During the month of October, Malden High School became a fully running Google school. Google Chromebooks were distributed to all the students with Google softwares such as Google docs, Google drive, etc. One important resource is Google Classroom where students can complete and turn in their assignments online.
Heather Northrop, the Boyle house guidance counselor, described the update as “challenging at first,” though the Chromebooks were able to offer more resources to students and teachers. When asked about the benefits of the updates, Northrop stated that it “limited [the amount of] paper used¨ and allows students to become “digital learners’’. A drawback she mentioned is the responsibility on the students in taking care of the Chromebooks.
Shereen Escovitz, an algebra teacher at MHS, had a feeling that in five years that the school would stop using textbooks. Escovitz thinks the updates are ¨really great and [she believes] teachers are getting better and better at MHS.¨ It has also helped her with giving feedback to the students much quicker, like for example, the students do an activity called the ¨exit ticket,¨ and they pass it in via classroom and she can email them the results right after. Not only that, she added that it helps the school ¨close the digital divide,¨ because most people here were incorporating technology already and now the students are joining in. Another benefit for Escovitz is how she can now gather info on topics “where students are struggling.¨
Escovitz believes there are pros and cons to using the Chromebook. Since she teaches math, one difficulty would be doing graphs since she so used to drawing them on paper. She added that teachers and students are just getting used to it to using these devices and technology is not coming as quickly as we expect it to be. Escovitz said that depending on what on topic she is teaching, it can be easy to do on the device and then it’s not. Improvements she would like to see is ¨students helping other new students because we get so many students all the time at MHS,¨ as so it may be difficulty for some to catch up with the pace.
A prior version of this article neglected to mention Heather Northrop's full status as the MHS Holland and Boyle freshman guidance counselor.