MCPS-wide chromebook shutdown planned to limit technology use


Photo by Raquel Tolin

Junior Rachael Wolfson laments over the Chromebook shutdown. She feels it severely limits her in class. “I’m frustrated by the lack of collaboration with students on the decision,” Wolfson said.

All MCPS chromebooks are scheduled to shut down this coming Saturday, April 1, due to growing concerns about students’ dependence on technology. The MCPS Board of Education made this executive decision to observe how students would perform in school without the safety net of the Internet.

The Board of Education believes students are getting too comfortable with websites like Google Translate and quizlets, which is skewing their performances on assignments and exams.

The decision was not made lightly, but MCPS believes it will change the school system’s teaching methods for the better. Students will be forced to learn independently or through collaboration rather than through the Internet. This will help with their ability to concentrate and absorb information.

The WJ faculty as a whole is supportive of the change, but questions its effectiveness with the student population. Similar to the new ID rule at the beginning of the school year, they are unsure the extent to which students will comply with the Board of Education’s goal of limiting technology use.

“I can definitely envision the majority of students bringing personal computers to school to work around the shutdown, which would make the plan backfire. It would be disappointing, but it is a realistic point to consider,” an anonymous teacher said.

Students have had varying reactions to the impactful decision.

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. We use Chromebooks for so many things in class … and how am I supposed to play solitaire during quant lit?” senior Maanya Upadhyay said.

Other students are more supportive of the change.

“I think it’s great. After Covid, I feel like we’ve been relying on technology too much with our schoolwork, and this will help us get back on track,” senior Shara Mohotti said.

Regardless of student opinions, the shutdown of Chromebooks is quickly coming up. The Board of Education has confirmed that they will not be restarting the Chromebooks for the remainder of the 22-23 school year, but will reevaluate at the beginning of the fall.