Chromebooks have finally arrived at Turlock High School! Starting the first week of school, students were able to go to the library and pick up their Chromebooks, along with their charger and insurance information. Although Chromebooks can be seen as beneficial, there are still downfalls to this new technology.
One of the few downfalls of the Chromebook is the weight that is added to students backpacks. Many students at our high school are required to carry around textbooks as well as notebooks and binders for their classes. The added weight from the Chromebook strains the student’s back throughout the day, which could potentially cause back problems. Another downfall to this new technology is the added responsibility put on students. According to Brissa Sepulveda, “I feel like if I move or set my backpack down too hard it could break, and then I’ll be liable and have to pay for it.” Many students do not have the money to pay for the Chromebook if it becomes damaged. Therefore, the school advises students to purchase insurance for the Chromebook online at https://sites.google.com/turlockusd.org/tusd1to1parentinfo/insurance-information.
Chromebook security is also an issue that affects our high school students. According to Anthony Perez, “Sometimes the security blocks certain sites even though I need the information for research or class in general.” When a page is blocked, it makes it more difficult for students to find adequate information they need for their class assignments. It is understandable that certain websites should be blocked as a result of being inappropriate or noneducational, but blocking as a result of a website being “unsecured” or blocking topics such as sex trafficking limits the resources a student can use for a research paper or other class assignments. Even some educational and school-friendly websites, such as google classroom are sometimes blocked.
Aside from some minor downfalls, there are also many benefits to this new technology. Prior to the Chromebook, many students at Turlock High School did not have access to technology at home. Now, every student can research and have access to a wider range of sites to complete their assignments which removes the digital divide affecting our campus. Even Google Drive can be used offline which allows access to computer files and assignments for offline editing. To activate Google Drive offline, simply go to Google Drive, open the settings, and check the box next to “Offline”. This will enable offline editing of recent Google Docs, Slides and Sheets files on the Chromebook.
Overall, the Chromebook is a step in a new direction for THS. This technological advancement benefits many students by providing them with resources at home to use to study or finish homework. It is also the first time Chromebooks are allowed to be taken home which comes with some expected setbacks. Ho23pefully, the administration can find a solution to these issues, potentially changing student life for the better.