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Internet filtering creates problems

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Internet filtering creates problems

illustration by Jill Le

illustration by Jill Le

illustration by Jill Le

Staff Editorial

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School is unnecessarily hard sometimes. When students attempt to complete endless research projects, being declined click after click is a big issue. Studying around overly restrictive school web filters is inconvenient and limits learning.

For the convenience of students and faculty, high school web filters should not be quite as strict. The amount of websites and social media sites blocked by the filters should be decreased.

One of the reasons why this is such a problem is because of the Children’s Internet Protection Act. In order for schools to receive funding for their technology, they have to certify that this internet safety policy and web filters are in place. While the access of technology notably benefits the learning of students, it is impossible to reach the necessary sites with the current web filters depletes the usefulness of the discounted technology.  With the restrictive filters currently in place, students are not allowed to fully and correctly use resources for research. It’s hindering when one cannot access appropriate and educational websites because of a filter. Many students do not have access to the internet outside of the classroom, and the discounted technology they receive through the school is the only way they can reach the web. With that being said, those students are being limited in their learning and development as a person, because of these overreaching restrictions.

Not only are students negatively affected by the web filters, but teachers and other faculty members are, as well. Teachers sometimes intend on showing their class a video or an article to enhance their lesson and help students develop a deeper understanding of the topic, but are stopped by excessive web filters. It takes up valuable class time when teachers have to plan around web restrictions, and it’s frustrating when learning is confined because a “this website is blocked” error message pops up.

Those who agree with the restrictive school web filters believe social media and other blocked sites are inappropriate or a distraction for high school students. However, the filters do not need to be completely removed, just compromised. Certain social media sites and websites should be blocked to protect students, but a lot of them could be unblocked to be used for educational purposes. For example, Youtube videos are important for adding to a class discussion, providing additional information and learning, yet there are purposeful videos being blocked by the filters.  

Web filters need to reconsidered and changed to fit the researching and educational needs of teachers and students. The best way to get the most out of technology and improve research is to decrease the amount of overly restraining web filters and provide students and teachers the information they need to learn.

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Internet filtering creates problems