Wi-Fi, new computers welcomed at CHS

By Lauren Price Sonia Shekar Staff Writers

Looking at the ceiling recently, students may have noticed new little white boxes with green lights on the ceilings. They’re not smoke alarms, but rather one of 50 Cisco Wi-Fi Hotspots that were recently installed as a part of “Tech-Mod,” a renewal of CHS’s technology in order to meet educational standards and keep the school up to date.
“I imagine eventually every school everywhere will get them, we just have it now,” Information Technology Systems Specialist Robert Jones said.
Currently, students are only able to use the computers in computer labs around the school. Although the purpose of the hotspots has yet to be decided, they will most likely allow students to take technology out of the computer lab and apply it in other locations. As of yet, neither teachers nor students have access to the network.
“Hopefully it will enhance our Internet experience,” Foundations of Technologyteacher David Hurless said. “It should make things work better.”
According to Jones, many kinks have yet to be worked out with the system, and Montgomery County has not figured out how to implement Wi-Fi into the educational system as there is a “huge performance issue” with wireless technology.
In addition to the Wi-Fi hotspots, Tech-Mod will replace old computers with new, flat screened models this summer. New computers can free up the network because the addition of many wireless devices to one network may slow down Internet access. The new computers will come with a faster processor and more memory, in preparation for the addition of wireless systems.
According to Jones, Tech-Mod can help schools update information for much less than it costs to get new books.
Some argue, however, that students with constant access to a wireless network may abuse the Internet privileges and could easily fall behind in class as a result.
According to junior Nik Ramirez, the availability of wireless “could be distracting for students.”
Although wireless provides a new learning experience, the ability to access any information on personal devices may be detrimental to students’ ability to focus. However, no one can be certain the effects or uses that these new technological updates will provide.
“My goal is to have more wireless things than any other school in the county,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of cool technology out there. We just don’t know what it is yet.”