Virginia Beach high schools switch to one-to-one devices in new year


Morgan Bush

Students in Heather Felch’s study block work on their devices to complete schoolwork.

Doors reopened after winter break, and students received laptops or Chromebooks. This is part of the new initiative that Virginia Beach City Public Schools took, and it’s referred to as one-to-one. The program is designed to open device access for those who normally do not have accessibility outside of the classroom.

Before the one-to-one roll-out, students who already owned laptops could bring them to class; however, the majority depended on laptop carts, which teachers would have to schedule for, or use a computer lab.

Despite the positive build up, most initial reactions were negative.

“My first reaction was negative, but it’s growing on me,” said senior Will Scheib.

Some also had concerns about the weight or necessity of the laptops.

“I was a little annoyed because it made my backpack heavier, and I don’t need it for a lot of my classes,” said junior Sarah Goldbach.

However, in the last few weeks of February, students admitted they benefit from the consistent availability of a laptop.

“We don’t have to worry about whether or not we’ll have a laptop cart in our class,” said freshman Hannah Baker.

Students have the ability to take notes on their laptops in class if preferred, and use them in study block to their academic advantage.

“It is very convenient for study block,” said Sarah.

Other students also changed their opinions on the devices.

“I just thought it was kind of pointless, but now I realize there are actually tons of ways to use it positively,” said Will.

In the last month, laptop reception and use has grown throughout the classroom environment. Widespread use has been seen in study blocks and the library. Teachers are now able to connect their lesson plans through websites like Google Classroom, since students have full access.

However, some students took advantage of their devices. Several students received a referral and in-school suspension for downloading games like Fortnite and Minecraft. The administration took the initiative to block these games completely from everyone’s laptops and encourage school-related materials only.

“99% kids are playing Fortnite on their laptops in class,” said freshman Anderson Burns. “But freshmen can’t play it on Chromebooks.”