Chromebooks Or Macs; District Faces Dillema

Olivia Harms, Staff Writer/ Editor

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The Centennial School District is planning a few new changes in the next few years. One in particular concerns everyone: technology.

One change in the foreseeable future is changing the testing lab computes from the old and slow Microsoft computers to Chromebooks. These changes will be made this summer.
According to Frank Decker, who runs the IT Department for the district, “The changes to the labs in 194 and 176 will happen this summer. The impact to the school is that state testing will occur on Chromebooks instead of desktop computers.”

Additionally, the three-year plan is based around teachers and their MacBooks. Decker said, “The recommendation this year from the Teacher Computer Replacement Committee was to have teachers keep their district issued MacBook Pro’s for three more school years before replacing them with a cloud-based device (Chromebook).”

While this doesn’t seem to influence the students, it has many teachers concerned.

“I personally am fine with it, but our staff is not fine with it because the majority of our curriculum is based on Microsoft programs: Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. That requesting, to change into Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides which we don’t have. We will have to get paid for changing then but the District won’t want to do that,” said Ben Petersen.

FBLA Advisor and technology teacher Adriann Hardin said, “I do think that progress with technology is important, with students and professionals. I am also aware there are budgeting issues with education, with that being said, every teacher in this school is a professional and they should be able to do their jobs efficiently. Although this is a cost saving measure, it is taking about three steps back in technology. Chromebooks do not do the same this as Microsoft programs. Teachers should be treated as professionals.”

“I get it, but a happy staff makes happy students. If the staff feels disrespected and grumpy it will trickle down to the students,” Petersen commented. “In my ideal world, staff would be asked what they need to teach their curriculum, but then the IT guys would have to deal with a bunch of different platforms,” he said.

Decker said, “The funds saved from not replacing those teacher computers this summer are being used to purchase more student devices (Chromebooks) that will be deployed around the district this summer.”

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