By Kriti Gupta ‘21
Chromebooks: a subject that brings even the most withdrawn individual to speak out with burning passion about how much they hate this piece of technology. It has come to the point where “What do you think about Chromebooks?” is just about the greatest conversation starter anyone can use. Conversations, when speaking of a mutually hated subject, become smooth and easy. Often times, this volatile subject can even spark a friendship between two of the most polar opposite individuals.
In the high school, only the freshmen have completely embraced their Chromebooks. Some even going as far as to say, “I like them.” Their Chromebooks, which are brand new and tablets, have flawless touch screens and a stylus (at least the school recognizes children’s doodling needs). With the freshmen appeased, the rest of the high school is left with the scraps. Seniors have older models that were in the long-forgotten Chromecarts and juniors are now left with hand-me-downs from the freshmen. The sophomores still have their “first generation” Chromebooks, which flaunt sticky mouse pads and screens smudged from various sneeze particles.
One junior, who was recently burdened with a Chromebook, expressed her distaste: “It’s a waste of space and resources.” To back up her claim, tools were used to measure and weigh the entirety of the laptop, which, when muscled into its fashionable rubber case, weighs 3.5 pounds and takes up the same amount of space as a three-subject notebook. Many students struggle to find space in their bags for such a hefty item and this kind of weight can make or break shoulders, backs, and necks. In addition, Chromebooks don’t save any paper. Each class still doles out at least two pieces of paper each day, which adds up to at least 2,000 pieces of paper, which is about one-fourth of a tree, by the end of the year.
Aforementioned Junior brings up a good point relating to paper usage: many classes, especially AP classes, have a hard time integrating Chromebooks into their curriculums, and students still use paper more than they use the available technology.
In addition to that, Chromebooks have a multitude of limitations. Often times, students find that they can’t get onto certain educational sites because they are blocked. And just recently, the Google Docs Offline extension, for no apparent reason, has been disabled on Chrome, meaning that editing a document on the go is now not possible.
Chromebooks are just another item kids have to keep track of throughout the day. With the rise in the insurance cost for a below-par computer, paired with the fact that the majority of the high school got old Chromebooks, even parents are starting to sour to the device.
It is safe to say that Chromebooks have a long way to go before classrooms and teachers can completely adopt them for everyday use. But for now, as this article is being typed into the greasy keypad of an emo laptop, I am proud to say that I believe it’s better than nothing.