Despite the varying opinions and numerous restrictions on the new Chromebooks here at City High, I really enjoy the resource. The Chromebooks have made my schoolwork a lot more accessible and consolidated, especially with the addition of online textbooks and other materials. Although I can understand some of the reasons why people would dislike the Chromebooks–like the fact that not everyone has Wi-Fi at home or the screen time issue–I believe the pros outnumber the cons.
My teachers are very good at using Canvas to the best of their abilities to help us as students. For instance, my Chemistry teacher puts up the answers to our homework after school so that I can check if I’m doing it correctly. This is very useful because last year, if I got a problem wrong, I would have to scramble to correct it as we were checking together in class. With these tools and online resources, I’ve found that I’m learning a lot more and truly understanding what I am doing.
Another thing that I have been able to try out with the Chromebooks has been happening in my math class. We have worked with online activities that were more engaging and fun compared to our typical class. Having a variety of ways to learn within the classroom is helpful for keeping students interested in the material.
Third, with all of the unusual weather and natural disasters happening currently, global warming is making its presence known. With the Chromebooks, we don’t use pencil and paper as much as we used to, and that is awesome. Cutting down on the amount of paper used here at City can positively impact the environment over time. This may seem very small and not very impactful, but if this idea of online classes and decreasing paper usage in schools continues to develop, it could really make a difference. The Chromebooks are just a step up in helping our environment by decreasing paper usage in our schools and ultimately in the rest of our lives.
Overall, the new Chromebooks provided by the school district are a great and handy resource that make school work much more accessible for students who don’t have access to electronics ordinarily, give new opportunities for more in-depth learning, and helping our environment one sheet of paper at a time.
Downfalls of Chromebooks
Most people at City are very excited about the upgrade to Chromebooks, but I am a member of the small percentage who preferred the original ways of learning. I will admit, being able to access files in class and working on homework without needing a textbook is nice. I understand the benefit of having technology at your fingertips, especially for those who don’t have computer access otherwise. There is plenty of good that comes out of this, but there are also many cons.
Computers are distracting. Being an Internet “addict,” it is always tempting to go off in class to check my Facebook and whatnot, and Chromebooks make those things easier to reach. Being left with a computer and free Wi-Fi while your teacher is not looking can make it tempting to use technology to your advantage.
In previous years, I have heard teachers explain that studying is easier when you write, not type. Writing down notes is extremely helpful for me and many of my peers in class. Flashcards are also prefered over Quizlet or other studying sites. Being able to write things down with a physical pencil on paper can help academically, which is being threatened by having Chromebooks. While on this topic, I would like to thank all of my teachers who say, “Get out your notebooks.”
Although discussions are available on Canvas and Google Classroom, one-on-one interaction has vastly decreased. I only know the name of the person next to me because I saw it when I was finding my seat. People can prefer to work alone, but being involved can help prepare for future jobs or experiences that require interaction. Devices have been sucking interaction out of our lives for years now, starting with online chats and social media. Sadly, I can imagine a classroom where we simply are given a task and we spend the day not talking and typing away on our Chromebooks. The more we put technology in our classrooms, the less interaction we will have with one another.
I don’t want my future, whether it is in the rest of high school or through college, to be based around a single laptop rather than talking and writing and working together with other people. I believe that Chromebooks on top of all the technology we have in the classroom is exceeding the limit to how much we actually need, as students, to learn.