Chromebooks — One Giant Leap for Education or Just Another Fad?


Paul Mitalipov

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A student on his Chromebook. Designed by Justin Fenimore.

Recently, the highly anticipated Chromebooks were finally introduced to Aloha High School and to other schools in the Beaverton School District, marking an important milestone in Aloha’s history. The Chromebooks have been long rumored around the halls, shrouding them with an air of mystery, which only added to students’ hype of getting their own personal laptops. But now, after actually receiving the new technology, only one question remains: do the Chromebooks truly live up to the hype?

Some students would say yes, thinking that the integration of technology into daily school life is a great step forward for education. Being able to research and edit documents on the fly will help many students turn assignments in on time, and many have lauded the Chromebooks’ ability to present an economical way for students to access the Internet at home who otherwise would lack that incredible resource. The Internet is becoming more and more intertwined into daily society and as some would say, it’s obvious that it should become another valuable tool in educating the next generation.

In fact, of the 1,700 Chromebooks which have been checked out, none have been stolen or broken by students, according to tech support staff member Greg Rouse.

It also seems that the students of Aloha are ready for such a change. In fact, of the 1,700 Chromebooks which have been checked out, none have been stolen or broken by students, according to tech support staff member Greg Rouse. This shows that the students took their training seriously, and are being responsible with their Chromebooks.

“They can’t really do very much,” said senior Jason Hatfield, “they’re pretty much just Internet machines.”

Many students, however, dislike the Chromebooks. One main complaint is that their only use is for Internet access, lacking the ability to handle common graphic design and video editing software. “They can’t really do very much,” said senior Jason Hatfield, “they’re pretty much just Internet machines.” Some classes such as Photography, AP Studio Art, and Filmmaking can’t really use the new devices to the best of their ability due to those aforementioned high software specifications.

 

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Can limiting student access to certain websites be detrimental at times?

 

Numerous sites are inaccessible to students, even an innocent Google Image search comes up with more blocked than unblocked images.

Another complaint about the Chromebooks is their heavy firewall, which blocks many essential functions. Numerous sites are inaccessible to students, even an innocent Google Image search comes up with more blocked than unblocked images.

Around the halls of Aloha, there is plenty of love and hate for the new Chromebooks, and good arguments coming from both camps. It seems that we all will have to keep an open mind and take into account both the pros and cons of the Chromebooks as we move forward.

“It sounds like a good idea on paper,” said Jack Vanauker, a sophomore. “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it works out in the real world.”

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