Categorized | Features

Waiting for an Update

Students working in a computer lab at Waynesboro High School.

Students working in a computer lab at Waynesboro High School.

By  Kelley Conley, Classroom Manager

Waynesboro High School has had an influx of students in the past few school years. With an aging building and more students, things are starting to give way to wear and tear, especially the internet.

The high school had wireless access points installed throughout the building in 2008 so students and faculty could use the internet without having wires strung throughout the room. Each access point is able to connect fifty devices, and in 2008 that was enough. But now most students have cell phones and some connect to the internet as soon as they step into the building, taking away from teachers wireless laptops and netbooks making the connection very weak or not accessible at all.

Mr. Spees, who is the photography teacher has come across a few problems of his own. “I run my classroom using Google Drive, and the school didn’t know the wireless access point outside my room faded out completely until a few days before school started so I had to adjust a little.” Mr. Spees also said “That’s part of working with technology knowing it’s going to break down, but I think that it makes you appreciate it more when it does work.”

The school has money set aside to replace the wireless access points and other various technology problems, but the school must send in an E-rate to the Federal government showing that the internet is filtered for school appropriate sites, and available to all students to receive extra money to fix the problems. Once the approval from the Federal government comes through,  the access points will be replaced with new ones that can support more devices.

Students have had their frustrations with the internet along with teachers. Junior, Kathryn Johnson said “it’s a frustrating situation for everyone. Sometimes not being able to use the internet causes teachers to change their lessons plans.” Johnson went on to say  “Sometimes students aren’t able to finish all their work in class because things aren’t loading so they end up having extra homework, but it’s nice to know that the school is working to fix the problem.”

Senior, Maddie Allen, who goes to Governor’s School said “When school first started this year, the Governor’s School website was blocked at the high school and I wasn’t able to contact my teachers, or research things due to keywords being blocked. The high school did unblock it after a few days, but it was stressful since it was the beginning of the year.”

Waynesboro High School has a plan set in motion to fix the internet problem, Administrators sent the school’s E-Rating to the federal government, and now they are waiting to hear back. Once the rating comes back, hopefully new wireless access points will be installed to support more devices. With updated technology students and teachers will be able to use the internet in their classrooms and not have to work around loading pages.

 

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