Laptops/Netbooks in Class: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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As you probably all know, students in grades 9 through 12 have all received a school laptop or netbook to be used for academic purposes throughout the school year. This marks the first time that freshmen were included in the 1:1 Initiative since laptops were first issued to the sophomore class in the fall of 2011. While the whole idea of technology in the classroom is innovative, there are pros and cons to everything.

The positives about laptops being readily available in class is that you do not have to waste money on paper notebooks, and note-taking is faster and more fluid. Also, Microsoft Office allows you to create presentations, spreadsheets and professional looking reports that include graphs, tables and images. These features are a help to all students. Using laptops also helps conserve paper because teachers do not have to print out handouts for each student, they can simply create one document and email it to the entire class. Many teachers are also taking advantage of websites and online teaching tools in their classroom.

While all of that is great, there are some downfalls. The biggest problem with the laptops and netbooks is that batteries do not last very long and you may often find yourself charging it at some point throughout the day. Some students even complain that the laptops and netbooks crash while they are in the middle of doing schoolwork. Also, laptops are a great resource but you may not know how to use the technology, which includes taking care of basic things like updates and security. The last major complaint is the look of the laptops. They are big, bulky, heavy, and dull, but in my opinion, the laptop’s sole purpose is for schoolwork so the aesthetics are not really a priority.

Whether or not you like the laptops or netbooks in school, I think the idea is great and it has worked conveniently for classwork and homework. The future looks bright for DAHS students as these laptops and netbooks are here to stay!