Dylan Wolter ('22)
Obscurity surrounding RMHS’s one-to-one device initiative is fading away but not completely gone, as Mr. Strout, Technology Integration Specialist and computer science teacher, shared his knowledge about the evolving situation.
At the beginning of the year, the word of students receiving their own personal computer offered by the school buzzed through the halls but fell short due to the lack of information circulating. Now with some information revealed by Mr. Strout, students should know that they will receive a device but the question of when this will happen is up in the air.
Strout stated, “The new laptops have been slowly rolling in over the last week or so and we still haven’t received all of them. Once they have been all received, they need to be imaged, meaning we have to load all of the school profiles on there as far as security and so forth and so on.” In a following comment, Strout added, “It’s going to take quite a while because they basically have to take each laptop out of the box, turn it on, plug it in, type in some info, and get it to load. Then they have to do that for over a thousand laptops so it’s going to be a while before that all gets done.”
Students would need to get their parents’ signature stating that they acknowledge the privileges and rules regarding the devices. Students would also have to sign a waiver acknowledging that they are responsible for the care of the laptop. This alone would increase the process time.
As of right now, Mr. Strout says they are “doing it on a special need basis. “It isn’t feasible for the entire school.” Students will need to wait until the situation is cleared.
For clarity on the laptops students will be receiving, Strout didn’t reveal the exact model but stated, “They’re all HP Laptops with 4GB of ram, 128GB of memory on the solid state hard drive, and they all have pentium processors. They’re not the most cutting edge devices but they’re going to get anything done–not going to be slowing down with certain programs or anything.”
As to why the initiative is being implemented this year over others, it boils down to funding. Strout added, “From what I understand, and I’m not 100% sure of this, it is supposedly Covid money for covid grants. The town’s been looking to do the 1 to 1 initiative for years, it just wasn’t possible to buy all the laptops.”
With the current state of devices, it is unclear as to exactly when students will be receiving their laptop. There are many other complexities to cover, including as to how the administration would distribute over a thousand laptops and ensure that everything is implemented correctly. Students should know that they will receive an HP laptop but don’t count on it being too soon.