Crappy or Decent? Chromebooks in School
Today, technology is invading schools. More and more schools decide to work with it. My school is one of them, were middle school students all get their own Chromebook.
Chromebooks are laptops that are small and easy to take with you. Every student in middle school gets one at the start of the year. Chromebooks are 11.6 inches, and they are the perfect laptops for school. They have a great durable keyboard and are water resistant. They can survive most drops easily, and they are not very expensive.
Sideways, they can survive an 80 cm drop, and on its back from 120 cm. This makes them perfect for students that are not very careful with their school supplies. The 13yo class has many different thoughts about this new advances in technology. Chromebooks bring many opinions. Some students are pretty happy about the Chromebooks, but some are not.
Students are not allowed to bring their own laptops to school and are forced to use the Chromebooks. They complain that the laptops have ‘0 space,’ and some people say they are ugly, but that has nothing to do with school. That they don’t have much space and that they cannot handle heavy apps well, is definitely a con. In robotics, for example, middle school has to download Lego Mindstorms, which is a programming app. The Chromebooks cannot handle this app very well and sometimes crash.
Students from the 13yo old class that have their own laptop would rather work with that because usually it is a better laptop than Chromebooks. “The Chromebooks don’t really function as well as many student’s personal computers.” (13yo interview) Chromebooks are not bad, considering that they have a mechanical keyboard and about 9 hours of battery life, which is pretty impressive. The Chromebooks are also pretty heavy and thick; they take a lot of space in our school bags, whereas we don’t need to take schoolbooks home since everything is online. Chromebooks have done better than many students expected. “I used to dislike these computers since I had a perfectly good Mac at home, but now I like them.
They are fast, the keyboard is nicer, and it’s working just fine so I’m not complaining.” (13yo interview) Chromebooks make it easier for teachers to teach. Since everyone has the same type of computer, there will be no issues with for example documents that can’t be opened on a specific type of computer. There will be fewer issues and people can use other people’s chargers too if they run out of battery. Teachers think a Chromebook is a ‘handy tool,’ but worry that kids will start playing games and watch videos on them during lessons. This may cause the students’ grades to go down and that they pay less attention in class.
Students don’t do this though, because they are strictly observed by the teachers, and will get SST for playing games. Furthermore, assignments can be posted on the computers, and homework can easily be made. Every middle school student in our school has a Chromebook, which means that everyone can use the same learning system, Google classroom. Last year, all the students used Moodle, but this year we use google classroom.
Many students prefer google classroom, because it is easier to understand, and teachers can post assignments without problems. Students don’t have to go to the library anymore to get computers if they don’t have their own laptop because now they have their Chromebook. It is also easier for students since now they will never forget to turn in assignments on time because they receive an email to remind them the day before. Teachers also really like google classroom because they can see which of the students are done, and they can check the students’ work while they’re working. Now the problems of messy binders and lost papers have finally been resolved, making it easier for students to study for tests.
These benefits will help the students have a less stressful and easier school year, with better grades and less work.