opinions - chromebooks - eb
Still Don’t Have a Chromebook? You’d Be Foolish Not to Pay the $45 Insurance – Get One Now!

by Eikaiva Boyer

After the role out of the new One to One program, students are excited to possess their own laptop, and teachers are excited to start using more technology in the classroom. The One to One program is a an initiative where all students at Walkersville High School have the opportunity to have a chromebook to use for school work at school and at home.

You have a few different options when it comes to the One to One initiative. The highly preferred method would be renting the chromebook for a small fee of $45 which covers any damage that chromebook may have throughout the year, the case, and a charger. If you were to damage a chromebook with this option, it will be fixed for free since you payed the fee of $45.

If you were to choose the second option, renting the chromebook for free, this offers no coverage for any damage whatsoever. The third option is the program we’ve had in Walkersville High School for a while now, BYOD, or, Bring Your Own Device. Students should definitely be taking advantage of this new One to One program, but should not be taking it for granted. Student to student here: pay the $45, because if you damage the chromebook, even if it was an accident, you now have to pay $300.

“The $45 is an insurance policy; if you break the chromebook, 100% of the breakage is covered. You could waive that fee and still get use of the chromebook, but you must be super responsible. You would be responsible of paying $200 plus dollars. This (initiative) is is to protect you from paying the cost of the chromebook,” commented Media Specialist Cindy Doggett.

Think of the $45 as insurance, just like how your parents have car, house, and even life insurance. It’s a preventative measure. If something were to happen to you, you would be covered. It’s the same with a chromebook. If something were to happen to the chromebook, it’s completely covered.

Guidance Counselor Geri Beth Chavez believes paying the $45 is wise. “Insurance is never a bad thing. The $45 is a worthwhile investment, rather than paying $45 to $300. For me, it’s insurance, it’s what it’s there for.” “Having the technology right in front of you is a huge benefit for your education. Nowhere else will offer (the chromebook) for that price. Ultimately, each person must make that decision, everyone’s in a different situation, but if you pay the $45, it’s worth it,” commented Guidance Counselor Ryan Defibaugh.

“It’s insurance and also maintenance. $45 isn’t just insurance to insure the life span of the device. If it has issues or any type of malfunction, you’re basically paying a free service fee. You’re paying for good customer service and access to the product. The $45 is a promise to customer service. (If the chromebook is broken or not working in some way) you hand that device over. It’s that simple. Let’s get it fixed right away, here’s another chromebook to have while we fix yours,” commented Principal Tracey Kibler.

“On the flip side, any cellular company, Samsung, Apple, any major retailer service provider, [Anywhere where] I am a paying customer if something goes wrong with the product, it is the most upsetting process a human being has to go through. Just to speak to someone who, one: has the power to help, and two: has the knowledge to help, is nearly impossible. That $45 [means you can] hand [it] over to a tech specialist. I would pay $45 to every service provider I have that guarantees customer service and simplicity and repair,” Kibler continued.

Secretary Sandra Larkin thinks of the $45 as a safety net. “It provides a safety net in the event if (the chromebook) is lost, stolen, or damaged. If you look at the cost, it’s reasonable. The chromebook is an important tool all year round.” Larkin believes if you don’t pay the $45 and choose to have the chromebook free of cost, you’re feelin’ lucky. “Are you a risk taker? Are you feeling lucky?” Larkin stated, casually quoting Clint Eastwood.

Larkin continues, “It’s a high risk for not making a small investment. It makes sense to pay that technology fee. It’s just like car or life insurance, it just makes sense.” History teacher Jason Lepeonka has the same view on the topic. Lepeonka’s son’s school recently adopted the One to One initiative as well. “At his school, it’s actually $60. As his dad, he pondered “Should I pay the $60 once every year? (Which would be $180 since his son is a sophomore.) Or should I just buy him a new chromebook? It’s like leasing a car, if something were to happen, you are protected. I don’t mind paying the $60, if it’ll be covered. It’s insurance.”

Lepeonka gives an example. “Let’s say I buy my son a new chromebook, if he damages it, I have to totally replace the chromebook, spending another $200…so I’m up to $400 now. If  we’re to just pay the $60 a year, it’s cheaper in the long run if the chromebook gets damaged.” He compares it to car insurance. “I’ve been driving since I was 16, and I’ve never been in an accident. I’ve been paying thousands of dollars over the years for something I don’t even use. But I know if something were to happen, I would be covered…I would be protected. I hope I never use it, but it’s there if I need it. Just like the chromebook insurance, if something happens to his chromebook, I’m not worried about it.”

But what about the students in Walkersville High School with a low-income family? Larkin stated, “We consider the financial situation of a family; we are sensitive about it. We [can] make financial arrangements, just let us know, we will work with you (and your family).” All you have to do is visit the front office and ask to speak with secretary “Ms. Matthews,” according to Larkin.

“We have steps to be taken. First I would say sign the declination form.Then I would sign the slip (for the chromebooks) that opts out of paying the $45, but attach a letter that states because of financial reasons. I have a whole process for those students so they can still access that technology,” Kibler stated.

I personally as a student, would really urge my fellow students to pay the $45. You could even think about it like Larkin does, “If you spread the $45 dollars across the entire school year, you’re literally paying pennies a day.”