Welcome to the new age: 1:1 technology

Gracie Hammond

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Emma Pulaski

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Beyond the Game
December 17, 2018

Days of laptop carts and computer labs are no more as students can now be seen toting their glossy-screened Chromebooks around the halls. Excitement began when rumors sparked last year and by summer it was confirmed the high school would be going 1:1 for the 2017-18 school year. The idea was brought up in 2009 but has been unsuccessful until now, reason being this was a big project and there were many factors in the decision-making process.

“The tech team sent out a variety of different surveys to teachers asking what are your preferences and why. We sent out documents of what you can do with a chromebook and what you can’t do, how does it meet your curriculum, cost factors, we had meetings with district office, ETC, we pulled students. Really it was a two year process,” district technology team member Brian Skinner said.

Deciding what computer would be best, how to cover costs, and how to upgrade school’s infrastructures were some problems administration ran into. It was also decided that K-12 would be going 1:1, which increased the cost and overall project.

Eight years later, plans were finalized. The district focused on upgrading the infrastructures for the most populated schools first, tech team chose a computer that met the needs of students, and although cuts on education funding have been more frequent these past five years, it was decided that 1:1 would be beneficial.

“We believe that technology is an important part of the learning experience for students…” director of technology services Brenda Thompson said. “You set priorities and there are things that are put to the side then or put off.”

Some students see the Chromebooks as helpful tools, others disagree and others aren’t quite sure yet. One thing is for sure, all students are adjusting to new technology.
“The best part about having the Chromebooks is that I get to take them home and it makes school work a lot easier,” senior Aaron Brown Roberts said.

Students who disagree have a positive view on the changes but believe Chromebooks are not the right tool.

“I think another kind of laptop would have been a much better choice as Chromebooks are glitchy at time and are unable to function without an internet connection. A small windows laptop would have been a much better choice,” junior Connell Rausch said.

1:1 is nothing new to the freshmen class, they have had personal devices in the previous years. The new experiences for them and the rest of the student body is keeping the device throughout high school and the style of laptop. So far, Chromebooks have been good competition against their previous devices aside from some small features.

“They don’t have the best display in the world, but they make it easy to find the right web pages you need to go to.” freshman Max Musser said.

There is no guessing what upcoming school years will bring, but ETC has confirmed changes will continue to be made.

“With technology, you always have to be looking at the next thing. How do we build for the future, and how do we plan for things that we don’t even know are going to exist.” Thompson said.