(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.