Journalism Tests Out New Chromebooks

Attributions: 
Trevor Hollister, SJHS Staff Writer
The journalism class using Chromebooks. Left to right: Marin Rosenberg, Austen Moon, Shane Larson, Alexis Pool, Trevor Hollister, Amelia Killpack, Erin Caswell, Clarissa Scott, Emma Whipple, and Megan Skinner. Not pictured: Paige Cook and Laura Uribe.

In June of 2011 Google announced the Chromebook, a cheap, inexpensive laptop, designed for daily use in products like Google Drive.  In order to see whether or not this new technology could be helpful in our school, the journalism class is testing out a small Chromebook lab this semester.  Like Microsoft Office, Google Drive allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, but it all works online. This allows you to access your documents from any computer at anytime. Google Drive is just one example of the things the Chromebook does. 

The school purchased 14 Chromebooks that the journalism class is testing out this semester. Mr. Van Ausdal, principal at SJHS, said, “There was definitely many reasons why journalism got them. One reason is that we wanted to pilot the machines and see how well they would work in a classroom environment. Another reason is because we wanted to help out our journalism students be more productive.”

An exciting thing is the possibility of Chromebooks being fully implemented into education. Right now, the journalism class is piloting the Chromebooks to see if we could possibly use them throughout the school.  Ms. Miley, the journalism teacher, said, “Chromebooks are a cost-effective way to get more technology into the hands of more students.  They don't do everything a typical laptop does, but any online activity could easily be done on a Chromebook rather than a standard computer.  So far things are working well, but we'll have to wait and see.”

Feedback from the journalism students has been positive. Shane Larson, a journalism student at SJHS said, “I’m going to be able to write a lot more now.”  Marin Rosenberg, another journalism student, also likes the new computers.  She said, “The chromebooks are light, fast, and easy to set up. Instead of having to log in as we usually do, I just have to type in my email address and password. Also, the chromebooks are much cheaper than regular laptops.”

Rather than a typical computer that runs a full Operating System (or OS), the Google OS works completely through the internet. The Chromebook allows you to surf the web, check your email and calendars, download android apps via Google Play, and of course make documents within Google Drive. Reese Brunson, Nebo School District Coordinator of Technical Services, said, “They boot up within 10 seconds, the battery life is over six hours, they have a keyboard for word processing (unlike an IPad), and are small and easy to manage.  They also have free storage space in the ‘Google Cloud.’ The operating system is constantly updated unlike Windows or Mac machines.”

The Chromebook only cost between 200 and 300 dollars. What Google basically does is send the OS to many companies like Samsung, Acer, HP, and others, and those companies make their own “version”’ of a Chromebook. Mr. Brunson said, “The Chromebooks were recommended for journalism class because they are great devices for the classroom, especially English and journalism.”  If you’d like to know more about the Chromebooks, head to this link: www.google.com/chromebook