New features added to Chromebooks, teachers now monitoring students

Emma Pulaski

More stories from Emma Pulaski

Beyond the Game
December 17, 2018

Since going 1:1 and introducing Chromebooks to the student body last year, the district technology center has been continuing to work on making sure these devices benefit students in the best way possible. The overall goal is to provide all students with internet access, so more work can be done digitally. However, with internet access comes all the other distractions that can lie within the world-wide-web. Students spending class time on non-educational websites is a concern that runs high through staff and administration.

“Students have devices in their hands constantly, so it’s best to monitor what they’re doing,” principal Lisa Moore said.

The newest feature added was a monitoring software that each teacher has access to. With this, they can observe their student’s computers, whether they are in their class at the moment or not, and they can reach out to the student if they are needing help. They have the availability to communicate with a student or demonstrate something on the student’s device through their computer. They can also lock or close out of tabs on the student’s device.

“We should see more academic success like students passing classes and getting work done,” Moore said. “Less movie watching and game playing because teachers can now close those tabs at any time.”

Aside from the monitoring, the school has also had difficulty with the internet connection and blocked websites. In early September, access to Google accounts was blocked for a day. However, administration and the district technology center worked quickly to get it fixed. It was stated that the complications came from the filtering system and the traffic flowing through it. Since then, students have still dealt with slow internet, causing them to not be able to use their work time as efficiently.

“It’s very annoying when you’re trying to work on something and nothing loads.” freshman Joe Slechta said.

Other complications that students are experiencing with the filtering system has been the blocking of educational pages and the inability to add their own extensions.

“I’m not a big fan of the restrictions, especially not being able to install your own extensions or having filtering at your home,” senior Carter Ellette said. “But, I get that they’re necessary sometimes, like restrictions imposed by the state. I just don’t really agree with it personally.”