Students Should Not Be Restricted to Using Chromebooks

SHS freshmen are required to use Chromebooks while in school. The SPS administration instituted this policy because it increases safety, promotes academic equity, and prevents students from accessing distracting content online. Nevertheless, many freshmen believe this policy constitutes an invasion of privacy and personal responsibility. 

Restricting students by making them use Chromebooks limits their curiosity because they can not research certain websites. Some students even consider school-issued Chromebooks as digital spies watching their search history and online activity. While teachers and administrators may consider Chromebooks a good tool for student management, school policies should not limit information intake. Although the administration is responsible for protecting students and academic integrity, it is unsettling when students lose their freedom. 

SHS freshmen Millie Murphy, Katie Long, Stella Beaudry, and Riley Guterl consider Chromebooks annoying because they require students to log in every morning as they restart daily. In addition, Chromebooks are slow, don’t work, and represent a waste of time and money for the school district.

Chromebooks need an upgrade; rather than spending more money on Chromebooks, the administration should allow students to use their own devices. Beaudry commented, “I think it was a waste of money, and a lot of kids don’t follow the rules because their parents already spend a lot of money for them to have their own computer, and the school is trying to take that away from them.”  

According to SPS technology specialist Jacqui Frongello, the administration probably won’t switch this rule because mandating Chromebooks in school provides a sense of security for both students and teachers. Frongello added, “Once you’re in it, you’re in it,” assuring us that Chromebooks are here to stay at SHS.

Clearly, the administration is invested in the Chromebook policy, but what about investing in trust? Trusting students with their own devices enables a more welcoming environment and an engaging, positive academic experience. When students feel comfortable, they thrive and achieve in their academics. When students feel supported and trusted, they are more likely to enjoy learning and achieve a better academic outcome.  Many students hope that school-issued Chromebooks will become optional to promote academic freedom and personal responsibility.