Education Google K12 Massachusetts

A 1:1 Chromebook Deployment Goes Awry

eastbridgewater-Chromebookstory-top A 1:1 Chromebook Deployment Goes Awry

Students at East Bridgewater Jr/Sr High School had to return all 1169 Google Chromebooks (photo: EBHS)

East Bridgewater Jr/Sr High School In Massachusetts Recalls 1169 Chromebooks after three fire incidents.

On Monday, Erica Fluevog, software specialist with the East Bridgewater Public School District in East Bridgewater Massachusetts issued a memo to all students, faculty and parents announcing that all 1169 Chromebooks deployed to Eastbridgewater Jr/Sr High School were being recalled.

The recall came after a third incident of fire happened with the Chromebooks manufactured by Lenovo.  The school was using Lenovo models N21 and N22, and this school year was the first year that the entire school was completely 1:1.

At about 5:21 pm on Monday afternoon the East Bridgewater Fire Department was dispatched to the Jr/Sr High School after one of the Chromebooks began smoking in the library.

“We responded and found a Chromebook outside of the school smoking from where the camera is attached above the monitor,” Fire Chief Tim Harhen told the Enterprise News. 

The previous two incidents, one in January and one in May apparently happened in the same general area of the device. The Lenovo N21 and N22 feature the ability to swivel the camera at the top. When the camera is turned too much the wires separate and it begins to short circuit.

“You can have it looking right at you or swiveled so that the camera is facing out. But the design allows you to move it beyond it’s capabilities. If the camera moves past its limit, it pulls the wires and causes the wires to short.” Harhen said.

All of the students in the school, which houses grades 7-12 for the district, use the Chromebooks all day long. Teachers at the school use Google Classroom and other software as their primary vehicle for instruction.

“We usually use them all day in all of our classes,” 10th-grade student Kaitlynn Choquette said. “All of the teachers will use Google classroom. We usually use it to lookup assignments and things.”

The Superintendent, Liz Legault sent an email to parents advising that they were working with the manufacturer to get the Chromebooks back to students as soon as they can, safely.

Students will be able to use their own devices in class until the devices are upgraded or completely fixed. In the meantime they are being housed in a steel storage unit outside of the police station in case of any other fires.

East Bridegewater isn’t alone Boston TV Station WCVB ABC 5 reports. At nearby Curtis Middle School in Sudbury students are having problems with the chargers for their Dell Chromebooks getting too hot. So far that school has swapped out Chromebooks for students with faulty cords and continues to use them in class.