By: Andrew Choi
As schools like Westhill High School try to become more technologically advanced, the wifi service provided by the school is not up to date. Although the school now offers to borrow laptops, the wifi still hinders how much work can be done. The wifi is notoriously frustrating for students.
“It’s slow. Some internet websites are blocked. It’s very slow,” said Jason Busch (‘22).
Some students believe that the work teachers post on Google Classroom simply cannot be done effectively in school because of how slow the wifi is. Sometimes it blocks websites that need to be accessed in order to do classwork. These restrictions affect students’ ability to do work in school.
“The new school computers have limited my ability to take tests, access educational materials, and finish schoolwork. While trying to take a secure test from AP Classroom on the Lockdown Browser, many of my classmates and I were unable to access the test. Our school computers were unable to open the test due to the many security controls on the computer. Similarly, while searching for information regarding computer science software, the school computers would not let me access websites needed to install said software,” said Gavin Stops (‘22).
Censorship on certain websites may be a good thing considering access to inappropriate websites or games may be distracting for students. According to GoGaurdian, web filtering prevents students from accessing graphic content, distracting entertainment, and even potential cyberbullying. On the other hand, web filtering may discourage student autonomy and decision making, prevent students from learning how to use the internet efficiently, and limit access to educational websites. While internet filtering and bad service in the school system may limit students from using social media in order to prevent issues such as cyberbullying, the pros of having access to more educational resources outweighs the potential misuse of wifi.
However, internet filtering may be useless anyways, as students figure out how to bypass such features with proxies and the poor security of the wifi.
“The fact that some websites are blocked is annoying, but every student has access to a VPN to bypass these blocks, so why not just unblock every site? It’s the teachers job to make sure their students are on task anyway,” said Navin Ponnusamy (‘22).
Since the school’s web filtering is ineffective and therefore a useless feature, it would be more productive to simply give access to more educational resources to all students. Based on the information gathered, the web filtering and poor connection wifi should be improved because it is both ineffective and too slow to handle school assignments.