On Monday, the first laptops were passed out to the seniors. By the end of the week, every student will be using a new MacBook Air, something the teachers and district have been preparing for.
“I’m excited,” senior English teacher Jeannette Bonjour said. “I can envision myself using [the new technology] most of the time for things video clips or like if we’re working on, if we’re color-marking a poem or something, it’s on the device and being able to project it with the AppleTV.”
Bonjour believes the new laptops and Google programs like Google Drive and Classroom will change the way the classroom is run and organized. She plans on using it to post announcements and assignments, making it easier for students to turn assignments in.
Teachers and students are worried over privacy concerns and how well the servers will be able to handle all of the students on the internet.
“You know, anytime there’s a change of that magnitude, there’s going to be some anxiety,” Principal John McKinney said. “I worry when we change the coffee that we’re used to. This is a big change but, like I said, we’ve been preparing for it since last year.”
Over the summer, all of East’s servers and wireless routers were updated by Indian Creek Technical Center to meet the new needs. Similar systems upgrades have worked so far at Shawnee Mission West and Northwest.
“We spent a lot of time over the summer in preparation for this day,” McKinney said. “So we’re ready. Apprehensive, nervous, excited, but ready.”
Teachers are still getting used to the laptops, according to Bonjour.
“They told us in the training, ‘by the first day of school, you have to be able to check your email and take attendance. That’s where we’re at. If you’re beyond that great, if you’re not, that’s where we’re starting and we’ll keep going,’” Bonjour said. “There’s not been any pressure on us to be experts over night. It’s been good.”
Teachers still learning how to use it has concerned some students about the readiness of the administration for this new technology.
“It’s going to be difficult for our senior class,” Senior Asia Mundy said. “We’re the test people. It’s a little bit difficult considering it’s our last year here. Everything’s going to go really slowly.”
Mundy worries about how the student body will be able to handle the new laptops and adapt to programs like Google Drive as they move away from more familiar Microsoft programs like Word and PowerPoint. The censorship of websites like Google Images and Facebook on the new computers is also concerning students.
Bonjour, even though she’s excited, believes there will be some hiccups at first. These hiccups have led the English department to develop their own motto for when they can’t get things to work: whatever.