MacBook Mayhem

Kelsey Eisenbarger, Writer

MacBook Airs: whether you love ’em or hate ’em, all West students dealt with the distribution chaos of handing out 1,800+ computers on the first days of school. Although administration has done a great job of keeping things under control with issuing laptops these first few days, students and teachers alike are frustrated with the technical difficulties and blocked websites that came along with the “Digital Learning Initiative.”

I personally, after spending 20 minutes waiting in line to get my Mac, had to spend the rest of my English block with an IT guy in the library trying to fix my wifi connection, unresponsive iTunes app, and create the dreadfully confusing Apple ID/Google account. It’s been a rough transition to say the least. At the end of day two ALMOST every student in the building had a Mac in their possession but administration planned on wrapping up deployment by the end of Friday, August 15 (which didn’t happen).

Adding to the distribution chaos,  I have yet to be in a classroom where a teacher isn’t experiencing technical problems or is not completely overwhelmed by all the new technological advances that are now present in our building. I don’t have a problem having computers, actually it’s pretty convenient for me to be able to work on this article any time I want during the school day. Honestly, I don’t understand what was wrong with the “old fashioned” way of school. I am, of course, questioning what my teachers are actually going to have us do on the computers? I mean, most of them are PC users and/or some are just flat out technologically challenged (and most would own up to that). These laptops are just as new to them as they are to us but they’re supposed to teach us how to work them.

Sure, students are pumped about the new laptops they get to bring home and use for a year but honestly, virtually every noneducational website you could ever think about logging on to is blocked by this pretty red page that reminds you that SMSD is in charge of your computer and you have to follow their rules. Even stuff as simple as the computer’s sleep timer is only allowed to be changed after an admin enters his/her secret password, trust me…I’ve already checked.

I’m hoping in the next few days that this craziness will simmer down and as a school we will be be able to make it through just one class without an intercom announcement that begins with “Please excuse this interruption” and ends with “head to the Aux Gym” and maybe, just maybe, teachers will be able to stay connected to AirPlay for more then 2 minutes without being kicked off. Once everyone has their WORKING Apple ID/Google account, things might get better, but students and staff still have to adjust to all the changes. Not being able to print things in the classroom you’re in, and not physically being handed a homework assignment might seem inconvenient right now but soon, it will seem normal. Just a different normal.

But until we actaually hit normal, may the MacBook Mayhem continue.