Laptop redistribution causes more problems than anticipated

Laptop redistribution launch fraught with unresolved issues


Emily Kruse

Junior Chris Kogan gets help from Rachel Smith and Steve Wilson, who work tediously through stacks of laptops to get them all checked out and running as soon as possible. Wilson said it took a lot of work and lacked some organization but is confident that next year the process will run smoothly.

By Macy Landes, Editor-in-Chief

Entering its second year, the one-to-one program gives students access to a MacBook to aid with schoolwork.

Although redistribution of MacBooks went smoothly — a vast majority of students had MacBooks in their hands on Aug. 16 — many students experienced problems logging in and using the internet weeks into the start of the school year.

“So there were some different things that happened over the summer,” technical support CJ Roush said. “Students with zeros had the zero cut off at the beginning of their number, new students are still syncing with our new system…trying to navigate a new system with new issues that you’re seeing for the first time. It just takes time to get through all that.”

Senior Aurelia Balcazar experienced all these issues at once and was frustrated by how many of her classes already required her to use her laptop in the first week of school.

“In my debate class it’s completely computer-oriented, like I can’t do any debate unless I have my computer,” she said. “It just won’t work. So I think it’s just a class-by-class basis.”

Once her laptop was fixed, though, it was a pleasant experience.

“There was a lot of waiting, but CJ was really awesome,” Balcazar said. “He let me just like sit there, and I just read a book while he did it. He was really cool. He just fixed it as best as he could and then he was really fine when I came back and it wasn’t working.”

From an administrative perspective, the redistribution was much more tedious than when one-to-one was first rolled out in 2017.

“Last year people could go through, and they could check out any laptop because they were all brand new, no one had owned a laptop before, which made the process actually go pretty quickly,” assistant principal Mike Norris said. “This year was a little different because everybody was supposed to get their original laptop back, and the exception to that is the freshmen of course.”

In the long run, the experience should be rewarding.

“I’m hoping it [the new management system] is better once everything settles down,” Roush said. “I know there are a lot more features, and we get more support through this company rather than what we were dealing with before, so I’m hoping it just works out better. But with new things there’s always going to be issues or problems as well.”

Besides, Norris says, teachers should take the first few days of school to get to know their students anyway.

“It’s good that everybody’s embraced it, and it’s changing the way they teach,” he said. “But I would challenge teachers to spend those first two days of school building relationships with your kids rather than already assigning Google Classroom.”