Student Computers Need an Upgrade

Student Computers Need an Upgrade

Juliana Simon, Staff Writer

In Middletown, we are lucky: Our district provides each of us with a Chromebook. And while the computers come with certain restrictions, they are a big help to our educations. However, some students are finding that their district-provided computers are beginning to experience problems, including shutting down at any time, blacking out, and not turning on. (Disclosure: In the past two years, I have personally gone through four computers, two of which were brand new.) 

Students find these issues are impacting their schoolwork and stress levels. In December of 2020, my Chromebook stopped working during a virtual test without reason. I was kicked out of the Meet, my computer went black, and it would not turn back on once plugged in. Unfortunately, I got points taken off my test for not submitting or finishing, but I soon got a new computer–which broke a month later. Now there are constantly questions of worry running through my mind. Is it going to break during my quiz? Is it going to delete all of the work I just did? Students should not have this on their minds. 

And I’m not alone. Sophomore Sean Willi states, “The Chomebooks work, but not well. I have had experiences with my computer blacking out and shutting down for no reason multiple times.” 

Sophomore Daniela Molaro says she bought an Asus Chromebook in 2019 for at-home use. She reported that her computer worked perfectly for the first year until it got extremely slow and it froze every couple of minutes and the battery no longer worked. This compares to the South computer issues with Asus Chromebooks in particular. 

According to Middletown High School South’s technology specialist Jeremiah O’Grady, 15-20 students come up to the library each day with computer issues, and that number doesn’t include the people that don’t go directly to him. He said that the main issues tend to be with the computers’ power. O’Grady also said the computers can shut off because of a possible flaw in the computer design, and that to address the issue, he and his team fix them on an as-needed basis. “We take off the bottom of the computer, remove the keyboard, and replace what we need to, then put it back together,” he said.

When the district purchases new computers, typically for fifth- and ninth-grade students, it needs to take the most budget-aware bids from companies that sell computers. Spending the money on new and better computers (some districts give students iPads) might save more money than getting the Chromebooks we have fixed all the time. Trading the Chromebooks for computers of better quality is in our best interest. Hopefully, that be our reality.

*all opinions are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Eagle Eye