Chromebooks: Good or Bad?


Taylor Ducey, Staff Writer

Starting at the 2019-2020 school year, Ramsey High School stopped using Apple iPads and began to use Dell Chromebooks instead. Both offer similar and unique qualities, such as touch screens and keyboards. However, the discussion of this new school year has been: are Chromebooks more useful than iPads in a school environment? Although Chromebooks do not include the popular iPad app GoodNotes, they provide helpful tools like keyboards, touch screens, and a multitude of online resources.


Keyboards not only offer a faster note-taking method, but they also increase typing skills that students will need in the future. As many classes in the 9-12 grade curriculum require note-taking, using the keyboards are an easier and more efficient method of taking notes. Typing is a physical and mental activity, it involves numerous parts of the brain and stimulates new memory muscles that will positively enhance the overall function of the brain. Typing also allows a larger quantity of notes to be typed in a smaller amount of time. In addition, the ability to type productively is beneficial for future careers. As society becomes more technologically based, businesses are as well. Companies rely on fast-paced productivity, so efficient typing will prove useful as businesses are utilizing computers and more technology.


Our Chromebooks also provide a touch screen, as well as a keyboard. Though students heavily relied on GoodNotes while using their iPads, their Chromebooks’ touch screens act as an alternative, especially the app Chrome Canvas. With a touch screen, Chromebooks supply both handwriting capabilities as well as a keyboard. Handwriting is proven to help comprehension as it involves a more profound cognitive-processing of the material being written. Therefore, recollection and understanding of the information given are now improved. This handwriting feature also provides tools for annotating text, which is a common practice in History and English classes.


Chromebooks serve as a home to a multitude of online resources. They store all Google applications, like Google Docs and Google Drive, that were the primary sources of document writing and file organization on the iPads. Furthermore, Chromebooks are home to Schoology, the virtual learning environment that allows the sharing of educational content between students and teachers that is the basis of Ramsey High School’s educational program. The interconnection between Google apps and Schoology provides an uncomplicated way to access and submit assignments.


Overall, Chromebooks prove to be a more beneficial educational tool by providing a keyboard, touchscreen, and a multitude of online resources. Although iPads include similar resources like a touch screen, Chromebooks are easier to manage and comprise a greater quantity of valuable characteristics.