Cowritten by Leila Greige and Megan Downer
Ah, the Chromebook, soon to be a necessity to the daily life at Malden High School. MHS’s freshman class of 2018 was administered Google ‘Chromebooks’ on Mar. 31, 2015 and Apr. 1, 2015.
The Google 1:1 Chromebook Initiative was created with good intentions: to supply students with the resources to have easy and fast access to information and unlock a set of creative opportunities. But, largely due to the fact that our world is expanding completely into a technology-based system of interaction, some students and faculty members think the opportunity to receive these Chromebooks is a bad thing.
As technology grows to accommodate students and their education, it takes away time from interaction between the teachers and mainly between each other. Albert Einstein once said “[he fears] the day that technology will surpass our human interaction and the world will have a generation of idiots.” This fear is becoming closer to our reality.
The whole purpose of the initiative is to provide students with a device to help further their learning and technological explorations. One of the issues with this initiative is that students are only offered to utilize the Chromebooks during the school year. During the school year is when students need access to these devices most; however, they have fewer opportunities to utilize such devices during the summer when they also need access to computers to complete summer assignments. The initiative states that it works to help students have more access to necessary resources, but if a student does not have a computer of their own at home then what leads anyone to believe they would actually have internet connectivity?
Also, the Chromebook is a small device that is quite fragile. The laptop is lightweight, but it can be easily broken. As you should with all devices, students must walk with extra care. The hallways are already hard to navigate through, add in the factor of costly devices that could break and everyone must concentrate more on their hallway navigations. The capability to have access to devices such as these is wonderful, technology can help the world tremendously. With technology also comes problems because technology is not a hundred percent reliable. Problems such as connectivity issues, keyboard response and touchpad issues, etc.
In addition, the use of a mandatory laptop restricts the personal rights and freedoms of the individual, as some may prefer to do things by hand or find technology difficult to navigate. To see education be bound by the heavy chains of technology is a most regrettable event for the future in which humans become replaced with artificiality is not far off; this is evident in our community with these required Chromebooks.
It is a gift to have these tools, but at the same time it does not mean we must use them and be bound by them constantly. Let the students have a say in how we learn, because in the end it is the student who understands how he learns best, and for some of us, we do not want the Chromebooks, as the screen tires our eyes, the connectivity issues pounding away at our brains overwhelmed with headaches from the constant staring of this intense light, and this is in some parts a distraction.
Our human generation lives consumed in the idea that technology solves all of our problems. Classes now have freshman constantly looking down at a screen. The students have to carry the Chromebooks in school bags, which can easily be damaged as they accidently put their bag down too rough. Slowly, Google is working to destroy our interaction between the one another. Resources now rely greatly on the internet rather than teachers and students. Also, students can easily use the Chromebooks during class for other things that are not school related at all. Only certain things can be downloaded on the Chromebooks with the permission of a teacher in charge.
Certain websites are banned from students use and the laptops itself, being so small, are extremely fragile, so students have a huge responsibility to take precautions of everything around them when using the computers. I wouldn’t call the Chromebook useless, but they are inconvenient to our school. Many freshmen do not use the Chromebooks unless they are required to. Replacement and damage funds can cost the students a lot.
The Chromebooks will have influence on other schools and before you know it, the classic number 2 pencils and lined paper will be entirely forgotten.