What’s the Case with Chromebook Cases?

Whats the Case with Chromebook Cases?

In late August, Enochs High School added Chromebook cases to all of their students’ devices. The bulky structure of the case makes it hard for students to fit into their senior backpacks; something of a tradition that a decent amount of seniors do for their last year in high school. As for the other students, it adds an unwanted weight to their bags that they do not want to carry. Enochs’ new policy is that “All students must have a Chromebook Cover.” Depending on the teacher, students can be forced to keep their cases on but about half of them don’t.

Senior Jorge Diaz Belmonte also does not like the cases because “They’re actually pretty bulky and they make my backpack heavier. I don’t have many textbooks in my backpack but it added a couple pounds. As a senior, I don’t want to have stuff in my backpack so it’s just a burden.” Overall, Jorge thinks it’s an unnecessary requirement and students should have the option whether to or not to keep their cases on. He says, “If you don’t care about your Chromebook then that’s when you should face the consequences. I think the average kid does realize it’s not their Chromebook and it’s a tool for education, it’s really not that hard to take care of.” Though he’s not in favor of the cases, he still keeps his on because he doesn’t want to risk losing it. Throughout his high school years, Jorge has damaged three Chromebooks but was able to replace them with insurance. He does believe that freshmen are more prone to damaging their devices than seniors so they should keep their cases on. He also says that the school is taking the right precautions but they shouldn’t enforce any consequences for not having a case if a student chooses to take it off.

Sophomore Hope Gaunt-Collins doesn’t think Chromebook cases are beneficial because the screen can still crack regardless of the thick corners that protect the device’s border. She also uses a silver computer which doesn’t affect her as much as other students who have regular ones. Before she had a silver computer, she had gotten the case on her Chromebook and said it added more weight to the backpack and made it harder to close. So far, none of her teachers have enforced the policy of keeping cases on. When asked if underclassmen should have cases more than upperclassmen, Hope said, “I don’t think so because we’re in high school and it doesn’t matter the grade. It’s either everyone has it or no one has it.” She believes not everyone should be punished for one person’s mistake in damaging a Chromebook, only the person who damaged it should face the consequences. She’d want the cases to be an optional choice for students if she could change the policy.

Not only did I interview students about their opinions on the Chromebook cases but as well as the staff who deal with them every day, tech support. Last year, students with damaged Chromebooks would come into the tech room at least five times a day! This year it has only occurred about once a day and this could be the result of the Chromebook cases. Since it’s barely the third month of school the tech team can’t be sure whether that number will stay consistent. When I asked them if their grade level mattered for how many damaged devices came into the tech room, they said, “[The] grade doesn’t matter for the rate of damaged tech but the person who is responsible depends on their maturity.” This answer was a little different from what students have said but I can see why they would say that from their position. While interviewing them, I found out that if a student damages their Chromebook and it does not have a case on it, the insurance they could’ve bought for that Chromebook will not cover its cost in damages and they will have to pay the full price. However, if the case is on and a student happens to break it then that’s when the insurance covers it and it may be replaced. As much as tech support wants to encourage students to keep their cases, it’s not their decision whether they can keep it on or take it off. If they could change the physical structure of the cases they would want to make it less bulky and more light weighted so students wouldn’t want to take them off as much.

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