The High-Tech Future of AHS: Chromebooks


Kaylee Pippins, Editor-In-Chief

Following the success of the OnRamps dual enrollment program through the University of Texas at Austin, Azle ISD made the unanimous decision to bring Google Chromebooks to all secondary students.

“Really, the driving force behind the decision was the OnRamps program that [Azle ISD] rolled out this year,” Instructional Technology Specialist Brian Conner said. “With student feedback and teacher feedback, it seems like the Chromebooks offer a better way to prepare [students] for college.”

Conner and Azle ISD believe that the introduction of Chromebooks will help students for a future in college and in the workplace.

“Ultimately, that’s what we’re trying to do here in Azle ISD,” Conner said. “To help students get better suited for life, hopefully.”

The Chromebooks will most likely be distributed at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, but, as of now, Conner and Azle ISD are unsure when would be an appropriate time to pass out the new devices.

“We have several different plans in place,” Conner said. “The latest the [distribution] will be device hand-out times like what we’ve had in the past. Right now, the device swap will happen at that point, so the students will turn in their iPads and get their Chromebooks.”

After secondary students swap their iPads for Chromebooks, the newer freshmen and sophomore iPads will be cycled back to elementary schools in the district while the older junior and senior iPads will be turned into “class sets.”

“We’re growing and we’re increasing the class sizes of our elementary schools,” Conner said. “We’re going to see that trend happening across the district and we’ll have those devices available for our new teachers.”

Like with the iPads, if a student loses a certain part of the computer or charging cable, there will be fees associated with replacement of the item. The actual fees are still under discussion.

“We ironed out most of the [fees] and they will be included in the device agreement moving forward,” Conner said. “The Chromebooks are a little bit less expensive so the device replacement will be a little less expensive. We are also lowering the repair fees a little, as well.”

According to District iPad Technician Tami Baldwin, seniors can turn in their devices as soon as they are ready. Preferably, “the sooner, the better.”

“I will start pick-up on May 20 and May 24 is the very, very last day I will accept devices,” Baldwin said. “If you owe money for any fees, whether it’s a lost or stolen iPad or a charger or a repair fee, the last date for those is April 25 for seniors. I also encourage everyone, regardless of grade level, to pay their repair fees to make the transition to Chromebooks easier on them and us.”