Two years ago, the Westminster School District introduced Chromebooks to all the schools in the district. At the beginning of each school year, everyone middle school student is given one that they will use for the time they are there. But are these more of distractions than a tool?
Emmy Tran, a sixth grader here at Stacey says, “I like the Chromebooks. I don’t really think they are a distraction either because the office can monitor what sites you go on.”
However, the technology that the office and teachers had to monitor Chromebook use was not always there.
Before, Chromebooks teachers had limited ability to monitor what sites students were visiting. The administration had a program called Go Guardian which alerted the principal and vice principal if a student went on a restricted or blacklisted site, but teachers did not have access to this in the classroom.
Also, in the beginning of the last year (2015-2016), students had free range to have a ‘theme’ for their Google page or screensaver, but some students were abusing that power, so the district authority had that taken away.
Now, the technology that the teachers use to monitor the screens of students helps make sure all the students are on task. Teachers, in real time, can make sure students are on the assigned site, as well as, assure that no students are cheating during a test with the program called Hapara.
Ms. Sale finds this program very helpful, it allows her to “keep the kids in check,” she says. The way this program works is teachers can see every student’s screen from and app on their computer. Most teachers agree that the new technology Stacey has makes it easier to assure that kids are on task. The wifi on Stacey’s campus is also secure, meaning it keeps kids from looking up inappropriate things.
In other words, students need to understand, the Chromebook is exclusively for school!