Shortage of Chromebooks complicating efforts for remote learning in New Hampshire

By John Suayan | The Center Square

As a state in which nearly half of its residents lack a broadband internet connection, New Hampshire is also having to address a nationwide shortage of Chromebooks.

Nashua and Manchester, two of the state’s largest public-school districts, do not have enough Chromebook laptops for their students, New Hampshire Public Radio reported.

Though the Nashua School District has distributed about 7,000 Chromebooks, some students are participating in online learning without a device.

The district’s technology director, Greg Rodriguez, told NHPR that it could be at the end of this year when Nashua receives its order for 3,500 additional Chromebooks.

All is not terrible for Nashua on the technological front, however. NHPR reported that its schools will soon enjoy faster internet, and the Boys and Girls Club is providing connections to families who lack one.

Manchester School District is also playing the waiting game with the more than 3,000 Chromebooks it ordered. The devices are affordable at $200 a pop, but their processing speed may not be enough to have users properly connect to Zoom or other videoconferencing platforms.

Stephen Cross, Manchester’s technology director, told NHPR that it will be the teachers who are impacted the most by the Chromebook shortage. Until the district’s orders arrive – which will also be at the end of the year – many teachers will have to make do with their own computers.

“Until we get these laptops in, we’re going to have a situation where teachers won’t have sufficient hardware,” Cross told NHPR.

Last month, Gov. Chris Sununu announced that New Hampshire would spend $16 million on addressing the glaring digital divide in the state.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Nowforever

One thought on “Shortage of Chromebooks complicating efforts for remote learning in New Hampshire

  1. It’s not just a digital divide. It’s a lack of maintaining what is here.
    I am located on the “far end of the far end” the techs tell us.
    We have scarcely better than dial up here.. and there is nothing we can do until they do an upgrade.
    Which no one knows when this will happen. I’ve contacted even Sen.Jeanne Shaheen and gotten no where on this.
    My area of town has been working on this for years.
    THIS is the issue with allowing these sales to these communications companies that are not well off and solid enough to do the upgrading and maintain the equipment. The local techs tell us that things went very bad when this was all owned by Verizon. They sucked out all the money and never did a darn thing and they’ve been behind the 8 ball since then trying to catch up. One tech told me that the governor should have never allowed that sale to go through because all these guys that do that work knew what was going on and the level of work that would be needed. But no one listens to these guys of course we all know.. it’s all about the almighty dolla.

    Which I why I’ve posted a few times on this topic in Vermont that just getting wired up is not the be all end all of the problem. Many of us ARE wired up, but then the darn stuff doesn’t work well because it was not getting the upgrades it needed. So this is something that people need to understand.
    This is not just a one time investment- it’s a constant maintenance issue.
    We also have overall grid issues too, our electricity is often out, like monthly.
    It’s really hard to believe that in this day and age we have these problems.
    It’s also hard to believe that society is pushing (forcing) us down a path that many don’t even have!
    There are many people that cannot even participate in Life now as they are seeking to set it up.
    Where is the FAIR and EQUAL in this?
    And what if I don’t want to do everything online?

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