Chromebooks Are Here!

Micheal Periera, Staff Writer

Students’ use of their own phones, tablets, and other electronic devices has not always been encouraged here. But starting next year, Lower Division students will be required to use Google Chromebooks every day and by the 2016-17 year everyone will be required to use their own device.

The incorporation of devices has been a  process. The introduction of technology aided teaching began six years ago, with the introduction of the Promethean Boards. Since then, the staff has noticed the tech usage around the school and has decided to work more on it. The idea of one on one device program originally came up during the 2012-2013 school year during conversations headmaster Fr. Edwin Leahy, O.S.B. was having with other school leaders and a donor. In the following years, the board committee on technology, teachers, administration and the IT department reviewed deas and worked on them. Now, the staff has decided to incorporate the one on 1 device program next year, in the 2015/16 school year. But because this is still new ground for some teachers, the process must be done slowly, so the Board decided to start with the 7th and 8th grade first.

“The plan was to phase it in the middle school so that they gradually phase up through the years,” said Lower Division Social Studies teacher David Carlo.

Students are not limited to just chromebooks. If they already own a personal device, they may use it instead. However, if a student does wish to purchase a chromebook, he may do so off the school website, under academics and technology.

Since this is a big jump, some things such as rules and policies will change. Since students will be required to bring electronic devices, they will need to have places to charge them. While there might be certain outlets in classrooms to charge electronics, Dean of Faculty Ms. Tuorto believes that they might repurpose the Academic Computer Center for that purpose.

“It might become another classroom. It can also become a lounge where people can charge and relax,” she said.

However, not every teacher is enthusiastic about the change. Mr. Carlo fears that students will rely on spelling check and grammar check. “I also fear the distractibility of it, how easy it is to conceal those things,” Mr Carlo said. “However, I’m open to it. I have accepted that this is the way of the world.”

Despite all of the problems that may occur during the switch, Ms. Tuorto is confident that this is a positive change. “There is so much to access on the internet that is used in college,” she said. “You aren’t only teaching students how to use technology, you are teaching them to become more responsible.”