Upgrade or downgrade?

Moumita Milton, Staff Writer

October 27, 2017

  At Redlands High School, a new technology based curriculum was implemented, yet because of this, a problem has arose: the technology RHS has does not fully support the lessons that our teachers want to teach.

    In the past few years, many classes have been given a new curriculum which integrates technology. Now most of our curriculum is reliant on technology, as many of the programs incorporate print and online materials.

    In the 2016-2017 school year, English classes 9-11 implemented a new curriculum called “myPerspectives,” which gives students a recyclable text and online access.

    For math classes, students have been using print and online textbooks accessible through electronic devices, since the 2014-2015 school year.

    More recently, science classes have received laptop carts to work on online assignments.

    Additionally this year, the school district has adopted a brand new system called “Google Classroom” in which students are assigned a Gmail account.

    This program allows teachers and students to go paperless. It is a flexible way for teaching and provides an effective communication process between teachers and students.

    Now teachers can assign and collect work online in many different formats. This also means that students can do their group work digitally, which makes doing work easier for both teachers and students.  

    To accomplish this, teachers and students mostly use Google and Microsoft Office programs in their class. These programs include Google Docs, Google Slides, Microsoft Word and Powerpoint, and are used for many assignments such as doing group projects or writing essays.

    Many teachers and students think it is a great idea that they are using laptops to do their schoolwork.

    One of these reasons is when students are doing their work at home and need to ask a question to their teacher; with Google Classroom students have the ability to ask their question.

    Another good reason for working on Google Docs is because it automatically saves the work wherever you left off.

    Also, students like using laptops because they can work together and collaborate with their teachers.

    Lastly, Google Docs helps students spell words correctly while also helping them to better understand the technology.

    However, after having this new curriculum and system, students and teachers are facing some problems when using laptops in class.

    Since we share the same bandwidth and network for laptops, the internet does not work sometimes when the students use the laptops.

    Whenever this happens (which is very frequently), it takes laptops a long time to reconnect.

    There are also other problems, like the laptops screens not being cleaned, which makes it hard to see.

    Additionally, the batteries are worn and do not fully charge, causing students to have to use another laptop.

    Another problem is the exterior getting worn out as some of the keyboard keys are missing, which irritates students when they are middle of typing something.

    Also some students, face the problem of logging into their laptops, as it either does not let them login, or says their username or password is wrong. In this case, it once again wastes valuable time, as they either have to use another laptop or restart.

    With all this time students spend on changing laptops and reconnecting, they could be doing their school work instead, but as the new curriculum places a heavy emphasis on laptops, this time is just wasted.

    Yet, there was one student who had some positive comments to say as Junior Brad Resler Schindler said that, “The New English curriculum puts a greater emphasis, on the idea of literature and author’s stylistic choices. This however creates a muddled experience whereas many historical lessons are taught and often given more importance than actual English ideas.”

    Now, with regards to the negative aspects of the curriculum, there were many students who had something to say, starting

with Junior Savannah Barrios who said, “I think this issue is extremely frustrating because it makes it difficult to get work

done on time when your laptop won’t work or work extremely slow.”

    About the future, Eduardo Verduzco said, “I believe the district should remake the network, and I will love to see this errors fix and more freedom while using the laptops.”

    Another student, Andrew Garcia said, “I think we should invest more money into the technological aspect of the classroom to minimize these problems.”

    Next, Junior Muhammad Ramadhan said, “In my opinion, school should make some improvements with the IT department discussing like about the problem that affects our school internet access also, getting more work after getting the new curriculum, more writing, doing more literature reading in class, most of the work having connection with the book.”

    Finally, ELD Teacher Mrs. Shannon Quishenberry had a lot to say about the new curriculum as she stated, “There are some parts of it I like and others I don’t like. What I like is the variety of literature, it is not just the things we have already read and there is more diversity and that is interesting. I also like that the questions are more task-based.

    “The things I do not like is not having internet connection, and sometimes my computer just freeze for a few hours. When students get thrown off the internet or their computer’s freeze or glitch, the kids don’t have the time that they need and again we are scrambling. Not everyone can just get online at home.”

    With all this negative criticism about the new curriculum there is definitely a need for for reforms to the system.

    Although it is true that there are many benefits from this new system, no one can take advantage of them when their computers won’t even work.

    The infrastructure for the computers needs to be improved so that we can count on our technology, so that teachers and students can work without any problem.

    Once this is accomplished, our new technology based curriculum can finally be utilized at its fullest potential.

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