Acer Chromebook Injured MA Student that Led To MCAS Cancelation

The student from Whitin Intermediate School who was burned by a laptop during MCAS testing on Tuesday was using an Acer C734 Chromebook. This model is widely used across the country, as confirmed by district officials.

All students in the district need to bring their Chromebooks on Wednesday for safety inspections. The district announced that there are approximately 150,000 Acer C734 laptops being used across the country. According to a news release, this is the first reported incident where a student was injured by one of these laptops.

“We think this is a single event, and we are waiting for the unit to come back so we can find out what caused it.” We started sending out this model in October 2021 and have shipped over 600,000 units. So far, there have been no new reports of the battery overheating and causing smoke. Acer stated that they closely keep track of the failure rates and causes of all their product lines. They mentioned that the C734 Chromebook is very reliable and has very few technical issues of any kind.

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The district reported that a student at Whitin was taking the English language MCAS test on Tuesday when their Chromebook started to produce smoke. The student got medical help, and the statewide tests for students in 4th through 7th grades were canceled in the district.

The district is trying to find around 450 new laptops, which may not be the C734 model, so that students can finish their MCAS testing by April 26. Uxbridge and many other school districts in the state will have their April vacation next week. The district says that Acer is sending a technician to inspect the laptop that is not working correctly.

“We want to understand what happened with this unit before we make any decisions,” said Superintendent Michael Baldassarre in a news release.

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