Chromebook Damage on the Decline


Gordon Tuomikoski

A Chromebook II model, used by the freshmen and sophomores.

Gordon Tuomikoski, Contributor

The useful and increasingly less fragile Chromebook has come a long way in its five years at Glenwood Community School District.

The chromebooks used by the high school juniors and seniors are the new Chromebook III’s, and the freshman and sophomores use the Chromebook II’s. The Chromebook III’s are more stable and faster than the Chromebook II’s.

Every year dozens of kids face problems with their chromebooks: screens breaking, CPU’s failing, or simply keys breaking off. The GCSD Tech Department works tirelessly to solve and fix kids’ problems.

“Never leave your Chromebook in your car,” said Todd Steckelberg, the Director of Information Technology and the Department’s newest Director. “The screens can crack and become damaged from the cold overnight.”

Broken chromebook costs can be minimal for students and depend on the extent, type, and reason behind the damage.

“The only time we bill a student is when there has been obvious physical abuse, above and beyond normal wear and tear.  Each case is decided individually based on the obvious damage and the notes written on the Repair Form when the Chromebook is turned in for repair,” said Technology Support Technician Mitch Kelly. “We have a list of parts and prices that we use to determine the cost; screens are $55.00, keyboards are $33.00, a broken front bezel (the bar screens rotate on)  is $15.00, and broken or missing top and bottom plastic covers are $25.00 each.”

Despite the Chromebook II’s being newer than the first generation, they tend to be more faulty than the original.

“The Chromebook II’s mainboards fail more than the old style board used to fail, whether they won’t charge, or the headphone jacks won’t work,” said Kelly.

Despite this, fewer problems are being reported than in previous years.

“The first model of chromebooks we had were very fragile compared to the ones we have now. For example, with the new ones that the juniors and seniors use, I’ve only had to work on three or four this year at the most, which is unbelievable compared to what it used to be.”