mobile WiFi network for your studying racers – or, plug it into a USB wall charger – and your hostel’s dining room just became the study hall.  Because it uses USB primarily for power, you can also get power directly from your laptop – so even the train can be used as your study hall.  With this device in hand, students will no longer be able to use “I was on a school trip” as an excuse for not working on their homework.