The Struggle with Chromebooks

How Rider deals with device problems


Melina Stewart, Reporter

Dozens upon dozens of Chromebooks stacked upon each other, useless in helping students learn. They’ve become more of a burden than a tool. 

In an effort to minimize the spread of germs and sickness, schools around the world have digitized almost everything, from classroom work, UIL meets, and even pep rallies. Chromebooks are more essential for Rider students now than ever before, but problems with them have kept students from doing their school work with ease. 

“The reason we are having more issues is that these machines are now going into their third year of use, and last year we kind of got thrown into virtual, so they were used more than they would if it had just been a normal year,” Rider Assistant Principal Dr. Troy Farris said. “And of course this year too doing both virtual and face-to-face we had to pretty much digitize everything so they are getting a lot more heavy use.” 

With the Chromebooks being used more heavily, and coming close to their expiration date, Danny Cook, the school IT specialist, is facing more of a workload than ever before. 

“It has doubled my workload, especially as the Chromebooks age more,” Cook said. “It is getting more difficult to get parts, so several sit waiting and piling up.” 

According to Fixed Asset Coordinator Angie Kasparek, about 30 to 50 students come in every day asking for Chromebook repairs with problems such as ghosting and glitching.

“We give them a whole new Chromebook and take up theirs, charger and all,” Kasparek said when asked about the procedure for fixing Chromebooks for the remote students. “We then charge them, sanitize them and clean the charger and the sleeve.” 

Kasparek said the district has given Rider more Chromebooks and that the district has switched vendors to Dell. Previous student Chromebooks were produced by Lenovo. 

“We’ve gotten well over 100 and there’s about 200 more getting ready to come in as well,” Farris said when asked if the school will be receiving an updated supply of Chromebooks.

“At this point, we have another year with these machines because it was a four-year lease,” he continued. “Luckily we’ll have some newer ones in circulation next year. In 2022-2023, they will all be newly updated laptops, hopefully with a new higher quality and less tendency to break down than the current models.”