The Good, the Bad, and the Chrome

Photo courtesy of the Plaid Press
Photo courtesy of the Plaid Press

By Manpreet Singh and Karla Comayagua

The Good

Chromebooks bring to life a new environment in the classroom, and this advancement can prove to be essential for the new technological future. Starting the students off early on with technology will help them adapt to the changing world.

Chromebooks allow teachers to provide their students with online textbooks, which may encourage moe students to do the reading since it doesn’t involve a heavy textbook.

Unlike textbooks, many would argue that Chromebooks are fragile, but the school offers insurance for a very affordable price of $20; if someone was to go to a store and buy the same laptop, the insurance could be over $100. One needs to keep in mind that the school is trying to do its best to give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed.

Although the Chromebooks need Wi-Fi to work, students without internet access at home can sync whatever they are working on and continue offline.

“Our goal is to ensure that all students have access to a reliable wireless internet connection at home. We are exploring several different options to help students connect at home, including partnering with low cost internet providers and providing financial support to students who meet certain qualifications,” Administrative Director of Instruction David Bensinger said.

However, with new technology comes the risk of distraction. Some students and parents are concerned that the new Chromebooks will hinder their education.

Still, the school wants to keep Chromebooks as a tool rather than a distraction. Therefore, by blocking certain sites, the school hopes to help students resist the temptations of doing things on the computer that would not supplement their education.

At the end of the day, it is up to the students and teachers to decide on whether or not they like the new Chromebooks. Regardless, it will take time for everyone to adapt to this new change.

The Bad

Although the Chromebook is essentially beneficial for students, there are some drawbacks that come with the school stepping into the 21st century.

One of the main reasons why the school provided students with a Chromebook was to replace textbooks. This may be helpful for a US Government class, but for a class like Spanish Speakers 2, the textbooks are not even available online. Consequently, it makes students wonder what the money that went towards the Chromebooks could have been used for.

“I think instead of spending the money on Chromebooks, the school could have built another bathroom, maybe by L building,” senior Julliana Ceballos said.

Regardless, the Chromebooks are here, and with the online access that comes with them, distractions are inevitable. Some students have already begun to abuse the privileges of the Chromebooks by using it for things the school did not intend it for, like games, cheating, and chats. Other students dislike the Chromebooks because of the pressure they come with.

“I’m not a fan of the Chromebook because it comes with a lot of responsibility,”  junior Karen Velasquez said.

Even when the Chromebook is in good condition, there is no guarantee that it will work effectively. All 4,500 students have a Chromebook; so when Wi-Fi systems slow down or malfunction, teachers have to change their lesson plans.

Many teachers are encouraging students to use the Chromebook and integrating its use into everyday instruction but because technical difficulties can occur without notice, this inconvenience can disrupt learning and leave students falling behind their peers without the reinforcement the Chromebooks provide.

Finally, students may suffer because they are simply accustomed to using paper. Studies demonstrate that students learn better through actual writing. According to a study done by Kappa Omicron Nu, “A significant difference was found between comprehension test scores for those in the paper note-taking condition and those in the laptop note-taking condition.”

Ultimately, the Chromebook can become a disruption for students and teachers.

Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

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