One-to-one Chromebooks Coming to MHS

One-to-one Chromebooks Coming to MHS

Kayla Knape

For many high schools in Somerset County, Chromebooks are the new textbooks. The Department of Education, over the past five years, has tried to ensure that every school in New Jersey provides students with their own source of technology for educational purposes, Manville High School included. Mr. Daniel Hemberger, the principal of MHS, was kind enough to share profitable information and give some insight about the plan to give students their own Chromebooks this year. 

So why does Mr. Hemberger want students to have one-to-one Chromebooks? “…The current trend and instruction is to give kids access to technology…” he answered. Since becoming principal of Manville High School three years ago, his goal has been to purchase a Chromebook for each student and make the playing field even with neighboring towns. He continued by sharing his viewpoint, “I think it’s long overdue and it’s going to open a lot of doors for kids.” 

For the rest of his career here at MHS, Mr. Hemberger expects this to be an ongoing effort, however, he explained, “A lot of it depends on how the kids manage it.” That brings us to the next question; how does Mr. Hemberger plan to monitor the Chromebooks and student activity?

He introduced the idea of a possible insurance fee paid by students to cover the Chromebooks if they break once. However, if the device were to break again at the fault of the student, “…The cost would be on them.” The insurance fee has not been set in stone as of current day. Mr. Hemberger continued with a note about the responsibility of Manville High School students. He smiled, and with a very upbeat and cheerful tone of voice, said, “I think you guys are totally responsible and can handle it.” It’s nice to know that our very own principal respects us as a student body enough to intrust us with such a great opportunity. 

Of course, he added, “There will be restrictions because it is a school device.” Before being distributed to students, each Chromebook will go through a Mobile Device Manager, MDM, which Mr. Hemberger says is to ensure the safety of students and is a reason why students are not allowed to bring their own devices, such as computers on school property. As Mr. Hemberger calls it, a BYOD, which is not part of the schools’ policy. However, he is not opposed to this idea. Speaking of safety, eventually, Chromebook covers will be sold by the school to students in order to provide protection for the less responsible.

When faced with what should be a more difficult question, why now, Mr. Hemberger made it easy and said, “Why not?” He agreed that Manville High School is a step behind, but is soon to be a step ahead. The recent funding given to MHS by the state of New Jersey has helped tremendously to reach this goal. To agree with the students high level of anticipation, Mr. Hemberger revealed, “I’m excited about it,” and even asked me, from a students’ point of view, “I’m curious, are the kids talking about it a lot?” Yes, of course we are, and we all have one burning question; when will this actually happen? He announced, “We’re still hashing out all these details…our tentative date is the beginning of Marking Period 2. I can’t guarantee that [but] our goal is November.” 

In short, Mr. Hemberger and the Manville High School administration have been, and will continue to, work hard to achieve their long-term goal of giving each student their very own Chromebook for educational purposes. As a principal, Mr. Hemberger, believes we, as a student body, are deserving of this wonderful opportunity. So, Manville High School, next time you see him, give Mr. Hemberger a generous thank-you for all of his hard work and dedication towards you and your quality of education.