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How To Decide On the New Chromebook Options – We Are Here to Help

by Audrey McClatchie

There is no doubt that Walkersville High School students were surprised and excited to hear that everyone has the opportunity to rent a chromebook for the 2017-18 school year. With all the buzz about this leap in technology for the school, there is still the glaring question of many students: Should I buy a chromebook?

This October many students will be carrying around new chromebooks. To receive one, the student must choose one of the three options available for having a device. The recommended choice from Principal Tracey Kibler is to pay a fee of $45 that covers any damage costs. This will fully insure the chromebook for the year.

The second option is to receive a chromebook for free. Before jumping to this alternative, remember that if the chromebook is damaged, the owner is fully responsible for all fees. The fees can be as high as $250.

The third and final choice is to Bring in Your Own Device, but at your own risk. If it is stolen or damaged, the school is not responsible for the device and remains unaccountable. For more information or the contract needed for acquiring a chromebook, refer to the packets the school provided on the first day.

There are certainly pros and cons to obtaining a chromebook this school year. It will be an extra responsibility, but with a great reward. For students with limited internet access, a chromebook will be beneficial jump in their education. “I don’t have a phone,” admits freshman Destinee Edmonds, “So I can’t do anything that I have to do online at home.”

For many students, they are in a similar scenario. “Not everybody has access to internet, so it’s sort of unfair if they don’t have anything to help them do [work] online,” Edmonds added. With everyone able to have access to the online tools, equality can be instilled among students, making school work easier for everyone. “I can use it for projects, google classroom, google drive, classwork in general,” says sophomore Michael Bowen. Having chromebooks for students in need of access to their education will create equality and less stress to those who had been missing out.

It is a fact that technology is part of life and is being adapted into classrooms. Having chromebooks always available for every student can make school work exceptionally more efficient and engaging for the students. “Students have an opportunity to work on things together,” Kibler stated. When asked how these new devices will help with learning in the classrooms, Kibler delivered an insightful thought. “Devices aren’t going to replace effective instruction,” she stated, “Once that instruction is delivered, it’s giving kids a more familiar capacity to learn… They’ve been raised dealing with technology.” The new chromebooks have the potential to act as aids for teachers and students, boosting the academic environment in school.  

Having devices for the year has many uses for outside the classroom.  Chromebooks can play the role of organizers for students with multiple classes, textbooks, and papers. It’s easy to progressively become more disorganized through the year, and chromebooks can help with that problem. “Have you seen the average teenage boy’s bookbag?” Kibler asked with a laugh. Many extra papers can be removed from a students backpack by transferring to digital copies.

Having the digital access to school necessities is less stressful and makes assignments easier to locate. Junior Madeline Torez agrees that having a chromebook will assist with many things. “[It will help] to keep track of everything, like checking HAC.” Using the internet is just one of the additional benefits of having a device. “With the chromebook, I would be able to do my homework online,” said Edmonds, “and not have to get paper copies all the time.”

If you are considering renting a chromebook for the year, it certainly has many advantages. But whether to get one or not is relative to everyone’s situation. “The important thing that any student or family has to take into account is what’s gonna work best for them and their family,” expressed Kibler. The policy is first come first serve, meaning that the sooner the papers for renting a chromebook (or bringing in a device) are turned in, the newer chromebook you will receive. If you are interested, turn in your papers as soon as possible!