This year all Carmel High students, including seniors, are required to use the Chromebooks provided by CHS and don’t have the option of bringing their personal laptops to school anymore.
Computer lab supervisor Tommy Pohlmann says the policy for students to bring their personal laptops to school is that, if, for any valid reason, a senior is unable to use a Chromebook, he can receive permission to bring his own laptop. Upon the student receiving permission, assistant principal Tom Parry must decide whether that reason is valid.
Technology assistant Erik Halbrend adds that seniors were never supposed to be allowed to bring their personal laptops to school, but since there were not enough Chromebooks for every student during the 2014-15 school year, an exception was made.
“The second students started using their own laptops,” English teacher Mike Palshaw says, “it became more challenging for me because so much of the curriculum was online that [students] opened documents in different ways, they used different browsers, they had different ways of saving material.”
Even when seniors had to take tests, most of the time Chromebooks were brought in, since the test would function best on them.
Social Studies teacher Bill Schrier has a positive opinion on Chromebooks, for the reason that the use of certain functions on Moodle, such as the Securexam Browser, become easier.
Many seniors don’t mind the Chromebooks. They find the small, lightweight computer in their backpack very practical; however, if students prefer to bring their own laptop, many believe they should be able to do so.
“I think that it’s nice that [the school] provides laptops for everyone,” senior Rachel Goren comments. “But I think that they should make the Wi-Fi public so that people who have their own laptops…they want to bring could.”
Pohlmann summarizes the overall positives of having Chromebooks as being the ease of using the Securexam Browser for tests and making cheating more difficult.
“The Chromebooks…work with everything,” Pohlmann concludes. “That’s the most important thing.”