2017-11-22 / Editorial

Technology, accountability clash in class


Editor’s note: Eva Junge is a seventh-grade student at Lawn School. About once a month, she will offer her take on some aspect of or program at the school.

As technology continues to make its way into daily life, schools are trying to keep up.

School tests are on Chromebooks — laptops loaned to every student from third through seventh grade at Jamestown schools — which allow students to easily access the Internet in class.

Almost every essay is typed on Chromebooks, and most daily assignments are done on them. While this provides students the ability to access information quickly and easily — and makes editing rough drafts easier — this technology also comes with drawbacks that rarely are acknowledged.

Online tests make cheating much easier, and the Internet allows some students to communicate during silent tests without being noticed by teachers.

Chromebooks give students the idea. they can do whatever they want to do and nobody will know. They just have to close the tab and it goes away. It makes students feel secluded, like they are in a private space and nobody is watching them as they start typing into the search bar.

That has to change. Online quizzes taken on websites make it easy for students to, behind the teacher’s back, simply look up the answer. The students don’t actually learn the information, and this gives them the idea they don’t have to know the information to get a good grade.

With so many students using their Chromebooks at the same time, the school would have no reason to look into that one person’s search history. While students seem to be working, many will also be talking to friends on a separate document without their teacher noticing. This negatively affects their work, and it is difficult for teachers to check without looking at each and every person’s screen at the same time, checking to make sure they are working all the time.

So what’s the answer? Taking away Chromebooks only would upset the students and not prepare them for a future that will be filled with technology.

However, if, during tests and essays, students had to sit with their screen facing the teacher, it would make them feel less secluded and understand they likely could be caught. Also, if the students understand the depth to which thinking they can cheat or not do their work will impact them in the future, classes would be much more productive.

While this may not be a clear solution, it would make kids more aware of what they do online, and how, yes, it can be a big deal.

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