Jessie Kong | Staff Editor
Photo by Jessie Kong
Pop quiz studying or Poptropica? Chromebooks were brought into seventh grade classrooms at the beginning of this school year. In the end, Chromebooks can either be classified as a tool–or a distraction.
Seventh grader Robbie Singh said that Chromebooks are very beneficial in aiding his education.
“The more we use it, the smarter we get,” Singh said. “(Students) could get their whole work done on the computer if they want to. They’ll help me do homework, and it will help other students get their tasks done.”
Seventh grader Abby Muglia said she finds laptops faster to type on than writing.
“I don’t have to write as much since I know how to type on a keyboard, it’s easier for me,” Muglia said.
Seventh grade science teacher Rachel King said she has also witnessed positive differences between last year and this year.
“Chromebooks have been amazing because it makes the students more independent,” King said. “They can do more research on their own, and they don’t have to sit around and wait for a question; they can always look it up and then refer with me later, which is always a great thing to do.”
Though Chromebooks have a lot of pros, they also hinder her classmates’ attention, Mugila said.
In Muglia’s opinion, using laptops during school can lead to students getting off-task in-class.
“Most of the boys I notice play games instead of actually doing work, but girls play games too,” Muglia said. “We get extensions, make it our own, but some people do get off task with it. It’s a distraction with games and extensions, but it’s also a tool because it helps us with learning.”
Students around him will frequently pretend to be doing their work when they really aren’t and sometimes teachers aren’t even aware of it, Singh said.
“They usually play games secretly, but when the teacher comes by they close out of it and they do their task,” Singh said. “(After the teacher is gone) they open it back up.”
This means that while Chromebook usage is benefitting Mason schools, it has disadvantages too. King said that, in the end, it’s really up to students to decide how they want to use their Chromebooks, whether that means fooling around or making use of the incredible opportunity.
“I think it’s super important that students stay on-task, but the Chromebooks are a great asset, because they can explore things on their own,” King said. “They’re a tool if they’re utilized the right way, and if you manage them and the students know the expectations.”