Freshman receive laptops


Max Bowman, Writer


As of this spring semester, a total of 533 freshman have finally received their very own  Lenovo ThinkPad laptops, specifically featuring a whopping 320GB hard disk drive, 4GB 1600MHz memory, and being able to turn into a touch screen tablet.

“A lot of our assignments we have to use laptops,” freshman Cole Mangan said. “Now that we have laptops, no one has to worry about not being able to do the lesson.”

While Vandegrift at the moment may only offer this program to freshman, the school plans to slowly integrate the rest of the grades by adding an additional grade level each year to the program, starting next year with sophomores.

“It’s our effort in education to catch up to the rest of the world,” English teacher Kristen Mulligan said. “When I look at university classes, 300 students file in and they all open up laptops.”

One of the big reasons many feel is necessary for the mass distribution of laptops is that not everyone can afford one. The school has now amended this problem because  as of now students can get a brand new laptop for the very affordable cost of a $70 fee.  Some students can access certain aspects of the internet on Phones and such, but for some aspects, a computer is necessary for completing assignments.

“Equal distribution,” Mulligan said. “Getting rid of the digital divide to allow all students to participate.”

Some people fear that the laptops will eclipse traditional teaching, but most teachers are using the laptops to improve their lessons rather than change them. Not to mention many classes at Vandegrift have already made the push through technology through mobile apps.

“Ease, the lack of physical copies saves papers and that’s just the start,” Mulligan said. “They haven’t changed any of my lessons really, it’s just how they access the information. Either tangibly in my class or how they virtually turn in stuff, I don’t think it really changes my lessons as much as simplifies them.”

The only valid fear that exists for people is that kids can easily get distracted, and having a laptop with the potential to play games and surf the web between you and the lesson on the board will prove a tempting temptation. Though as this is the first time something akin to this has been introduced to Vandegrift only time will tell if further precautions will have to be taken.

“I feel like kids could use it to play games or goof around on it during class instead of taking notes,” Mangan said.

For those that are having trouble with their laptops, Viper Tech Support is set up every B day and A day 2nd period in the library for those who need assistance with their laptops.