Going Digital

Jack VandeKrol, Intro to Journalism Student

Within the past few years, there have been some severe educational challenges when it comes to schools bouncing back from global quarantine due to Covid-19 in 2020. One of the many changes students have dealt with due to this pandemic, perhaps the biggest change of all, has been the switch to Chromebooks and digital schoolwork.

Unlike three years ago, when students only had the chance to use Chromebooks for a couple classes a day and were required to return them to their designated cart after class, each student now has access to their own individual Chromebook that they even get to take home with them when the school day ends

Each student takes their Chromebook with them throughout the school day to each of their classes, and will have to end up using it typically for each class, as their schoolwork is now almost all digital.

These devices come with some amazing features that have enhanced student learning as a whole. However, along with their many perks, they also offer some major distractions. This is due to the students seemingly limitless access to the internet. 

Obviously, with this power it is not a guarantee that students will always stay focused all of the time. Whether it be watching videos, playing games, solving puzzles, even filling out personality quizzes, teachers have seen it all.

Tia Stubbs, an English and Journalism teacher of 10 years, claims that she has to block a new website, “Every class period, every day.”

Stubbs also discussed the dilemma when it comes to Chromebooks in her recent interview. This is due to the fact that they offer major benefits, but also severe disadvantages. Stubbs believes that, “They are necessary in today’s learning environment. Technology has made some things easier. Google forms and google docs allows students to submit their work in a more efficient way. There are downsides to Chromebooks as well. It would be very difficult to go back to teaching without Chromebooks.”

In a recent anonymous survey, 60 percent of students reported that they play games on their Chromebooks during class.

However, until schools can find a better solution, it seems that for now students and teachers will be continuing their silent online battle for the foreseeable future.