Should C-G go 1:1 with Chromebooks?

Cary-Grove has always tried to stay up to date with the latest trends. We usually see this at pep rallies when a teacher attempts the newest dance move or Mr. Sargeant says “hashtag” or “yolo” in one of his announcements. One trend that has been causing a bit of controversy is the new push for technology in the classroom.

From English to math, Chromebook carts are popping up everywhere, accompanied by a sign in to Google Classroom. Not only that, but many classes are using multiple different online programs, such as, Quizlet and, of course, the beloved Kahoot.

With all this new tech, we shouldn’t be surprised that Cary-Grove is trying to move to one-to-one for the next school year. But is this really the best choice for our students?

Assistant Principal Saffert believes it is.

“All our feeder schools…went one-to-one,” she said. Mrs. Saffert thinks that students and teachers alike should take that into consideration when examining the new push towards technology use in the classroom.

Mrs. Saffert also believes that going one-to-one next year will level the playing field for students in different socioeconomic groups. Saffert has little concern over teachers not being able to teach in a traditional sense with new technology.

“The chromebook is just a tool,” she said, there for the teachers to “utilize…in a way that suits them.”

Teachers have mixed opinions on the switch to technology. English and Humanities teachers are having a rough time with the push for more tech in the classrooms.

“Some parts of technology don’t belong in the classroom,” English teacher Mrs. Nelligan said. She explained how technology can often get in the way of having “engaged discussions” about literature in an English class.

Math teachers are finding a few problems as well. Mr. Garis showed his concern for the switch to online math assignments.

“Some kids aren’t doing it,” he said, explaining how some students seem less motivated by online due dates than by turning in actual papers.

Mrs. Bogda, a statistics teacher, was somewhat skeptical about the push at first, but sees the brighter side of things.

“It seems like it’s good,” she said, commenting on the use of online programs, like Khan Academy, to help students in math classes.

Mrs. Stonebraker, a social studies teacher, said she is an advocate for online collaboration and is optimistic about the growing role of technology at C-G.

“I don’t think [Chromebooks] should replace the teacher,” she said, but if one-to-one is done right, “Chromebooks can be wonderful and helpful.”

Mrs. Johnson, a world language teacher, also expressed the usefulness of technology in her classroom. She uses around nine different online learning tools, some of which she believes are really benefitting the students. She did acknowledge that Chromebooks can be distracting for some students, but ultimately thinks they are really enhancing learning in her class.

The teachers’ opinions are important, but more than that, the students should have a say. Many people don’t like using Chromebooks in class and find online learning much harder. Of course, others are all in for going one-to-one and having that constant resource with them throughout their day.

Senior Emily Getner feels hopeful about the switch.

“That’s the direction we’re going,” she said. Many seniors, with college coming up soon, are thinking about how these new computer skills can help in finding a job in a technologically advanced society. Getner also said she found new study sites, like Quizlet and Shmoop, very helpful.

Of course, other students aren’t too psyched about the switch.

“I had one Google Classroom my freshman year, then two sophomore year, and now all my classes have them,” junior Alexa Jurado said. She, like many others, is not so keen on tech in classes like math.

“It’s very irritating,” she said regarding the exclusively online book for math.

With all the changes taking place in Cary-Grove, this push for tech use is one of the most notable. As society changes, education needs to as well. Whether or not the change will be the best option is still up for debate.