The Chromebook Conundrum

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

As we progress further into the school year, it seems obvious that Chatham High School has without a doubt been caught with the technology bug. In the past two years, there have been tremendous technological advancements in all aspects of the school. The increased use of Schoology by all faculty made all homework assignments and general course information available at the easy click of a button. In addition, the use of Gmail has strengthened the line of communication between students and teachers. Overall, learning has been extended beyond classroom walls.

In implementing this new tech-orientated policy, the idea of personal technological devices came to light. In fact, at last month’s student Council Advisory meeting a new initiative was revealed; starting next year, all students will be given a Chromebook to be used all year. Instead of being assigned a different device for each class, students will be given one at the beginning of the year that will remain with them until the conclusion of the school year.

This is in response to the logistical issues that were caused by the plethora of individual devices but lack of carts. This is also to give students who do not own or have convenient access to a computer outside of school, so they can now complete and print all online assignments on time and view them at their leisure. Supporters of this program also hope that this will keep the already esteemed CHS in check with other Morris County schools who are going digital. They hope that this will progress classes into becoming paperless and more interactive.

To say that the opinions of students on this topic vary is a significant understatement; they remain at both sides of the spectrum, with some genuinely excited and others less than thrilled. In unparalleled support of this technological exhibition is senior class secretary Logan Richardson. She believes that, “Individual chromebooks for students is going to be amazing. Lugging around tons of binders or notebooks is a huge hassle; with chromebooks students have easy access to their work all the time, without having to remember each binder or folder. The only thing that could make it better would be if students could wirelessly print from their chromebooks." She adds, "Overall this is a really good idea, and it’s awesome that as a public school we still have access to these resources.” Junior tech guru and president of the Minorities in Tech Club Amira Mouline gives voice to the displeased students stating that, “The cons outweigh the pros on this one.” Her main concern holds a fair amount of merit, citing the main glaring issue that was likely overlooked by administrators. She states that, "I bring my own laptop to school everyday, so a chromebook would just stay in my desk until the last day of school, unless I discovered some value in taking two computers to school everyday."

Hopefully, this exploration into personal devices at CHS proves to be a success, and elevates the quality of learning and convenience, rather than set it back.