Chromebooks Booked for DHS
by Arden Y
After a humid summer of being in the dark without a device for two months, students entered Duxbury High School seeking the bright light of the Laptop they had been lacking.
Walking into Duxbury High School on the first day of school, many students were curious when the new Chromebooks would be handed out. It was no surprise that new laptops were being distributed this year, and many students were eager to get their hands on a working computer.
During ilab the first day, the Chromebooks were finally handed out, along with a charger and a black handbag required to carry the laptop in. The computers were met with mixed reactions. It’s now been a few weeks since the laptops were distributed, but students still have trouble adjusting to the devices.
Senior Ali G. shared some pros and cons about the new laptops “I think that it’s interesting that we made the switch,” she said, “but the camera quality and accessibility to different resources I don’t like.”
Senior Alex O. said, “I think they’re kinda slow but it’s not bad.”
The switch to Chromebooks did not happen overnight. It was something the school board was thinking about for a few years. Cheryl Lewis, the Director of technology for grades K-12, said, “We had the Macbook Airs for five years. About two years ago we started the process of looking to see what we would do next.”
“When we got the macbooks five years ago, 70% of the education market was using Macbook Airs and the remaining 30 % was mostly PCs. Chromebooks were just getting started.” Mrs. Lewis said.
The school board was looking to steer away from the Macbooks for multiple reasons, and Chromebooks seemed like the best option. Data was collected and compared between Macbooks, PCs, and Chromebooks. Pros and cons were weighed between each device.
“Cost was a big factor” Mrs. Lewis said, “The Macbook Airs cost about 1200$ a device. The chromebooks are about 250$. For every macbook we could get at least four Chromebooks.¨
The main reason many students dreaded the new laptops was because Duxbury has been using Apple products for years, and it was a big change to suddenly switch companies. Many thought it would take a while to get used to the new system.
Sophomore Ethan H. prefers the previous Apple laptops over the Chromebooks. “[The Chromebooks] are slow,” he said. “I want to throw them out the window sometimes. It’s only been a week, I don’t know what it will be like in a year.”
“You get what you pay for,” he said.
However, there are many good aspects about the Chromebook that students are realizing, after getting over the initial shock of the new black laptops.
“I do like the battery source,” Ali said, “I charged it just once this week”. Compared to the battery source of the Apple laptops, which had to be charged almost every class period last year, students agree that the battery source on the Chromebooks is a plus.
Since the laptops are meant to be used for school purposes only, there is no doubt the Chromebooks get the job done.
Mrs. Lewis said, “over 90% of the work we do is on the internet.” Applications such as Dill and iMovie cannot be accessed, but the tech department is working to find alternatives.
Students also complained about how many sites were blocked on the devices. It seems as though stricter monitoring rules have been put in place.
¨They blocked half the sites, [ for example] Spotify, ̈”Ethan said, “how do you block Spotify?¨
Ali added, “People think all the stuff is blocked because of the Chromebooks, but it’s really the school who blocks them.”
Mrs. Lewis had positive things to say about using the new Chromebooks.
“One thing I feel good about is that students need to be able to be device agnostic, which means you need to be able to walk into any room and be able to use any computing device that is available to you,” she Mrs. Lewis. “You’re actually getting the benefit [now] of learning flexibility, learning how to move from one platform to another. It is a good skill to have.”
Whether Duxbury High School students are happy or upset about the Chromebooks, they are here to stay.
If any students needs help with their new laptops, or have a question of how something works, they can stop by the help desk in room B106.
“The help desk is not just to repair your device. If you don’t know how to do something or would like to do something [on the Chromebooks] that’s where you can come to the help desk,” said Mrs. Lewis. “Don’t struggle, come see us.”