Using Chromebooks in school is very unusual. Most schools just use paper and pencils, and maybe a few students bring in a computer. But our school, TREE Academy, is different. Every student has a Chromebook. Having a Chromebook is useful in many ways. Although, it can also be a bad thing. Having all the kids with their own Chromebooks makes everybody feel that they are the same with the other students, or not feeling bad because they can’t afford to buy one.
The Chromebooks are a replacement for paper, pencils, and other materials used for school. This is important because the average amount of paper used by an American is 31.5 million tons of printing paper, which means each person uses 660 pounds, which requires 535 million trees (most from virgin tree fiber) and 12 billion gallons of oil for its manufacturing. That is a lot of materials. Those materials also cost money, and since this is a new school we have a specific amount of money that we can use.
Chromebooks automatically save drafts of work, projects, homework, and much more. This means that students do not have to worry about losing their homework or forgetting to save their work. Since most students travel to different classes during the day, having a binder filled with heavy materials can make a student feel tired. At 2.5 pounds, the Chromebook is lightweight and so it’s easy to travel with, and charging only takes a few minutes, and with the battery then lasting up to 12 hours! All of this makes Chromebooks very convenient for a student.
There are some imperfect aspects of Chromebooks too. For example, students can watch videos and play games instead of working on the things they are required to be working on in school. However, monitoring the Chromebooks during class and in our Learning Lab seems to have cut down these distractions. Overall, Chromebooks are great. We just have to make sure we stay on task and use them for what they are intended for. That being learning.