Petition to Remove the Requirement of Chromebooks

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Nazareth Area High School is in the process of implementing their third year of the 1:1 Initiative, which aims to develop the skills of a modern day learner. With this implementation, each student is now required to purchase and use their own Chromebook. The benefits mentioned by the school are extensive, ranging from communication and problem-solving skills, to increased productivity both inside and outside the school. 

The most profound benefit from this initiative is the fact that every student, regardless of financial status, is provided with a working computer to complete school assignments. No student will be hindered from interactive learning in the classroom because a family simply cannot afford their own computer. Chromebooks will simply make everyone's lives easier.

Or will they?

Regardless of the benefits that the Nazareth Area School District talks about, they fail to listen and understand the student's view on the issue of implementing Chromebooks. Many Nazareth High School students oppose Chromebooks for a number of reasons, and the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits. 

Firstly, although the cost of buying a Chromebook from the school is relatively cheap ($15), that money would be better off spent on actual school supplies that every student needs. These items could be pencils, pens, notebooks, or 3-ring binders which are not required by the school, but are required by the teachers themselves. In addition to this, if a student loses or breaks their Chromebook, they run the risk of having to pay an additional fee, which is just another burden placed on the students and their families. 

Secondly, many students, including myself, have already purchased a computer for school purposes. These families have taken the initiative themselves to buy a computer for their student for the purpose of using it for school projects and activities. Many of these computers already purchased are of higher quality then Chromebooks, and are the preferable choice by the students. The already purchased personal computers are not only valuable for education on the high school level, but for college or technical school as well. These benefits prove that a personal computer is far more beneficial to a high school student than a school Chromebook, that can only be used for the duration of high school. 

Thirdly, most students prefer learning with old fashioned pen and paper, rather than online lessons or textbooks. In a recent poll of about 150 students, 89% favored learning with pencils, paper, and textbooks, while only a mere 11% of students learn better online. If these results are not swaying enough, one Nazareth High School student states that regardless of most of us being born in the 21st century, "Our generation has gone all of our lives learning on paper." The student then goes on to state that "I, myself, have a hard time learning though computer screens." This is the overwhelming opinion of many Nazareth High School students who do not favor the requirement of Chromebooks. 

Lastly, Chromebooks are not the optimal piece of technology that will benefit the students in the future. There are many other options that surpass the capability of a Chromebook. Take two other high schools in the Lehigh Valley for example, the Easton and Parkland Area School Districts. Their students receive new iPads at the beginning of the school year. Not only are these iPads up to date, most students are familiar with how they work. The technological issues associated with iPads are also at an all-time low, since Apple products are generally reliable. However, the issues with Chromebooks are all to familiar to Nazareth High School students. Throughout the school year, students have to deal with the issues of slow and glitch-prone Chromebooks; these problems could be avoided with more up-to-date technology. 

Nazareth High School claims that through the 1:1 Initiative, Chromebooks will provide students to "learn through the use of innovative technology and engaging learning." However, the real truth is that engaging learning takes place in a classroom through face-to-face communication between the students and the teacher. Certainly online learning can enhance the educational system, but it not the foundation. Chromebook are also far from "innovative," as seen from the previous paragraph. Nazareth also claims that the Chromebooks will "increase achievement on local, state, and national assessments." However, we all know that those local, state, and national assessments are NOT online.

On a side note, many students think it is ridiculous that they have to purchase a Chromebook and attend the 30-40 minute session just to get their SCHEDULE, which should be mailed to the students, like it has always been.

Along with other students, I sign this petition to remove the requirement of each student having to purchase a Chromebook for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. A second student states that "I do not want to get one [Chromebook] unless I am in class and the teacher states that we NEED it." Instead of requiring each student to purchase a Chromebook, we should stick to the current policy with a few additions. If a student wishes to purchase a Chromebook, they should be allowed to do so. However, if they do not wish to, then we should continue the use of classroom laptop carts. If the teacher or instructor asks the students to get out their laptop or Chromebook, the students can borrow a Chromebook from the cart, and return it at the end of the lesson. 

I hope that the Nazareth Area School District takes the time to understand the issues with the Chromebook situation, and removes the requirement as well. 



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