Originally, Chromebooks allowed students to access their personal email accounts as well as their school accounts, but starting this year, the school placed a restriction that forces students to use only the school provided account on school-regulated Chromebooks. This leaves students unable to work on online assignments and puts them at an educational disadvantage.
The new limitation takes away the opportunity for students to use a separate account. Students may need to use personal accounts to receive emails from organizations such as the College Board, and restricting access could cause students to miss out on valuable opportunities. When applying for scholarships and college, students often prefer to use their personal email to receive messages and to complete college applications. School accounts will be deleted after graduation; for this reason, some students prefer to use their personal email to complete work. If students have documents retaining crucial information in their school account and the account is later removed, they lose access to the information.
While intended to prevent students from viewing inappropriate websites, school Wi-Fi already restricts web pages. If students are unable to view a website while using their school email, they would not be able to see the same website on their personal email either. Using a school account does not solely restrict these pages; it is the Wi-Fi that does. Essentially, the change is unnecessary since students are already limited with they have access to.
This also poses a problem if the school accounts are malfunctioning, as it does not allow students to use their school email from personal devices. While students can log in using their school account on Chromebooks, as it is directly linked to the school, they are unable to do so on cell phones. Even if they are able to work during class on Chromebooks, it would all be for naught as this same work would be inaccessible from home. Despite the work being saved in the school account, when students cannot log in to their school account from home, they are incapable of finishing the work.
While this restriction is being enforced to protect students, it is also limiting because it demonstrates how little students are trusted. Teenagers are pushed to be responsible, to contribute to the community around them, yet they are not treated like they are capable of doing so.
The district should reverse the restriction on personal account access on Chromebooks. Students should be allowed to use their personal emails if they cannot access school accounts outside of the classroom to complete work.
The mission statement of Alhambra Unified School District states that it aims for students to become productive members in a diverse society. If it truly wants students to be successful, working adults, the district needs to start trusting students and treating them as the adults they are becoming. Reinstating the use of personal accounts would show that district administrators acknowledge that high school students are maturing and are trustworthy.