Chromebooks: Is the new school technology a smart move, or a waste of school resources?

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   The Loudoun County Public School Board spent $2 million on technology for schools in the last year, but are they getting their money’s worth? LoudounNow reported in June of 2017 that the Loudoun County Public School Board spent $2 million on “Chromebooks, iPads, and other school technology,” and now, a year later, Chromebooks are being given to students across the county to bring to and from school. Loudoun County Public Schools says that the idea behind giving students the devices is “to provide each student access to tools, resources and information to support their learning.”

   One of the many schools Loudoun County provided with technology this year was Tuscarora High School with their Chromebooks. The laptops have some notable features: a 360° hinge on the screen and the ability to use a No.2 pencil as a stylus are two highlights of the student’s new devices.

   Now that Chromebooks are being used in school by all students, Google Classroom is being used significantly more than last year. A survey taken by 470 students at Tuscarora revealed that over 60% of students have between five and seven classes that are making use of Google Classroom this year.

   It’s nice to hear that the new devices are being utilized, but do they actually help boost productivity?

   Sydney Cotone, a senior at Tuscarora, says, “It’s helped me become a lot more productive in and outside of class since I have the ability to just look at Google Classroom instead of having to search through all my papers,” Google Classroom allows teachers to post assignments for students to complete and submit online.

   However, Eric Schreiber, a sophomore at Tuscarora thinks that “the inability to download programs and apps greatly restricts their usefulness.” Students have mixed first impressions on the school’s new devices, but only time will tell how much of an impact they’re making on Tuscarora.

Students have mixed first impressions on the school’s new devices, but only time will tell how much of an impact they are making on Tuscarora. Was the School Board’s money well spent, or was Tuscarora better off without this new technology?