District should continue providing Chromebooks

Technology access is vital for success


Danny Shope

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on every aspect of our lives, including working, shopping and having fun. Education has also changed immensely — with students going to school from home, the district has been forced to explore ways to make sure all students have access to technology. Many students do not have a computer or stable internet connection, which are vital for success in distance learning. In response to this problem, the school has issued Chromebooks to students who need them.

These technology issues have come into focus during the past year, but they have actually always existed. Not having access to a computer is a huge handicap. Imagine having to walk to a library every time you wanted to get a few minutes of work done — how much time would that take out of your life? Would it be possible to perform as well as you do now? It’s no surprise that students without access to technology get lower scores on standardized tests. But this is only one measure of achievement. Outside of school, it’s likely that technology access impacts work, communication and leisure too. 

In terms of the pandemic, many of us are now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel — we are returning to school, seeing our friends and attending small events. However, for those without stable access to technology, the future may not look so bright. As in-person schooling reopens, many may worry that the district will focus less on technology resources.

However, the school has demonstrated throughout the pandemic that they have the power to supply students with the right technology resources. Why stop now? Computer and internet access have always contributed to an opportunity gap, where some students have more chances to succeed than others. 

After this pandemic has run its course, technology will be even more crucial for academic success, as it’s likely that some aspects of online learning will remain. Next year, the district should continue to have Chromebooks available for all students at the middle school and high school. This relatively small investment would play a tremendous role in bringing opportunities to more students. Providing students with technology resources such as Chromebooks would especially benefit low-income students and students of color

There are a lot of obstacles standing in the way of some students’ success, and the school district should address as many of these problems as fast as possible. Continuing to ensure basic technology access for all students is one basic step which would improve education for many.