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The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

Should students be allowed to use Macbooks in school?

Sophomore+Ryan+Shin+uses+his+MacBook+to+work+on+an+assignment+in+his+Honors+Spanish+4+class.+Shin+is+a+hard+working+student+and+strives+to+excel+in+all+his+classes.+I+like+my+Spanish+class+because+I+have+a+lot+of+friends+in+it+and+I+like+using+my+MacBook+because+I+feel+more+comfortable+using+it+since+I+use+it+at+home+too%2C+Shin+said.+
Photo by Helen Manolis
Sophomore Ryan Shin uses his MacBook to work on an assignment in his Honors Spanish 4 class. Shin is a hard working student and strives to excel in all his classes. “I like my Spanish class because I have a lot of friends in it and I like using my MacBook because I feel more comfortable using it since I use it at home too,” Shin said.

A sophomore is ready to take his Spanish test. He studied all night on his MacBook and was planning on using that computer to take his test. He just can’t seem to remember one of the vocab words he was told to use so he decided to type it on a document so that he can remember it later. This wouldn’t be a problem if he used his MacBook to take the test because his teacher isn’t going to be able to see his screen with GoGuardian. However, right before he took his test, his teacher made him get a Chromebook from the media center so she could see his screen. Now the student regrets not spending more time studying because he no longer can use the cheat sheet he made himself on his MacBook.

Students are allowed to bring MacBooks and all other personal computers to school, but is this really fair to other students? The question is whether or not home computers, like MacBooks, should be considered a prohibited device.

One thing about MacBooks or other computers that aren’t Chromebooks is that you can’t be monitored from GoGuardian. Teachers who use GoGuardian can’t see the screens of students who don’t use their school-issued Chromebooks, which allows those who don’t use their Chromebooks to do whatever they want without their teachers knowing about it. It’s unfair for those who use their school-issued Chromebooks and have everything they do on them under their teacher’s observation. However, if a student is using their school account on their MacBook, a teacher can still see their screen. Therefore, it depends on what account the student is using when it comes to teachers seeing their screen.

The students who argue that it is their right to bring and use whatever computers they want need to take a look at the fact that their cell phones are not supposed to be permitted in school. While they are allowed to bring their phones to school, depending on the class and teacher, they aren’t allowed to use them during class time. Teachers have the power to take away students’ phones if they believe it is disrupting their class and since there are computers like MacBooks that have features that can connect the owner’s phone to the computer itself, the MacBooks have everything someone’s phone has.

With the way technology has advanced, cheating is much easier with MacBooks than with school computers. If you’re taking a test on a Chromebook, teachers can see everything you do, while with MacBooks, since your teacher can’t see what you are doing, students are free to search for answers or even text their classmates for help. Although this is a big concern, teachers have found solutions to this problem like making sure their students bring their Chromebooks to school on test days. While that seems like an adequate solution, there are teachers that don’t always enforce rules like this, leaving students with an easy chance to cheat.

Another concern when it comes to students having the option to bring their own computers to school even though the county provides them with free Chromebooks for their time in middle and high school, is the worry that it is a waste of money for the county. All the students who don’t use the Chromebooks they are given from MCPS are making the county spend money on something they aren’t even going to use. The money for handing out Chromebooks someone isn’t going to use should be put to more important uses..

Because of their personal rights, students technically have the right to bring whatever computers they want with them to school, but whether or not it is fair if they do is still a point of discussion. Students argue that they don’t see anything wrong with bringing their MacBooks to school and do it because they are more comfortable working on their own computers. Yet still the controversy on whether they should not be allowed still lives on. Since there are still people who are arguing on this matter, it is in the hands of schools, counties, and the students themselves to decide what to do with the rising concerns.

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About the Contributor
Helen Manolis, staff writer
Sophomore Helen Manolis is a staff writer in her first year on the Common Sense staff. During her free time, she likes to play sports and hang out with her friends and family. You can also find her on Instagram @helenmanolis_
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