By Jose Orozco
On Oct. 17, 18 and 20, Bonita Vista High School’s freshmen and sophomore students will receive the Lenovo Yoga e11 laptop, replacing the iPads from last year. The Sweetwater Union High School District decided to use laptops this year, due to their better hardware. In addition, they are compatible with most of the devices already installed within school.
“[They] must have a laptop student contract completed and signed by both student and parent/guardian in order to check out the laptop. Students who have not returned their iPad from the previous school year cannot checkout a laptop until the iPad is returned or paid for,” school Librarian Mary Anderson said.
The school district will deliver the devices configured and ready to use. It will encourage freshmen and sophomore teachers to utilize the technology for the benefit of the learning.
“I definitely agree that laptops are a better route to go, they have more usability, and they are going to be much easier to manage from the technician side,” Information Technology Support Technician David Elsheikh said.
According to the SUHSD, only sophomores and freshmen will receive laptops due to lack of funding, but in two years they expect every student to have a laptop.
“I know if I was a senior I would be annoyed by that, but it does make less sense to work backwards to give it to the seniors, juniors and so on.,” Elsheikh said.
The laptop distribution was postponed due to shipment and delivery delays. In addition, the SUHSD went through licensing considerations for select software, security and wireless configuration requirements and solving issues associated to the master image for the Lenovo.
“[Information Technology has] been addressing each and every issue to ensure the rollout of this initiative is ‘positive’,” Anderson said.
The school district looks forward for the new technology to improve the academic experience of students, since it will be much easier for students to submit assignments than before. According to SUHSD, some of the digital curriculum for freshmen and sophomores will be CPM math, World Geography, and Open Education Resources.
“I prefer the laptops because you can do more on them. You can write an essay [and] you can search the Web, [because] using a normal keyboard is a lot more helpful than typing at a screen, [as] typing in the iPads was awkward,” freshman Fernando Velasquez said.
The school district wants to implement a one-to-one technology plan for the next couple of years. It expects that all students will eventually have access to the Internet and digital materials.
“The money could be spent in another things like building or replacements, or like a stadium. But putting technology into kids hands is going to be the best [way] to improve grades, test scores, academics in general and the number of kids who are going to college. Actually holding a laptops in their hands will be probably the best investment,” Elsheikh said.