Students receive one-to-once devices

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Students receive one-to-once devices

Students fire up their new devices for the first time outside the library on Sept. 23, 2019.

Students fire up their new devices for the first time outside the library on Sept. 23, 2019.

Emily Shadel

Students fire up their new devices for the first time outside the library on Sept. 23, 2019.

Emily Shadel

Emily Shadel

Students fire up their new devices for the first time outside the library on Sept. 23, 2019.

Sam Husemann, Staff Reporter

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With the release of the one-to-one devices on Sept. 23, both students and teachers are adjusting to the new technology.

“The challenges have been learning how to use the new technology and how to adapt my assignments to be conducive to a paperless classroom,” said social studies teacher Jenny Holloway. “It just takes time.”

However, there are student concerns about being monitored while using the devices.

“We can monitor web activity and apps usage,” said Janice Wintermyer, who helped lead the setup and execution of the one-to-one device program. “Please remember that there is no expectation of privacy on District networks and devices. Also, the district does not have any access to the camera or microphone.” 

The devices have also come under fire for the restrictions placed on them. 

“I like the devices but I wish they had less restrictions and more freedom,” said freshman Jeremiah Boivin. 

“All laptops will have the same restrictions that Chromebooks and computer lab PCs have. They will also [run] through our web filter at home,” Wintermyer said. “If students have issues accessing instructional sites and materials, they can let a teacher know and they can request it to be opened.”

Students do, however, have a certain level of freedom on the devices, especially regarding décor and stickers on the computers.

“You cannot decorate the laptop directly,” Wintermyer said. “We are recommending students put contact paper or removable vinyl over the device first and then they can cover it with stickers.” 

Other students are happy about the equity that the devices provide. 

“I think that people are being too hard on the devices,” said Boris Uittenbogaard. “They’re good quality for the budget and get the job done.”

The computers will be replaced and updated from time to time. 

“The laptops are on a four-year replacement cycle. Students that are at MSHS now will not get a replacement, but middle school students will after four years,” said Wintermyer. 

The fate of the computers after those four years is currently unknown, as well as if they can be purchased upon a student’s graduation. 

“We do not have an answer to whether or not a graduate will have the option to purchase the device yet,” Wintermyer said,  “we will release information when a decision is made.”

Luckily, the initiative is not paid for by draining other parts of the district budget.

“The SVSD One-to-One is fully funded from the 2019-2020 Technology Levy that voters approved in 2018,” said Wintermyer. 

Wintermyer also said that the devices’ platform was chosen based on teacher suggestions. 

“Based on their feedback, we found that the Microsoft platform provided more flexibility for student learning, however, teachers and students can still use both Google and Microsoft,” Wintermyer said. 

Most information about the devices can be found from the Student and Parent Handbook, which can be found at https://www.svsd410.org/Page/8182

All in all, despite the complaints and irritations with the computers, most prefer school now with the computers than before. 

“I think the one-to-ones are an asset to my classroom and I’m grateful we have them,” said Holloway.