I have been attending L.V. Rogers for almost a year. In the time that I have been at the school, I have had numerous encounters with technology in which the computers did not meet my needs. When I heard about teachers needing to change the curriculum to work around the problems, I felt that it was time for the students to take initiative and approach the school board. I asked students to write letters and a group of fellow students and I created a petition which we brought around to classrooms for students to sign. I also plan to approach our mayor, MLA, and the premier to highlight these issues.
Computers are a necessity for the classroom due to the importance of technology in the learning environment and our modern world. The unfortunate reality about the computers at L.V. Rogers is that they often do not work, the Internet is too slow to serve the purposes of the teachers and the students, and there are not enough computers for each class. Below are some very specific examples of these issues:
1) I am currently in a Planning 10 and a Social Studies 11 class, which are both highly dependent on the use of computers. Every day computers are required for research, typing, and to use other programs. In my Planning classroom there are 11 computers, only one of which works. This leaves each student with four minutes of computer time; five minutes of which are lost logging on to the slow school server. Because there are no computer labs, many teachers are forced to alter the course outline to work around the lack of functioning computers.
2) Several weeks ago, after spending hours working on a five-page document, it was deleted from my thumb drive on the school computer because of how the software on the computers is configured. The following weekend, I spent those hours retyping the document I lost. I am not the only student that has had this experience.
3) Teachers are unable to display websites, videos, and other learning materials from the web because of how slow the wireless Internet is. The Internet also does not support students doing research on their own devices. Since wireless Internet and computers work hand-in-hand, the Wi-Fi inefficiency limits many web-related activities in the classroom.
I want to make it clear that I’m not upset with the school district, but rather with the computer situation at my school. I understand it is difficult to come up with a budget that attempts to solve all problems when funds are limited. While I say this, I still think that technology at L.V. Rogers should be a priority.
After having talked to a few of the students and teachers, I would suggest that an appropriate plan of action would be firstly to approach the wireless internet issue; secondly to create a more reliable, easier to log onto school computer network; and thirdly to approach the issues of slow computers in the library computer lab.
One suggestion that my Planning 10 class and I came up with to solve the computer problem is to buy Chrome Books. Instead of costing $1,500, Chrome Books can cost as little as $200. The great thing about these laptops is that they are set up so that only few programs can be downloaded onto them, such as Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word. If there is a problem with the Chrome Book, the simplicity of its running software allows one to reset it in about 15 minutes.
I would also like to offer to do a student and/or a parent school budgeting survey. We could take a list of key budgeting factors, and have people rate them in terms of importance. This survey would give you feedback on what all of the people involved with the school district think about how money is being spent, as well as how they think that money should be spent in the future.
Simon Vincent Hradil-Kasseckert is a Grade 11 student at L.V. Rogers.