Students voice their opinions on using technology in testing


Shelby Richmond

ABOVE: Chromebook logo.

The juniors at Dublin High took the SBAC a couple weeks ago. Chromebooks were used to take the test, but there was a mixed reaction from the students about how useful this technology really was.

“I liked the privacy of using the chromebooks and I liked not having to write,”  junior Fiona Somerville said. “Writer’s cramp is always annoying during tests.”

One of the benefits of using the chromebooks for testing is the personal workspace and typing. Working on your own laptop makes it very difficult for people near you to look at your screen and impossible for anyone in front of you to see your work. Many students are faster at typing than at writing, so it helps students enter information into the test more efficiently. Completing the test faster is definitely a benefit to many students, however, there are still downsides to the technology.

“The online calculators were a pain,”  junior Kinsey Alexander said.

The calculator on the test was glitchy and slow. They ended up being one of the most inconvenient parts of taking the test on the computer. This virtually removed any benefit of speed because students were forced to struggle with the calculator before they could get their answers.

“I, however, did not like the number of problems there were just with getting the kids logged on to take the test,” junior Connor Huff said. “Some kids even got logged out in the middle of the test so technology use has its downfalls.”

In addition to the problems with the general format of the test, there was some user error involved in the chromebooks. Some students found it very difficult to just login to the test. There were connection errors as well as confusion with the complex login information. Leaving out a space or a dash would result in the test not allowing you in, and even when the information was correct, it could take multiple tries for it to log in.

Overall, the chromebooks were a step in the right direction, but had some definite issues. The benefits of speedy typing is counteracted by the awkward format of the test. And although students like the idea of having a personal workspace, it was a struggle to log on to the test. Students like the idea of using chromebooks, but some of the problems need to be fixed before the chromebooks become part of an efficient test taking system.