Chromebooks Create New Education Opportunities

Senior+Anna+Walker+%28front%29+and+junior+Erin+Moriarty+%28back%29+use+the+Chromebooks+in+their+AP+Psychology+class+with+teacher+Christine+Zafonte.+They+used+the+laptops+to+finish+an+assignment.+--Mercy+Fosah

Senior Anna Walker (front) and junior Erin Moriarty (back) use the Chromebooks in their AP Psychology class with teacher Christine Zafonte. They used the laptops to finish an assignment. --Mercy Fosah

Senior Anna Walker (front) and junior Erin Moriarty (back) use the Chromebooks in their AP Psychology class with teacher Christine Zafonte. They used the laptops to finish an assignment. --Mercy Fosah
Senior Anna Walker (front) and junior Erin Moriarty (back) use the Chromebooks in their AP Psychology class with teacher Christine Zafonte. They used the laptops to finish an assignment. –Mercy Fosah

Three-hundred-eighty-four Chromebook laptops were delivered to RHS social studies classes Oct. 20. Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr announced July 15 that 40,000 laptops and tablets would be distributed to MCPS high schools.

Social studies resource teacher Rene Shuler said, “I was excited for my department when I found out we would receive them a�� our major classes have become focused on reading and analyzing documents. So it is important that there is an easy way for students to access these documents.”

Shuler believes that using this technology will allow students to become more active and engaged. They will be able to access more modern material that is beneficial to their learning. The apps on the Chromebooks also give students the opportunity to create cartoons or films. While this is available in computer labs, Chromebooks give students immediate access to computers, as the labs often cannot keep up with teacher demand.

Shuler said, “I think this will foster a lot more team collaboration and students will be able to be more creative on the fly.”

Some classes started using the laptops as soon as they arrived. Senior Cory Byrne said, “In psychology, we used the Chromebooks to read documents that we would not have had access to before. While it is a work in progress, I see it becoming more and more essential to learning in the future.”

While the Chromebooks offer numerous educational opportunities, teachers will have to make sure that the students use the laptops productively rather than for browsing Facebook and other social media.

Administrator Michelle Sobers said, “Like any other electronic device, it is about management and having respect for the quality of instruction. There are safeguards in place but if there is a will, there is a way.”

Social Studies teachers were allowed to take the laptops home to become acquainted with them. The county also sent a trainer to help teachers understand the multiple uses of the Chromebooks.

With the Bring Your Own Device policy being implemented at RHS, technology has become a bigger influence on the academic life of students. Students now have various methods of studying and learning, at either home or school.