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Eight years into the OPS one-to-one initiative, the lack of reliability amongst student MacBook Airs is negatively affecting the educational experience. School officials should re-evaluate the program and look to make changes.
There are a multitude of issues concerning the laptops including the random assignment of laptops to students, the excessive number of websites blocked, and the sporadic shutdowns. The random assignment of laptops to students is unfair to the students that take care of their laptops due to the fact that there is a high probability that they will receive a broken or mistreated laptop the following year. There is a surplus of programs that block websites that do not need to be filtered, thus creating an overwhelming amount of work for our laptops, leading to an avoidable shutdown. These shutdowns have been known to occur in the midst of cramming, writing extensive essays, and disrupt learning.
Despite the obvious problems with the laptops, the process of the correction would be far too costly for what they’re worth. First of all, for time and organizational purposes, it is easier for the school to randomly distribute laptops and chargers. However, if a student felt that their laptop was their own personal property, they would be more likely to keep laptops in good shape, thus, decreasing year-to-year deterioration. Secondly, having a program to deter students from accessing inappropriate media helps keep students focused. Although this is true, the programs used to block inappropriate media is excessive and causes the computers’ software to slow down and malfunction, making them less effective. Also, the excessive blocking of websites and programs restricts the research capabilities of the laptops.
Laptops are essentially the textbooks of today. In generations past, a worn out textbook would have been replaced. Technology should be treated the same way.