Terça-feira, 16/7/2019 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

The future of Gull Lake technology: It’s updating

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Dylan Copp organizes Gull Lake technology on his desk. Photo by Justin Walker

Updates for technology at Gull Lake community schools could be put into effect soon, and the community bond passed earlier this year in May is a large reason why. The bond, that provided Gull Lake community schools with 64 million dollars to devote to buildings upgrades and expansion, had set aside 7.5 million to be put toward new presentations systems in the classrooms, updating staff devices, and upgrading student technology, according to  Supervisor of Technology Services Mike Stephayn.

Plans to upgrade the Chromebooks that are currently being used by students in the high school are in place due to the money provided by the bond.

Issues such as physical damage, factory defects and problems powering up the Chromebooks have been the most common difficulties that the Gull Lake technology staff have had to deal with.

“The Chromebooks have held together pretty well, but we are at the point where it is more cost effective to go with new models instead of repairing the old,” said Onsite Technology Support Specialist Dylan Copp, who has been working for the Gull Lake district for almost five years.

The updated Chromebooks that would be used in the high school have already been pushed out to schools in the district. They are Lenovo and no longer Dell, Copp said.

The Lenovo Chromebooks have stronger keyboards, different chargers, similar to other laptop chargers in current circulation, and protect against physical damage better with well placed hinges.

The reason for Lenovo Chromebooks having so many better features than Dell Chromebooks are due to the continued production of the device over the years.

“Chromebooks are still relatively new, manufactures are still finding the best way to produce them,” Copp said.

While Chromebooks in the high school may be reaching a point of decreased efficiency, the Gull Lake technology department realizes how important it is to see how far the devices have come. Prior, iPads  were used before chromebooks in the high school.

“The Google operating system of Chromebooks provides more options and work more like a laptop [as opposed to iPads],” Copp said.

“From what I’ve understood, the chromebooks have been extremely effective,” Copp said.

Chromebooks did not struggle with the restrictive management problems of iPads and seem to have increased student learning and production in the classroom.

Various assortment of technology including Macbooks and Chromebooks fill Dylan Copp’s office. Photo by Justin Walker

Laptops have become essential to the learning process for Gull Lake students, with there being almost a one to one ratio between students and technology at the high school and middle school levels. This can cause problems from the wide scope of technology spread out in the district.

“Every aspect of what we manage runs into problems from time to time, so we’re trying our best to manage the amount of mobile devices we have in the district,” Copp said.

Fortunately, the staff of Gull Lake doesn’t face the task of fixing technology in the district on their own.

“I’m contracted to Gull Lake from Kalamazoo RESA, who has a whole team ready to help with technology… most districts around Gull Lake get assistance from Kalamazoo RESA,” Copp said.

Of course, new technology will always have problems that need to be fixed, but it’s what Copp enjoys about the job.

“The variety of what we deal with, every day is like a different adventure: trying to figure out how to deal with tasks, researching to deal with different problems, and finding out issues that seem simple to fix are actually complex can be interesting and frustrating,” Copp said.

Current students with Chromebooks shouldn’t be worried about how they’ll have access to technology once the new, updated versions of the laptop are released. During the transition between new and old equipment, place holders for the technology are required, which would be the current Chromebooks in place.

“Once you give technology, you can never take it back,” Stephayn said.

Justin Walker

I’m a senior at Gull Lake High School, and this is my first year on staff. I enjoy writing about our school sports’ programs and other areas as well. Having a deep interest and enjoyment in our English classes at Gull Lake, I’ve decided to pursue a different side of writing by doing newspaper and hope to provide entertaining articles for our viewers. Being involved in sports such as cross country and track, while also being invested to clubs such as Debate and Model UN, I write about topics that affect both myself and classmates.


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Address: Gull Lake High School, 7753 N. 34th Street, Richland, MI 49083


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