BBCHS Steps into the Future with Chromebooks

Kaelyn Anderson, Staff Writer

On February 13, BBCHS administration had proposed to the school board to begin looking into each student having their very own Chromebooks to take home and keep for their years here at the school. This could be a big expense for the school. We were able to meet with two people who have been dealing with chromebooks for a couple years now: Matthew Anderson, eighth grade student at Bourbonnais Upper Grade Center, and head of the Technology Department here at BBCHS, Mrs. Jody Goering.

Matthew Anderson has been using the Chromebooks since he was in the sixth grade and now he will be able to continue using them throughout his high school career as well. When Anderson was asked how he felt about the Chromebooks, he said, “Yes, I like the Chromebooks because I can keep everything organized and keep my due dates up to date.” Anderson feels as though the Chromebooks keep him in the loop with all of his classes and assignments. When asked what the students could do on the Chromebooks, he said, “You can do a lot of things on the Chromebooks. We are able to make documents that teachers send out, assignments, like PARCC, or just unit assessments.” According to Anderson’s chromebook, there are educational apps on there that help them with the tasks they are given in class.

With the administration and school board on board with the idea, I was able to meet up with the most important group of people in our school, the Technology Department to talk about what it would be like for them to have this proposal approved. Jody Goering was the woman from the Technology Department to make the proposal to the school board on February 13, 2017. During her proposal, she said, “Well, over five years ago we had netbooks in this school, they were not used very well and they were in carts. When they were out of use a couple of years ago, we purchased 1,300 Chromebooks. The 1,300 Chromebooks have been dispersed into carts throughout the school, however, as we’ve seen the curriculum change and the classrooms expand some classrooms don’t have chromebooks to use.” Goering has expressed how stressful the netbooks used to be and how the Chromebooks are much better to use in class because they are faster and more efficient.

Lack of time is a major problem with the Chromebooks, to which she said, “You also spend much of your time taking Chromebooks out of carts and putting Chromebooks back into carts. So therefore what we came up with was a way for you to collaborate better and for you to use the tools were given to you in the classroom by giving you a 1:1. Carry the Chromebooks and take them home with them and have use for them at home. Everyone would be assigned one at the beginning of the year and check it in at the end of the year.” The Chromebooks will be a much better fit for our more advanced technological students in the years to come here at BBCHS.

While I met with Goering, she was able to say how much we have spent on these new additions to the Technology Department, she stated, “As you can see there are over 750 chromebooks that we’ve purchased this to add to the already 1,300 that we currently have. Over the past four years, the school has spent over $400,000 to upgrade the back end of the system: your wirefy, the internet, and all of things in the background that nobody knows. This current batch of chromebooks was $153,000 in order to bring into play.”  This is a huge expense for us, but they will help us to become more “tech savvy” and possibly make the students more interested in learning if they have their own computers to assist them.