Solving Problems with Chromebooks

Students+use+chromebooks+to+enhance+research+and+learning.
Students use chromebooks to enhance research and learning.

Students use chromebooks to enhance research and learning.

Students use chromebooks to enhance research and learning.

Peter, Staff Writer

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Early this year, technological devices swept Middlebrook as each student was issued a laptop to use for their schoolwork. Students were given these handy devices to view homework, type up essays, learn about technology and many more useful things.

According to Madame/Señora Dunn, the language teacher of 6-Red, each student had assignment notebooks last year instead of chromebooks to keep track of homework. These notebooks had flaws: they could be forgotten at school or at home causing a student to miss some or all of the homework for the evening. Some people might say that they could just recall the homework, but that could be tricky if there was a specific page for math, for example.  The details would be forgotten, just like the notebook.  

This year, keeping track of homework looks different for Middlebrook students.  With the chromebooks, students can easily just look at the homework table created by the team and all the homework is accessible online. Now, students can remember certain problems for math, certain sites to view or read, and certain signatures they need to get! Here is an example from 6-Red.

Once each student was given a chromebook, many people ordered cases to personalize it.  Immediately, students began decorating their cases with stickers and pictures. For example, some kids used stickers of their favorite actors, movie, books, or anything else that showed off their personality!  Because people can visually express their interests right on the cases, this makes it easier for people to interact and connect with each other. For example, you could look at someone’s computer and break the ice with a question like, “Oh you like that actor?” I bet you would get a positive response like, “Yeah! I think he/she’s awesome!!” You might follow up with a question like, “Wanna come to my house later?” Thus a new friendship is made! Personalization can also make kids feel more at home because they have visual reminders of things they love right on the case.  

This may seem all fun and awesome but, in life, every moment of fun also means a level of responsibility. At the beginning of the year, students signed a contract saying that they would use their chromebooks responsibly or it could be taken away. “I honestly thought it was a good idea because there is a lot of stuff on the internet that is not that great and because people could be accessing it off their computers,” says sixth grader, Allison.

At first, chromebooks also gave students a new opportunities to have some fun that quickly proved distracting.  Many students immediately started playing games, like Cookie Clicker, a game where players click a cookie to get more cookies.  This game quickly stole the attention of our middle schoolers. Another game was the 2048 Series, which was brief in its popularity, but a big deal to students as it swept their attention. Students learned how to download games from the Chrome web store and this often resulted in teachers taking away chromebooks. Now that access has been disabled, and students and teachers are in the clear from all of this game madness. It seems that students are fine with the restriction.  “I don’t really care that we can’t play games,” says seventh grader, Angel. “I wish we could play games because I think it’s fun, but I totally understand that we can’t play games,” adds another seventh grader, Jamie.

As you can see, there have been ups and downs with the introduction of chromebooks, but that does not mean that the chromebooks aren’t making a positive impact on our school.  Students and teachers seem to agree that the chromebooks have been helpful. 

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