West Side is Tech-Savvy

Katie Wallin does her french homework on the new Windows 8 computers in the media center.

Katie Wallin does her French homework on the new Windows 8 computers in the media center. Wallin said that she struggled with Windows 8 in the beginning.

Whether it’s the media center, a computer room, or a classroom, you sit down and take a look at the computer before you. You turn the screen on and a username and password box pops up. You type in your username and your password and hit enter. After waiting for what seems like ages, here you are face-to-face with the bright, interactive start up screens with square tiles everywhere. It’s certainly different from last year. What is it? It is Windows 8.

Since the first days of school,  the computer rooms around the building have been filled with a little bit of chaos. The main reason for this confusion was that students and teachers were trying to figure out how to navigate through the new Windows 8 setting.

“At first, I did not know how to use it and where to search things,” said Mary Zhu ‘15. There were new schedules and challenging classes and now: new technology. People like Zhu agree that some tips would be definitely useful and helpful.

“Just type. As simple as it sounds, when the start screen comes up and you’re looking for something, just start typing,” said the System Administrator Zachary Baiel.

Along with Windows 8, West Side now has Google Apps for Education, which is a collection of apps exclusively for schools and their members.  The format is much like a normal Gmail account, except that every member of the staff at West Side is on the contact list. According to Baiel, one of the main reasons that the school got it was to provide a work space just for school.

“It was mainly for communication, storage, and collaboration,” said Baiel. “Personal life is not school life and this is the a perfect utility to create that division.” By using Google apps, people can work on papers and projects on the drive and share it with each other right away, because every student is registered on the system with their own school email address.

Since this program replaced E-locker, and there is no longer a hassle in uploading files and going home to see that files weren’t properly uploaded. Another benefit to this is that students can contact teachers through a “school-only” account instead of using their personal emails.

“It’s great that you now have easy access to teachers and other students. And now you don’t have to send in final projects with those embarrassing usernames everyone made back in like second grade,” said Esther Park ’16. Access into the accounts only take a username and password. The username is “username@student.wl.k12.in.us” and the passwords are the same as school passwords then, it’s just one click away to a whole new work space.

In addition to Windows 8 and Google Apps for Education the school is working on improving and expanding mobile technology around the school and focusing on the “transition to working more online”.

“I’m lucky to go to this school. Some schools don’t even have the technological advantages that we have,” said Zhu.

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Student views published on this website and in the print edition of The Scarlette do not necessarily reflect the views of the faculty, staff, or administration of West Lafayette High School or WLCSC.