Chromebook Conundrum Causes Classroom Chaos

The warm late summer morning of August 20th was met with the regretful groans of students as they rose for their first week back at school. Upon entering, each sleepy mess was issued their very own Chromebook. The first few days seemed to hold endless possibilities, as little-to-no firewalls were present. However, within a couple weeks, internet problems were apparent as firewalls sprung up galore. Students and teachers alike are still complaining about these issues, which begs to question: is this Chromebook investment was really worth it?

“[When we first received the Chromebooks,] I thought that they were not a good idea because we have no Wi-Fi here,” Jackson Owens, sophomore, said.

A mass survey was distributed on September 29th throughout the student body asking students to rate the Chromebooks on a scale of 1-5, and comment on the worst problem encountered with them. The two predominant issues began to spring up:  Restrictive firewalls and the nonexistent reliability of the Internet connection.




92 of the 200 students surveyed (46%) said that the main problem was the sheer amount of firewalls implemented upon the Chromebooks. Another 85 students (43%) said that connectivity issues swarmed their experience. The final 23 students (11%) commented that they had either no issues or had hoped for a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. The average rating for the Chromebooks between the 200 students was a 2.66/5.00.


“I want them to block less so we can have more apps available to do work,” Riley George, senior, said.


Students have had various problems encountering the firewalls, including accessing YouTube videos that teachers have assigned to watch, acquiring their transcript due to the firewall change, and opening links for information on homework assignments. Many have expressed their concerns of how this will affect their college applications and grades. Furthermore, upon switching from the original Smoothwall firewall to the newest IBoss firewall, twice as many sites became blocked. Some students, such as Chase Powers, junior, who took his school notes on an online notebook website, lost everything with the firewall change.


“I wrote down all of my notes for every class in an app,” Powers explained earlier, “One Monday, I tried to open the app, but it was blocked and all of my notes for this year were gone. I have midterms and tests coming up and I had no way to study for them.”


Of course, this is only one of the problems. Nearly each day at about 11:00, the internet crashes due to the sheer amount of people on the same bandwidth during seminar. As many teachers require students to post answers to questions or take tests online via sites such as Google Classroom, connections are not always successful, leading to a slower-paced learning as teachers wait for the unlucky few to finally connect to the internet. In addition, the sudden rise of students online in one general area on a single provider (Mokan) has garnered complaints from Louisburg residents that have experienced connectivity problems because Mokan cannot keep up with the rise.


“The internet is too slow,” Jake Hill, junior, said. “it lowers my capabilities and I can’t do adequate research. Our town can’t handle the spike.”


Noah Juarez, junior, agreed. “[The internet] is off and on too many times; it isn’t reliable.”


The intentions of the school to connect the student body with Chromebooks may have been good, but the result was chaos. With a 2.66 out of 5 average rating, most of the students would agree that they would rather use the old-fashioned yet reliable pencil/paper method. Louisburg has made a technological leap, but the inconvenience raised from this leap leads to unfavorable results that have seriously injured the reputation of a future technological basis in the the school.