Chromebooks to Go
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Article by Teresa Toohill
On Monday, August 24th and Tuesday, 25th between 8AM – 3PM, around 1,000 students flocked to school to get their own Chromebooks. For the first time ever, the Wauwatosa School District has handed out personal Chromebooks, all in an effort to make work for students more accessible. Everyone had an opinion about the distribution.
Upperclassmen received previously used Chromebooks, with the age of the products being assigned according to grade level. Freshmen received brand new Chromebooks. Students are required to return their Chromebooks back to the school every summer. Once a student has graduated from the high school, they permanently own the device.
The school board approved the purchase last spring, with a price tag of over $250,000: the necessary amount needed to purchase about 1,000 Chromebooks all over the district, including Wauwatosa West.
“I feel like the seniors are a little underrated by getting the old ones,” says Chris Bravata, a sophomore. “But it is also nice that the younger grades get the nicer new ones, because they will be here longer, so it makes sense.”
Many upperclassmen voiced similar complaints about getting used Chromebooks.
“I think it’s unfair for the freshmen to get the new Chromebooks,” said junior Daniel Toohill.
Still, some of the student body voiced support for the Chromebook distribution.
“I guess they’re better because [there will be] less papers. They are more useful for me I guess, because I have a lot of stuff,” said Phillip Svair, a sophomore.
With textbooks and standardized tests moving from paper to online, it is only logical for the school district to keep up.
According to Jade Grippe, a junior, “I like using textbooks better, but it is still a good idea.”
“I think it will be a valuable tool for learning,” acknowledged Bradley Nowacek, a freshman. “It wasn’t something I was expecting, but I’m excited about it.”
Teachers also expressed support for the distribution.
“I think it will be an opportunity for students to learn in a different way. They’re always given options. I’m a visual learner, so that is helpful. If you’re auditory, you can watch videos. I think there are a lot of positives, but I won’t go into it,” says Mrs. Razner, a math teacher.
“I think it will be good to have them more accessible, instead of the classrooms with Chromebook carts,” answered Mr. Dezeeuw. “People won’t have to schedule the Chromebook cart, and hope that it is delivered where it is supposed to be when you need it.
Many have vocalized concerns on several different issues regarding the new devices.
“You always have a good third of the class that either doesn’t have them or it isn’t charged,” addressed Mrs. Razner.
Charging stations will be available, but it is still recommended that students charge their Chromebooks while they are sleeping.
Chris Bravata added, “I think students that aren’t tech savvy are going to lose them, and when it comes to times when there is testing that you need the Chromebook for, [they] are going to lose them. They’re not going to have them, and they have lost it at home.”
As for the usage of the Chromebooks, it all depends upon the teacher and the class.
“I don’t foresee my students using them often, because I already have computers, and we need to use some software that isn’t compatible with Chromebooks. So we’ll keep using our computers,” Dezeeuw said.