All BCCHS Freshmen Receive Chromebooks


Hadaasa Nae

Freshmen students seen using their Chromebooks during their free time.

Sofia Lemus and Hadaasa Nae

As we get older, technology is slowly becoming more relevant in our lives. Decades ago, the classroom was one of the few places where students did not have access to their phones or other forms of technology. Starting this year, Birmingham Community Charter High School is encouraging our freshmen to use technology by providing Chromebooks to every single freshman. Technology is becoming a crucial part of our learning environment. This raises the question, is technology in the classroom beneficial? Freshmen agree that Chromebooks fall both into the pro and the con categories.

The freshmen at Birmingham definitely appreciate the Chromebooks and their many benefits. For instance, the Chromebooks are very compact, which is a better alternative to using books and paper, and is convenient to carry around. After talking to freshman Elizabeth Frisch, she said, “My Chromebook provides more options and they are lighter than textbooks.” This proves that it can be very effective to replace the heavy and thick textbooks that we know and have used.

This writer was curious if the Chromebooks brought students more stress, so I decided to ask freshman Tarkan Kafar. He responded, “No, because bringing my Chromebook is a simple process.” Being responsible for a Chromebook for four years could seem very stressful, but students like Frisch view it differently. He explained, “I think it’s really convenient and it’s really nice that the school can provide them [Chromebooks] for us and let us use them for four years.”

Birmingham decided to allow freshmen to bring home their Chromebooks and that is a huge advantage. In this day and age, having a laptop to do school work in is an accessibility that not many people encounter in most schools. Many students cannot afford to buy a separate laptop and the school is providing one for free. It seems that Chromebooks really are making high school easier for our freshmen.

However, they expressed that there are certain aspects about the Chromebooks with which they disagree. Kafar said he worries losing the device, but his biggest problem is the punishment when Chromebooks are left at home. They get after-school detention. He stated, “It is absolutely not a fair punishment,” and he does not like having the responsibility of having to charge it. He revealed, “The Chromebook gives me one more responsibility on top of everything else I have to do for my classes.”

Ms. Julie Zeller is one of the assistant principals here at Birmingham. She is also the Administrator for the freshman class, and she helped coordinate for the class to get the Chromebooks. Ms. Zeller stated that the reasoning for the freshmen getting the Chromebooks is that,¬†“we knew we wanted to move towards all students having Chromebooks because it’s important for college, and how business is conducted in the work place, but we were not prepared to do all 3,200 students at one time.” Another reason for the program is that it grants freshmen with more responsibility. Making the ninth-graders accountable and more reliable serves as a learning tool for their transition to adulthood. This allows them to grow and mature as freshmen.

It was also easier for the administration, which conducted freshman orientation, to get the signatures of the parents for the paperwork. This new arrangement might potentially influence how assessments are assembled. Zeller explained, “It would possibly change how we would be testing, and I don’t mean SBAC, but how we would be testing in the classrooms.” The upperclassmen, however, might have to wait a little longer or not have to wait at all. As Zeller revealed, “Every freshman class from here on in, will be receiving Chromebooks.” She adds there’s a possibility that next year all students get Chromebooks. ¬†Although, it is reasonable that only underclassmen get Chromebooks. Almost 3,300 students is a really big number to think about it.

The Chromebooks appear to have many pros and cons. Overall, they are making the freshmen’s lives easier. As long as our freshmen are responsible with their Chromebooks, it will not be a nuisance. Chromebooks are giving more opportunities to underprivileged freshmen as they are lighter, more compact, and prevent wasting materials. The fact that Birmingham is providing them free of charge shows how much our administration cares about our students’ education and for the resources they require.