The exact definition of a chromebook is a laptop running Chrome OS as its operating system. However, students at New Haven High School often just call them laptops.
Chromebooks for each student was a pretty big change for the school. Last year, there were two carts of chromebooks to be shared by the entire school; however, they were used mainly in the English classes.
“I think that it is a change, but I think it is helpful to have them.” explained Courtney Yowell
Almost all teachers at NHHS use the chromebooks in class and use different websites. Mrs. Hausmann voiced, “ I mainly use the chromebooks for the students to type their papers and share and edit each others’ papers.” Mrs. Oelrichs uses the chromebooks mainly for Socrative and sites like Physics Classroom. Both of those teachers also find the chromebooks helpful so that the students can use Study Island, a test prep website.
A parent, grandparent, or friend might wonder how the chromebooks benefit the student body. Mrs. Oelrichs expressed, “This way, if students have a question, we can research it right away. Plus, we no longer have to schedule time to use the computer lab.”
“ The students are more engaged since they are using technology. Also, we live in a very digital world, so they are gaining the skills they will need when they get into the real world.” Mrs. Hausmann explained..
These days, students use the one-to-one chromebooks to do homework as well. When polled, many students said that they use their chromebooks for homework two to four times a week. A few students use the chromebooks only once or twice a month, while some others use the devices five or more times a week.
The teachers also use many websites to enrich students’ learning in the classroom. Socrative is possibly the most-widely used website by the teachers. This website is called a formative assessment website, which means that the teachers can send the students a question that they have to answer on the spot, which allows teachers to check students’ understanding of a topic. With this website, instructors can send questions to students, and the teacher can make the question anonymous, or the teachers can make it required for the student to type in his or her name. Mrs, Hausmann explained, “ I mostly use it to use the anonymous response option.”
Another website that many educators like using is Kahoot! This is an interactive quiz website. Students enjoy Kahoot! because it is so interactive and they get to compete with one another. Liz Hughes stated, “ I like Kahoot because it is a fun way to learn the material,”
However, some students do not have internet at home, and for that reason, Mr. Hoener has instituted an after school study hall from directly after school until 3:45 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, so that students are able to have a place to work that also has internet. This gives the students a total of three hours a week to work after-school if they do not have access to the internet at home. There is an average of five students going to the after school study hall, with the highest attendance being about fifteen; however, most of those students are middle schoolers. Mr. Hoener thinks that as the number of online/computer-based assignments grows that the study hall attendance will grow as well. Lastly, Mr. Hoener expressed, “ I do hope that more people begin to take advantage of the study halls.”
Chromebooks were definitely a big change this year; they make a difference, not only for the students, but for the teachers as well.
-by Risa Allen