07222017 Headline:

District and RAHS consider new options for tech

To replace old laptops or not to

By Helena Cassam

Donated by Dr. James Raisbeck in 2013 for all RAHS students, the set of school laptops have unfortunately begin to run their end. As administration, the district, and private donors start looking for options for the next few years regarding tech, different people value different components for the new set.

 

Staff like Tech Director Anthony McLaughlin will want to see durable, efficient, well priced and less problematic laptops for the next set.

 

“In regards to laptops, the most important factor is weight, size, processing power, battery life, and how easy it is to carry around,” said McLaughlin.

 

McLaughlin is exposed to the strengths and weakness with the current system, and thinks there are many possible routes that could be pursued. Though the current set has lived a long lifespan, there are still some good aspects to build upon.

 

“The best quality of the current set of laptops is the processing power,” said McLaughlin. “The things that are most frustrating that I see is the battery life, the weight, and the hard drives are failing quite a bit, but they’re still good laptops.”

Junior Hannah Kaiser wants laptops to be quick, efficient, and have a high amount of memory.

 

“Speed and how much it can do, the capacity and the memory,” said Kaiser. “I have had a few issues with my laptop right now being slow, hopefully that will be a factor they look into.”

 

Senior Sam Johnson won’t be at school next year to see them but hopes the next several classes will be able to have laptops with a high battery life.

 

“Battery life for sure,” said Johnson. “just because I don’t want to bring a charger to school and if it’s a tech violation to charge it at school, that’s no good.”

 

Junior Josh Sherbrooke hopes the new sets of laptops will have a sleek and lightweight body and form. Many students commute from far and wide, the lighter the laptops, the better.

 

“I would say that lightness and form factor are  most important in a new computer to me,” said Sherbrooke.

 

When looking at costs of getting about 450 student laptops, including spares, prices add up quickly. While students and teachers want the best technology, there is a budget, so the tech team is considering many options in repairing or replacing the old computers. One idea is to replace parts at a time

 

“If we were going to use these laptops for another year I would like to replace all the hard drives, SSD drives, update the memory, get new cases,” said McLaughlin, “some various things that just make it much more useable for students: higher power and smaller battery to knock off a little weight.”

 

Sophomore Cooper Huck uses his school computer at home but mainly uses his personal computer outside of school work. He hopes that the new set will be more useful to him if not more generally applicable to others as well.

 

“I use my laptop daily for projects and research, but it’s not my preferred computer for everyday use,” said Huck. “I hope next year’s will be good, and last as long if not longer than these ones.”

 

Huck also wishes the current set of laptops would have more capabilities like the DVD and CD port.

 

“I really wish the DVD and CD reader still worked on the school laptops,” said Huck, “that would be something I would hope to see in the next set for us and future classes.”

 

One thing that has been a road block for getting new parts and repairs for the current set in order to make them last longer is the shortage of resources for the particular model RAHS has.
“The ability for them to be serviced and part availability are going to be big factors in whether we continue on for another years cycle,” said McLaughlin. “[With] the laptops that we have, we are the only school that has this particular model, so we don’t have a pool of resources from the district for other laptops that we can bring in.”

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