Students Ignoring Laptop Sign-Out Rules

Students are required to sign out computers from the Innovation Space, which cannot leave the area. Photo by Sita Alomran ’19.

Science Department Chair Cecelia Pan announced during a morning meeting last week that some students are not properly signing out or returning laptops to their respective carts in the Science Office, the Innovation Space, and the Learning Commons.

According to the Student Handbook, “All use of technological equipment at Brimmer must be in support of education and research and be consistent with the purposes of the School. Misuse or lack of care in the use of desktop labs, laptops, or iPads may result in closure and/or denial of access to these resources.”

Director of Innovation Kathryn Lee said that it’s frustrating when laptops are not returned, forcing students to restart projects as teachers hunt for missing devices.

“We are usually able to track them down, but this process takes time away from class,” Lee said.  “Not taking the computer out of the Innovation Space would go a long way in helping to alleviate this problem as would properly signing them out.”

Students are only allowed to take computers out of the Innovation Space with special permission, Lee said.

“When I have photo, I always have to track down the computer with my work on it,” Paxton Wong ’20 said. “I lost class time, and it’s really frustrating. People shouldn’t take laptops without checking them out.”

“It’s very annoying to need a specific computer in Digital Cinema, only to find the computer gone, meaning your work can’t be accessed,” said Charles McLaughlin ’22.

With respect to the Science Department laptops, there is no sign out sheet, and students can only gain access to them with a teacher present. Students are also only allowed to use the laptops for a designated period, not for the entire day.

Still, students have snuck into the office to take the devices.

“When one is missing, we can’t easily determine where it went to and usually find them by luck,” Pan said. “If we cannot find the computers we need, it means we need to search for them, which wastes class time.”

Library Director Megan Dolan said that while students often remember to sign out computers in the Innovation Space, they don’t aways return them.

“The policy is that the library computers are to be used in the library. It can be hard to find laptops if they have left the library.”

Pan, Lee, and Dolan all expressed that the laptops are to remain in their designated locations, not travel around the School. 

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