New keyboard restrictions present a hindrance to learning


Spanish V students complete work on their Chromebooks during class.

After a recent change, district-managed Chromebooks now restrict use of alternative keyboards. This is a huge hindrance to students taking foreign languages such as Spanish, French and German. Chromebooks are supposed to aid both teachers and students in completing and turning in assignments. However, students cannot properly and efficiently complete assignments and teachers cannot evaluate the level the students are at when they do not have access to the correct accents and symbols.

Now that every student has access to an NC Chromebook most assignments are given through Canvas, including tests and quizzes. Language classes are no different; students complete writing assignments online in a variety of methods. With the restriction of many foreign language keyboards, including the widely-used US International keyboard, mundane tasks become much more difficult. What once could have been accomplished simply by holding an extra key or an extra press of a button must now involve a copy-and-paste operation, taking significantly more time.

A large advertising point for our school is the vast majority of languages we teach. With this change, teaching and learning a foreign language must now be done with one hand tied behind our backs.