Out With the Old, In With the New

Victoria Hitchcock and Mandy Huynh

When the student body learned that they would be receiving chromebooks for classwork this year, their reactions varied widely. The news brought about feelings of excitement from some, and contempt for change from others. Some students, like senior Anna Razavi, are frustrated with new requirements to use a school issued chromebook, despite owning their own laptop.

“I bought a laptop last year because I knew that I would need it for class work,” Razavi said. “If I had known that we get chromebooks this year, I wouldn’t have spent that much money on my laptop so soon.”

Some, like Senior Mary Turner, prefer to do school work manually rather than electronically.

“I don’t like it, because everything I write down I retain a lot easier than something I would type,” Turner said. “It’s just something else I have to worry about.”

While she prefers to learn on paper, she also sees how it can help students and be beneficial in creating an equality of resources among students.

“I think it gives chances to students to feel more equal in the classroom because some kids don’t have the opportunity of having wifi or any electronic device,” she said.

One of the new rules that the administration has in place is that students are only allowed to use their phones outside of the classroom, because the chromebooks have similar academic functions. Some students, like Sophomore Addi Jackson, dislike this rule.

“I think we should be able to have our phones, like we had last year,” Jackson said. “Things like listening to music we have to do on the chromebooks, and that doesn’t have the kind of music I listen to on my phone.”

Students like Senior Leena Dominguez have an issue with the weight it brings to their backpacks.

“I don’t like chromebooks,” Dominguez said. “They make my bag heavy, I have textbooks in there.”

Assistant Principal Dr. Farris, who organized the chromebook distribution, believes that the change will improve the pace of a classroom setting.

“Students can now use online games like Quizlet and Kahoot from their chromebooks,” he said. “These help teachers get instant feedback from their students.”

Even Chemistry teacher Stacie Martin, a self proclaimed “old school person” is embracing the new technology.

“Chemistry is more of a visual, hands on type subject, so it’s going to take some adaptation,” she said. “I’m going to have to wrap my head around how I’m going to utilize the chromebook because I am a very written, problem solving type of teacher, but there are things that you can do. I’m just going to have to get creative and think about it a little.”

Martin feels that the Chromebooks have added a new way of learning that could reach more students than previously possible.

“Part of being a good teacher is trying to meet the learning styles of not just a few, but everybody,” she said. “Hopefully this will go in just just like another tool to incorporate more opportunities for kids.”

With all the talk and opinions about the Chromebooks floating around school, probably the most controversial is the idea that for Rider to invest in the laptops, funding for AP testing had to be stripped away, but English teacher Heather Preston says that is merely a myth.

“The fact that these things happened at the same time doesn’t mean they’re connected,” she said. “There’s budget codes for everything, and you can’t take from one budget to use for the other. They’re not related at all.”

Preston believes that an understanding of technology is crucial for students and their future careers, as the world is constantly evolving.

“We need to get students used to using technology because the truth of the matter is technology is always changing,” she said. “Change is scary, but change is also inevitable.”