Chromebooks set to transform LPHS education
The 2017-2018 school year has kicked off with many new changes in its wake–one primarily being the introduction of Chromebooks.
Chromebooks were first incorporated two years ago but were only in English classes and could not be taken out of the classroom. Last year, the math and social studies rooms also gained class sets. This year each student received a Chromebook, a power pack, a strap, and a Slicer computer case with an ID slot.
The entire pass out process was completed in both the Library and Schultze Hall. Students were called down by grade and last name. The seniors were the first to get their Chromebooks, while the freshman were last later that week. The students started in the library, where they first picked up their case, the power pack, and the Chromebook itself. Right before entering Schultze Hall, each student was shown how to assemble the extra strap and how to hold the computer in its case properly.
In Schultze Hall, the computers were tested to see if it charged and logged in correctly, and then the students were sent back to class. Mrs. Muller, LPHS Data Coach and adviser of the Service on Site Lab, has been hard at work ever since the roll out.
“I’m really busy. I feel that teachers are starting to use technology more, especially those who did not have Chromebooks for the past few years. I’m really excited to see what the electives come up with for different activities for their class. My goal in the future is that we can do a roll out before school starts, especially for the students who have already been with in the LaPorte High School building,” Muller said.
Students have almost had a full two weeks with their Chromebooks and have had a decent chance to settle in with the very different way of learning. With such a drastic modification to daily school life, students have had their fair share of opinions.
“They are very convenient for college applications and certain classes. I like the ease of having multiple classroom books on one device, so you don’t have to lug around 15 different books,” Lucas Poehl, senior, said.
While some enjoy the idea of carrying less around school and just having the computers in general, others do not think or want to think the same way.
“I just don’t understand why we wouldn’t just have a classroom set of Chromebooks in each room. I guess there’s just less risk of people forgetting them, breaking them, not having them charged up, and the cases are defective,” Alejandra Puentes, senior, said.
Along with the Chromebooks, there is a new internship offered for students. This year the Media Lab in the Library has become the Service On-Site (SOS) Lab. Students who are especially tech savvy can work on damaged Chromebooks and even help set up tutorials to be posted online to fix Chromebooks at home. This program cuts down on the wait time for students who have damaged Chromebooks, and it gives Slicer students the opportunity to learn an increasingly valuable skill.
“I just like being able to fix Chromebooks and help people. This class will help me get the career that I want, which is in computer engineering,” Luis Martinez, Chromebook support intern, said.
An important aspect to remember is that the Chromebooks are extremely fragile. Students should make sure they are not putting extra clutter in their Chromebook cases as it can crack the screen or do other damage.
“You can’t stack the Chromebooks up more than five high otherwise they crack. So this made it a little bit difficult for storage and also during the rollout. I think it will be a challenge to get the students to realize that the technology in their hands is fragile and these hallways are rough,” Muller said.
Chromebooks are a small step to much more significant things ahead. They will hopefully open up the door to an easier and more fulfilling way to learn as technology advances.