The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


School’s New Chromebooks

After August 24th, 2024, AHS will require all students to use school-provided Chromebook Plus devices from Acer. This is a shift from the school’s current “Bring Your Own Device”, or BYOD, policy. Normal Chromebooks are much slower than the MacBook; GeekBench V6 scores show that a MacBook Air is up to three times as fast as the best Chromebook. However, AHS plans to introduce not just Chromebooks, but Chromebook Plus computers to its students.

Chromebook Plus computers cost nearly as much as current MacBook Air models (assuming a $100 Apple Educational Discount). They also “offer faster processors and double the memory and storage” compared to older Chromebooks, according to Google in a blog post about releasing Chromebook Plus. AHS’s official FAQ page for the new Chromebook Plus program also emphasizes that Chromebook Plus was a speed improvement over the original Chromebook lineup.

If the new Chromebook Plus is twice as powerful as 2022 Edition Chromebooks, it will be nearly ⅔ as powerful as a top-of-the-line MacBook Air – and cost only ⅔ as much.

AHS Sophomore Chase Slesinger-Hall shared in an interview with the Skier Scribbler that –even if the new school-provided Chromebooks were twice as fast as the originals– their speed would not justify taking away students’ computers.

“I don’t think they should be allowed to do this,” Slesinger-Hall said. “They [the school] shouldn’t have the right to take away something that I paid $1,400 for.”

Slesinger-Hall also emphasized his belief that, by making him use a school-monitored Chromebook, AHS was violating his privacy. `The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) legally requires AHS to monitor all student internet traffic.

Analyses show that the new Chromebook Plus program may cost the school upwards of half a million dollars. Previously, ASD stated that the district could not afford for “each student… to have a school-owned device (laptop or Chromebook).” This year, the Aspen Education Foundation (a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the standard of education across ASD) offered a grant to the school to cover the cost of the new Chromebooks at no cost to students. AHS additionally will install protectors on the Chromebooks and give each student a stylus, resulting in a charge of $65 per person.

“The AHS Chromebook devices themselves are fully funded for many years to come[,]” said the school on its FAQ Page. These protection measures will likely increase the longevity of the Chromebooks and safeguard the school’s significant investment in learning technology. Indeed, analysis shows that the cost of the new Chromebook devices may be in excess of half a million dollars. The school believes that this expense is more than justified:

“As a school, we are responsible for protecting our data and our students’ data,” said ASD’s Instructional Codirector of Learning and Innovation, Kim Zimmer on April 12th. “[The new Chromebook program] – it’s not a control thing, it’s…a safety thing.”

Parents could see what their children are up to online at any time on the Chromebooks, Zimmer said. Blocksi, an extension added to the Chromebooks that monitors and sometimes blocks student internet traffic, will be installed on all school computers. This extra supervision of student online activity would lead to greater student productivity and protection from bad actors on the internet:

“In my belief, we should have been going this direction for a long time,” continued Zimmer.

While it remains to be seen how effective the new Chromebooks will be, Zimmer believes that the program, which replicates that of many other districts around Colorado, will be a great step for students.

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