Francesca Chirco, Everly Kessler, and Chloe Butler
After 10 long years of rigorous use and countless projects and papers, the computers in the Jamesville-DeWitt High School library were in desperate need of an update. Before the start of the second semester, 19 new Windows 10 PCs were installed in the library.
J-DHS librarian Mary Panek and district computer technician Paul Krause, both agree that these updated computers will help students get their work done at a more efficient rate. “Speed, programs, everything needed to be updated. We weren’t able to maintain the computers and it helps to have more up-to-date software,” said Ms. Panek.
The computers that are now in the library were leased, according to District Technology Coordinator Phil Luckette. He said that the company leased the computers to J-D with a five-year, no return deal. Leasing is cheaper than buying the computers, but the company doesn’t want the aged computers back once the lease is up. They will continue to be used in the library when the lease expires.
The money used to lease these new computers came out of the District Technology budget, which comes from local taxpayer dollars. Mr. Luckette said that PCs are a better deal because of their longevity, lower price, and advanced programs. By leasing PCs instead of MacBooks, the District was not only able to save money but was able to begin with their plan to divert from purchasing Apple computers. Mr. Luckette, decided to stop purchasing Apple computers as in his opinion, they are much more expensive and have slower systems.
Two years ago, in the winter of 2016, a water fountain mishap in the Red Hall destroyed several of the photography room’s MacBook computers. The ruined Macs were then replaced with new PCs, which was the beginning of the school’s switch from Apple computers to PCs. Adjusting to completely new computers and software was no easy task for photography teacher Lisa Troubetaris and her students. “We all have used MacBooks for years and I felt like it was a little more work for me to get re-adjusted,” said Mrs. Troubetaris. She still thinks that PCs are harder to use and she finds herself and her students still adjusting to the change.
Mr. Luckette believes that the new computers will be better for both J-DHS students and staff, and that they will promote efficiency throughout the school.“They have faster processors, more memory, larger storage, and larger monitors with much higher resolutions,” said Mr. Luckette.
District Network Coordinator Kelly Nye used to be a “die-hard Mac fan” but has since changed her views and now holds security features in higher regard than solely the type of computer. She said the operating system doesn’t matter as much because so much is done online. She believes that it will be beneficial for J-DHS students to continue to be exposed to using different operating systems so they will be better prepared and equipped for the future. “Technology is so vast, and changes so quickly! It's wise to be flexible and open to using different operating systems and languages,” said Ms. Nye.
The Computer Teaching Assistant, Hayley Nies, at J-DHS prefers to use Macs. “I prefer Macs, because I’m more comfortable with them and they’re more user friendly than PC’s,” said Nies. An English and Corporate Communications Teacher has a similar opinion, “I prefer Macs. I’m more comfortable on all the shortcuts and commands so I can work faster on them,” said Terri Eaton.
Some Science Teachers at J-DHS have started using iPads in class as a way to display their notes instead of having students rely on just the smartboard. “Sometimes the chrome cart isn’t available and sometimes apps work better on the iPads,” said Samantha Ross.
Some students have yet to notice the updated computers, but those who have seem to have different perspectives on the change. “I prefer Apple computers because I am used to them and I think they have better software,” said sophomore Riley LaTray. Windows 10 software has also been a favorite aspect of the new computers. “I am familiar with Windows 10 which makes it easier to use. This allows me to access programs quicker than I can on Macbooks,” said junior Erik Kalantarov.
Alongside the 19 new computers, eight Macs still remain in the library. Ms. Panek has decided to keep Macs in the library as she knows how popular they are among students and wants them to be available for those who prefer to use Apple software. “I want to keep the Macs as long as possible because 90% of the kids that come in here go onto the Mac’s first and it’s the students’ preference,” said Ms. Panek.