Chromebook update


Natalia Berti

Students regularly use the Chromebooks in class and at home to complete online assignments and activities.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, an update was made to student-assigned Chromebooks, causing them to entirely shut down every time they closed. This update was undone on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

The change was first initiated for a couple of reasons. Students faced problems syncing their school accounts with Microsoft’s OneNote. Forcing the computers to shut down was intended to re-initiate a connection with the service to help sync the two. 

“It wasted my time when I was trying to be productive,” said Colin Griffin, freshman. 

The most recent update to Chromebooks did nothing but hurt the usability, according to students. 

The other reason this change was made was to prevent students from logging into their personal Gmail accounts on their Chromebooks. Many students at the school have used this as a means of downloading personal apps or games to their Chromebook. 

“I don’t like to tighten things up so much,” said Keith Bockwoldt, head of the technology department. “If students are having a break or [are] at lunch, they should be allowed to play games. If teachers are trying to teach and students are getting off task, that’s where the problem lies.”

This update was undone shortly after initiation, as it proved to be more harmful than helpful. Many of the problems the update was intended to combat were taken on by other means. The problems with OneNote were more a result of Microsoft’s own service than the Chromebook, and Google is currently working on a fix for students accessing their personal Gmail. 

“It’d be a large shift to allow students to access games on the network,” Bockwoldt said. “We [have] got to strike a balance between the usability for the teachers and the usability for the students.” 

With computers constantly shutting down, the rate of work that students could accomplish was slowed down, and unsaved data would often be erased as soon as a student closed their Chromebook. 

“It was terrible,” said Toch Enekamma, junior. “You have no idea how many things I had to redo because of the update.”

Since the update has been undone, the Chromebooks have gone back to their former state and likely won’t go back to this again.