Loaner Chromebooks: Decentivizing student learning

Senior+Michael+Atlas+struggles+with+a+loaner+Chromebook+in+his+AP+English+Literature+class.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Loaner Chromebooks: Decentivizing student learning

Senior Michael Atlas struggles with a loaner Chromebook in his AP English Literature class.

Senior Michael Atlas struggles with a loaner Chromebook in his AP English Literature class.

by Alex Cole

Senior Michael Atlas struggles with a loaner Chromebook in his AP English Literature class.

by Alex Cole

by Alex Cole

Senior Michael Atlas struggles with a loaner Chromebook in his AP English Literature class.

Alex Cole and Michael Shokoff

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






As many students are on year number four of using their school-provided Chromebooks, the devices are starting to encounter more and more problems. Whether it is dead batteries, broken screens, malfunctioning touchpads, or other problems, students are forced to turn in their Chromebooks for repair. When this happens, a student is given the notorious loaner: an older Chromebook meant to suffice as the other is being repaired. The biggest problem is that in our experiences, we’d be better off with our broken Chromebooks than the “functioning” loaners.

The loaners are extremely slow. They are unable to manage more than a couple tabs at a time and often have broken keys and touchpads. They make opening a simple document on Google Drive a hassle.

One student, who wished to remain anonymous, is particularly frustrated with the system. He, whose Chromebook is in dire need of repair, opts to deal with the frustration. He will not bring his computer in for repair, because he does not want the slow moving replacement.

One key feature that is compromised with the loaner Chromebooks is Google Hangouts. Hangouts, a key resource used for collaboration and studying with peers, is essential to the success of group work. However, the loaners are practically incompatible with Google Hangouts. They log out, become extremely slow, and are frankly glitchy. And if by some miracle the hangouts loads properly, there’s just about zero chance a student can use other tabs in conjunction. The loaner causes more decentivization than productivity.

We’ve both dealt with loaners numerous times during our four years at HHS. When there’s research to be done, essays to write, or problem sets to work on, the frustration that comes with a loaner discourages us from putting all the time necessary to achieve optimal academic success.  

To make the matter even worse, the turnaround time for the Chromebooks is rather slow. It often takes weeks and even months for a student to receive a fixed Chromebook, leaving the student forced to battle a loaner for an extended period of time.

We believe the school is taking the necessary actions in providing students with new Chromebooks next school year. Hopefully, however, there is a new plan in place for when a computer breaks, because the current loaner system is problematic. We’d like to see the school invest in loaner computers that are just as productive as the regular ones, because a piece of technology should never stand in the way of a student efficiently and thoroughly completing his or her work.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email