The New Technology at the Wheatley School

When walking into this new school year, most students noticed one significant change. No, I’m not talking about the green floors in the 200’s hallway but rather the multiple charging stations that are placed throughout the school. During the summer, the school was renovated to include a charging station in the IMC, the student lounge in the lobby, and the cafeteria. In addition to these charging stations, the school has introduced Chromebooks for multiple grades. The school has implemented technology into our academic lives, in an attempt to make our lives more comfortable as well as to elevate our education.

Over the summer, charging stations were installed throughout the school. According to Dr. Feeney, these charging stations cost $1250 each; the IMC charging table costs $1400. After interviewing students from various grades, there were mixed opinions on the implementation of this new technology. For the most part, the responses were neutral on the implementation. Nevertheless, one junior’s response stood out. He stated that he sees the charging stations as quite useless. His main argument is “a new school policy which mandates collecting phones during class.” This is a valid point, as the usage of our phone is less, therefore we need the charging stations less. In addition, there is no way to leave the phone charging safely except for the ones in the IMC and lounge. These two reasons are the main counterarguments to the implementation of charging stations. On the other hand, some students like the aesthetics of the charging station as they add another element of design in our school. Furthermore, other students like the addition of the charging stations because they can come in handy in situations where a student needs to stay after school for several hours. Most students stated that they wish for the money that we spend on technology to be spent elsewhere such as ways to make our school lives more comfortable. This includes adding air conditions to rooms that don’t have them as well as providing students with bigger desks during testing. Overall, students actually have yet to use charging stations unless they are staying for long hours.

The other technological change our school has been implemented are Chromebooks.The district invests $315 per Chromebook for grades 4-11, and assuming that there are on average 135 students per grade, that totals a whopping $340,200 spent on Chromebooks. This includes a four-year warranty which allows for unlimited repairs should a student break their Chromebook. Chromebooks have evolved the education of students, easing the pathway for doing research. It also provides students with a free laptop to work with at home. While some students are embracing the new charging stations and the Chromebook initiative, others see better alternative ways of spending the district money.

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