Chromebooks. A true blessing and a curse. With this technology at hand, teachers are now able to communicate with their students with more ease, the community has become more environmnteally friendly, but most importantly, students are able to retrieve information within a matter of seconds. As the Ridgewood Public School system notices a variety of benefits from the technology, many students believe otherwise.
An ongoing issue among the high schoolers is that while being connected to the school wifi, a countless number of websites has been censored. This is intended to keep students off non-educational websites, social media, and games during the school day. While this can be seen as a positive in keeping students on task and focusing in class, it unfortunately also prevents students from having access to a myriad of valuable resources.
In the past year and a half, many students have been experiencing obstructions while conducting research on their Chromebooks. Ridgewood High School’s wifi restricts them from utilizing educationally enriching sites based off of certain keywords found on the webpage, even if the site is not actually inappropriate. For a majority of the time while doing research, many students face difficulties when finding informational websites that are not blocked. Personally, my academics have been affected because I often give up doing schoolwork during school, knowing that a majority of my sources will be unavailable, sometimes I simply giving up because I know that when get home my homework would be completed more effciently with more valuable sources.
In addition to being blocked from educational websites, it can also prevent individuals from learning information that does not directly pertain to the classroom. Students should have the opportunity to acquire information regarding what goes on in our world aside from what is just presented in class. Sports news, for example, may not be considered “educational” or “relevant” by some teachers, but that should not mean that students should be restricted. Sport s are an impratve part of America culture and the school overall, so the fact that some sport websites are blocked it actually quite shocking.
The students of Ridgewood High School would incredibly benefit this change with having greater liberties online in school. Blocking more sites truly causes more harm than good. Social media, games, and websites that are actually “inappropriate” should be the only web pages that should be censored on the school wifi. It makes sense to block those sites so students can work diligently in school and remain on task in class. On the other hand, too many websites are blocked in school to the point where research and knowledge is withheld from students. I believe that if the Ridgewood Public School system became more lenient with giving greater accessibility to the internet, its students would overall be more knowledgeable, diligent in their work, happy with having the opportunity to explore their intellectual and personal interests.