Students split on increased tech usage

If all goes as planned in the remaining 2014-15 school year, Chromebooks are here to stay. In a recent push from administration, parents and department heads, technology seems to be the next chapter for Cary-Grove.

Currently, the ratio of Chromebooks to students stands 1:2 and the hope is that next year the “1 to 1 initiative” will take place to “enhance education” and keep C-G up to date, according to Mr. Hoffman, C-G’s tech support expert.

The idea is that the widespread use of smartphones by students in the classroom will decrease with the accessibility of school-related technology and capture their attention more than the iphone calling to them from their pockets.

Technology is never 100 percent reliable, however, and Mr. Hoffman has seen many common problems in the three-and-a-half months the mini-laptops have been available to students.

“Wifi access points must be tuned,” he said, in order to ensure a clear, fast connection, and that demands a person on the job at all times. Mr. Hoffman said that of all the Chromebooks in circulation, about ten percent break on average per week. “Breaking of devices, cracked screens and keys popping off” are ailments of Chromebooks that seem obvious but are annoying and time-consuming, nonetheless.

Maggie Frieman, a junior at C-G, has mixed feelings about the new technology in the classroom.

“I like writing more on paper, but it feels like Chromebooks are where we’re headed,” she said. A particular concern of hers is if Chromebooks soon inch their way into math classes, creating another problem to figure out in addition to the task at hand.

“They lessen the value of my work. It’s just another thing on the Internet,” junior Michelle Follett said. “It doesn’t feel like an actual classroom atmosphere anymore. [Chromebooks have] complicated things although they were meant to simplify things.”

These complaints could just stem from a change in routine, however. Freshmen Jody Werner and Jessica Majmudar have never known anything different regarding the use of Chromebooks, and they view them more positively than the upperclassmen.

“It’s pretty interesting that we can use more technology in class” compared to junior high school, Werner said.

“We use them every day in my English class,” Majmudar said.

It seems many different opinions exist now that Chromebooks have infiltrated classrooms at C-G. Nonetheless, if grades and student attentiveness improve during this year’s trial run, current seniors just may miss out on a brand new, shiny Chromebook next year.