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So I read an article in my local newspaper about this 'movement' (because it's not particularly big or anything) that wants to bring unfiltered wifi to schools. They say that not providing wifi at schools is just like not providing toilets. So, I think this raises two questions:

  1. Should schools (by law) be forced to provide wifi (rather than just internet that's provided to school computers)?
  2. Should the internet access schools provide be uncensored?

Note that this is concerning middle/high school, so +/- 12-18 year old students.

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So I read an article in my local newspaper about this 'movement' (because it's not particularly big or anything) that wants to bring unfiltered wifi to schools. They say that not providing wifi at schools is just like not providing toilets. So, I think this raises two questions:

  1. Should schools (by law) be forced to provide wifi (rather than just internet that's provided to school computers)?
     
  2. Should the internet access schools provide be uncensored?

Note that this is concerning middle/high school, so +/- 12-18 year old students.

 

1. No. It might be nice, but no.

2. No, censors restrict the amount a student can be distracted or distract other students.

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Wifi certainly shouldn't be required by law, but perhaps it should be enforced well. Less wealthy schools would probably end up getting some crappy, wait-ten-minutes-to-load-google internet if it were mandatory.

Censors are helpful in some aspects, but are definitely more trouble than they're worth. Coming from a school in which all students have to pay an unnecessarily high amount to have netbooks, I can assure you filters don't help. They often block websites aimlessly, and with senseless categorizations (which sometimes happens to be porn for purely educational websites). And the people who are actually willing enough to play their flash games and whatnot simply use a proxy (most of which aren't blocked for a reason I'll never know). Not to mention the one from which I suffer often prevents somebody from going to an unblocked website in general. I'm not sure of the specifics, but I believe one's connection attempt to a site has to go through the filter first, which sometimes results in a page basically saying "lolol cant connect try again" with the filter's shameless banner.

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schools shouldn't have to have wifi, rooms with Ethernet outlets maybe

 

censors block a ton of stuff that shouldn't be allowed in schools which is good, the only problems people have are when censors block stuff that shouldn't be allowed correctly but in these things there are little pockets of things that should be allowed (ex youtube, yahoo mail, blog sites, etc). if you really need to use these, either use them on a personal computer or get a teacher with administrative access to the blocker to unblock certain content if it is part of a presentation or something.

Edited by Clavius

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1. I want to say yes, but I'm going to have to say no. My high school tried it for one time. Entire network was slow for a month because that many people used it. And my school only had about 600 people, I know other schools that have about twice that.

 

My college however has something that blocks insecure connections and throttles devices if they use up too much bandwidth during prime time hours. For laptops, you have to install said program, and login with your school ID and other stuff. For phones, there is no program, you just login. They used this method in case they get C&D letters or find you doing, illegal or inappropriate things so they can just block your laptop/phone and your ID from accessing internet. This is the reason I partially agree, but this would just put work on schools for the long run.

 

2. No. There are things that belong in schools, and don't belong in schools. You know how people draw inappropriate things and the teacher catches them? Just imagine that now but with the internet involved.

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1. Yes. Taking your own device to school (laptop/tablet) and having access to WiFi is a huge help. This is something my school does particularly well - we have access to WiFi pretty much everywhere we are in the school, and it's reasonably fast. I'm not sure if it's a mandatory thing here yet, but a neighbouring public school has a good enough signal that I can access (if I knew the password) from 400-odd metres away.

 

2. No. Students should not be allowed access to whatever they desire, in case that's distracting from school work. I know I find myself on Reddit far too much during school, but I imagine it'd be a lot worse if a lot of flash game websites were unblocked.

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1. Yes. Taking your own device to school (laptop/tablet) and having access to WiFi is a huge help. This is something my school does particularly well - we have access to WiFi pretty much everywhere we are in the school, and it's reasonably fast. I'm not sure if it's a mandatory thing here yet, but a neighbouring public school has a good enough signal that I can access (if I knew the password) from 400-odd metres away.

I would agree but for one thing; doesn't this allow students to just go on the internet whenever they please? That's great in some cases, but during class you're going to have people who do that too. Of course many people have 3G or similar connections on their smartphones nowadays, but doesn't wifi make it easier to just start mucking about on the web during class? In uni I have no qualms with this because it's your own responsibility. In middle and possibly even high school though, you still have to give students that extra push to work, and allowing them on wifi during class does not give you that extra push.

Wifi certainly shouldn't be required by law, but perhaps it should be enforced well. Less wealthy schools would probably end up getting some crappy, wait-ten-minutes-to-load-google internet if it were mandatory.

Censors are helpful in some aspects, but are definitely more trouble than they're worth. Coming from a school in which all students have to pay an unnecessarily high amount to have netbooks, I can assure you filters don't help. They often block websites aimlessly, and with senseless categorizations (which sometimes happens to be porn for purely educational websites). And the people who are actually willing enough to play their flash games and whatnot simply use a proxy (most of which aren't blocked for a reason I'll never know). Not to mention the one from which I suffer often prevents somebody from going to an unblocked website in general. I'm not sure of the specifics, but I believe one's connection attempt to a site has to go through the filter first, which sometimes results in a page basically saying "lolol cant connect try again" with the filter's shameless banner.

Sure, censors can be annoying and often don't make sense, but the alternative is providing completely open internet access; doesn't that create more problems? (like kids watching porn on school internet)

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1. Yes, if the students sign an agreement that binds them not to watch porn, download viruses onto the school network, etc, etc. For the people who use it for educational purposes, it helps a lot with them getting assignments and the such finished at school. For those who abuse it for gaming, Facebook 24/7, etc. that's their problem and choice.

 

2. To a certain extent, similar to my point above. I know for a fact my school blocks 18+ (not from experience) websites but I wouldn't go any farther than that.

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If a student gets a school laptop for the year it's not really the school's responsibility to take care of the laptop. It's the students and parents of the student. All school run on the "You break it, you buy it" policy so why should the school be worried. Also the internet needs to be uncensored. Period. It's the parents responsibility to make sure their kid is doing the right thing on the internet.

 

Bottom line: The school is not your parent! They should supply you with the tools that are needed.

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If a student gets a school laptop for the year it's not really the school's responsibility to take care of the laptop. It's the students and parents of the student. All school run on the "You break it, you buy it" policy so why should the school be worried. Also the internet needs to be uncensored. Period. It's the parents responsibility to make sure their kid is doing the right thing on the internet.

 

Bottom line: The school is not your parent! They should supply you with the tools that are needed.

So, extending this, if you have an off-limits area in a school you shouldn't lock it but just have an agreement with students that they won't go in there? It may seem ridiculous, but it's really not that different from just letting students do whatever on school internet.

1. Yes, if the students sign an agreement that binds them not to watch porn, download viruses onto the school network, etc, etc. For the people who use it for educational purposes, it helps a lot with them getting assignments and the such finished at school. For those who abuse it for gaming, Facebook 24/7, etc. that's their problem and choice.

 

2. To a certain extent, similar to my point above. I know for a fact my school blocks 18+ (not from experience) websites but I wouldn't go any farther than that.

Again though, these are 12-18 year olds we're talking about; some will be responsible, many won't. The school is not going to help motivate students with facebook access. At my school there was an OpenDNS filter that blocked plenty of things but I never had trouble getting anything done.

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I'm pretty sure my old highschool requires a username and password to log onto the wifi.... the username and password being your student ID and whatever your password is.

 

If this is the case for all schools, then WiFi should be provided. A Network Administrator can clearly track who is using what sites at what time. They can find out if it's appropriate timing, and they could set restrictions.... it's not difficult.

 

Internet at schools should definitely be censored.

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Wifi certainly shouldn't be required by law, but perhaps it should be enforced well. Less wealthy schools would probably end up getting some crappy, wait-ten-minutes-to-load-google internet if it were mandatory.

Censors are helpful in some aspects, but are definitely more trouble than they're worth. Coming from a school in which all students have to pay an unnecessarily high amount to have netbooks, I can assure you filters don't help. They often block websites aimlessly, and with senseless categorizations (which sometimes happens to be porn for purely educational websites). And the people who are actually willing enough to play their flash games and whatnot simply use a proxy (most of which aren't blocked for a reason I'll never know). Not to mention the one from which I suffer often prevents somebody from going to an unblocked website in general. I'm not sure of the specifics, but I believe one's connection attempt to a site has to go through the filter first, which sometimes results in a page basically saying "lolol cant connect try again" with the filter's shameless banner.

Sure, censors can be annoying and often don't make sense, but the alternative is providing completely open internet access; doesn't that create more problems? (like kids watching porn on school internet)

Of course the kiddies going on Facebook and all that balderdash wouldn't be positive, but if they were that dedicated to checking up on that, they'd just use a proxy. And even if they aren't aware of proxies, I doubt that the time they spend on silly ole' Twitter would otherwise be spent studying. Not to mention it seems like most youngsters just discreetly carry around a phone to do their social shizzleness. Them tiny cellulars are much less noticeable than school computers anyway.

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If a student gets a school laptop for the year it's not really the school's responsibility to take care of the laptop. It's the students and parents of the student. All school run on the "You break it, you buy it" policy so why should the school be worried. Also the internet needs to be uncensored. Period. It's the parents responsibility to make sure their kid is doing the right thing on the internet.

 

Bottom line: The school is not your parent! They should supply you with the tools that are needed.

The school is there to take responsibility whenever a student is in their premise. This is why fire drills are so strict.

 

1. Wifi is not needed and therefore a school should not be expected to provide it. Internet access, however should be provided. My old school provides internet to everyone via an Ethernet cable and a Wifi connection to post-16; I thought this was acceptable.

 

2. School should censor anything that isn't appropriate for students to be on.

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I recall my pedagogy lectures that was mandatory to complete a teaching degree. I mean, we are talking 250-300 teachers-in-training sitting in an auditorium, listening to really valuable lectures about how to teach, important information and statistic related to teaching, or even basic instructions on what to expect. As I hope most of you understand, it is basically important lectures directly aimed at preparing you for your future vocation.

The thing is, when I used to look down on the lower rows, I would see a horde of laptops, tablets and smartphones basically browsing facebook, reddit or playing games like WordFeud or who knows what. I am not really talking about just a dozen or so. I am talking at least 50+ University students in their 20ies and above out of about 250-300, being distracted by their electronic devices.

 

Do I think that WIFI is superior to cabled internet on schools? Yeah, I think Computer Halls are a thing of the past, and school desktop or log-in stations are somewhat outdated now. I like the system of school laptops and WIFI, just because it is easy to move around inside and briefly outside while doing what you are meant to be doing.

 

It seems to me that the problem immediately occurs when availibility yields for freedom. Easy-access WIFI is a blight upon education, simply because younger students (even old, looking at my fellow teachers during those lectures..) are unable to resist the alluring freedom of "I can just pop into Facebook for 2 minutes while I am listening to this segment that I know thoroughly". Why is that bad? 2 minutes is not that much? No, it is not, but it racks up to a lot of time over the course of a year, not to mention that very many has severe issues of "just browsing for 2 minutes"... :P

A counter-argument would be "So what? They are responsible to learn on their own?", but that is merely a half-truth. Educational institutions are required by law to provide a certain quality of education, both in terms of lesson quantity and the actual quality of the lessons/lectures.

 

In Norway, we are not allowed to turn students away from lessons, even if they are highly disruptive and the overall learning outcome for the class would be higher without that student. Likewise, we have a moral obligation to make sure that our students and pupils actually learn what they are meant to learn, and turning a blind eye to them being distracted by their electronic devices is just gross negligence. We should never be lazy "because it is not our responsibility". In fact, I would find such a mentality scary, simply because I believe the following:

 

"If our purpose is to educate and teach future generation to grow up to be sensible adults that can easily be integrated into our society, why on earth would our responsibility stop at letting them distract themselves, when it requires nothing of the school to remove the problem?"

 

I am all in favour of using computers, WIFI and internet access in school. In fact, I deem it somewhat integral, but once it is done without being controlled in some form, it is just begging for problems. I do not want half my class looking down into their laptops/smartphones, browsing, the second they have to study on their own during my lessons (which, sadly, is unavoidable because no matter how interactive and engaging your lessons can be, self-study will be required to learn as well now and then), because I know they will forget what they have done up until that point, while also losing out on valuable time where they could get help and advice.

 

I also find it somewhat hilarious to hear the argument "Schools are not parents" tossed around. Well, wakey-wakey, children... we are turning more into demi-parents at a rapid pace equal to how parents are failing in their roles of parents. Elementary schools have to watch out for young kids, because they have not learned basic things. That is basically just babysitting in the early years. Then you have parents pushing responsibilities over on the school and teachers up towards the teenage years, just because they do not involve themselves in the lives of their own children.

It is amazing how parents will raise a ruckus because a child gets bad grades in school, when they do not even notice that their son/daughter is not doing their homework, is not handing in their work, is not answering the tasks on tests, and is skipping school, yet they demand an inquiry as to why their child is doing poorly? I mean, come on... involve yourselves in your child's life and be responsible, and you would be stunned at how frequent that problem is, especially with boys. That, however, is a matter for a later time.

 

TL;DR: If you read this without reading the text above, you are basically one of the poor students that I am bashing. This is a debate, make the effort and read it all and GTFO this TL;DR.

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In Norway, we are not allowed to turn students away from lessons, even if they are highly disruptive and the overall learning outcome for the class would be higher without that student. Likewise, we have a moral obligation to make sure that our students and pupils actually learn what they are meant to learn, and turning a blind eye to them being distracted by their electronic devices is just gross negligence. We should never be lazy "because it is not our responsibility". In fact, I would find such a mentality scary, simply because I believe the following:

 

I have to question this: why not? Numerous times in school I have been so frustrated with pupils unwilling to learn that I have wished to have them removed. I believe that if a class wants a pupil removed for a legitimate reason, and has the popular vote, then the said person should be removed. Rather than satisfying the school's ethics or governments, if they control the education system; I find it more beneficial to let the students say what will make them learn better. If, however, the method the students wanted does not show any improvement, I think that is where the mentors or lecturers should step in and manage that.

 

Other than that, I completely agree - the school's purpose is to teach children - and therefore it is their responsibility to be the children's parent for however long they stay there.

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In Norway, we are not allowed to turn students away from lessons, even if they are highly disruptive and the overall learning outcome for the class would be higher without that student. Likewise, we have a moral obligation to make sure that our students and pupils actually learn what they are meant to learn, and turning a blind eye to them being distracted by their electronic devices is just gross negligence. We should never be lazy "because it is not our responsibility". In fact, I would find such a mentality scary, simply because I believe the following:

 

I have to question this: why not? Numerous times in school I have been so frustrated with pupils unwilling to learn that I have wished to have them removed. I believe that if a class wants a pupil removed for a legitimate reason, and has the popular vote, then the said person should be removed. Rather than satisfying the school's ethics or governments, if they control the education system; I find it more beneficial to let the students say what will make them learn better. If, however, the method the students wanted does not show any improvement, I think that is where the mentors or lecturers should step in and manage that.

 

Other than that, I completely agree - the school's purpose is to teach children - and therefore it is their responsibility to be the children's parent for however long they stay there.

It basically is because that every student has a right by law to get the intended education, and intentionally barring him/her/them from lessons/lectures is not something that is allowed at all. Norwegian schools are allowed to establish temporary teaching groups where they can put such students for a limited amount of time if there is a justifiable reason to better the learning potential for the student as well as the class. Schools can, however, not make it into a permanent thing but it is more of a temporary arrangement where schools can put a teacher on a smaller group of students so they get more follow-up from the teachers.

Is it right for the rest of the class? No, not really and I greatly sympathize for them. No one deserves to have their education ruined because of immature/inconsiderate students that have given up on their education/do not care about it, and thus sabotage the rest of the class.

However, I also think that the second that schools start alienating and segregating the weak and the noisy from the rest of their fellow classmates, we lose a lot of what is important about Norwegian society itself. How can we teach that we are all equal and to be respected, when we treat others as inferiors?

I tutor both individuals and groups of such students that are either weak or are disruptive for various reasons (and usually, it is not always the student's fault either, but it is just a cause of various illnesses and such), and if these students were to be abandoned, I would be crushed.

 

I mean... it is possibly hard for people here to understand or even relate, but it is truly rewarding to work closely with troubled students and also students that struggle with keeping the pace of their fellow students. Many average and skilled students take things for granted or look down on those that get poor results, but to see students work so hard to just pass is very rewarding, because in most cases, these kind of students are so happy and grateful that I sit down, respect them and give them the attention, support and trust that they have been denied for years.

 

I do not know, it is just great to see someone with absolutely no self-esteem or confidence work hard, then realize they get rewarded for their efforts. Heck, even sitting down with someone who has never been respected by an adult their entire life (hello, neglecting parents and other adults close to this student) and actually listen to them, is rewarding because it change them.

 

Sadly, this is a coin with two sides, and both of them have very strong merits. A teacher's job is to basically make sure that both sides are flipped and given their moment to shine, not stove some away because it is inconvenient. Think of the troublemakers as an immigrant. You have to work hard on integrating them successfully into society, the class in this case. It is not always easy, but it is something we have a duty to do, and it is the right thing to do.

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My old school had wifi available to the kids. Of course sometimes it ran slow and obviously it was censored but overall it wasn't bad.

 

1) By law, no. Some schools just don't have the funding to make that possible. It'd be nice if it could happen, though.

2) I see no reason for it being uncensored. I understand certain websites like Facebook and stuff like that have to be banned and there's nothing wrong with that.

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The censors at my school block a lot of sites, for some reason r/NSFW is unblocked, which makes for some fun viewing :P

 

As for mandatory WiFi in schools: If the school is running a netbook program, then of course they should provide WiFi throughout the school as what's the point of the netbook if you can't research material? If they aren't, then it shouldn't be forced.

 

Filtering sites: Definitely. School is for learning, and if you give a kid a laptop, Internet access and free reign, they will never get any work done.

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However, I also think that the second that schools start alienating and segregating the weak and the noisy from the rest of their fellow classmates, we lose a lot of what is important about Norwegian society itself. How can we teach that we are all equal and to be respected, when we treat others as inferiors?

Is it a matter of treating them as inferiors, or a matter of trying to correct their behavior through punishment?

I think it depends on how the various schools (and countries) approach the situation.

 

I think if you end up making a permanent solution "just because you do not want to deal with the problem" or "just because I do not want THAT student in MY class", you are automatically moving towards the inferiority treatment, which (in my view and, dare I say, in the view of good teaching practice) is a crime (at least in my country). It is just wrong.

 

That said, I think your question is valid. There is nothing wrong with taking a temporary action with the clear goal of correcting someone's behaviour through some form of punishment. For instance, if my students are excessively noisy in a lesson (which, you know, happens now and then) I will punish them by keeping them in during recess. However, the way I do it is that when things get out of hand is that I make a small box on the blackboard/board where I usually scribble notes. In this, I write "0 minutes" then I increase and decrease this number according to how disruptive they are or, if they actually end up focusing, decrease it back to zero (or in some rare cases, under zero). Basically, this just create awareness about their own focus and it actually works. Most of the time, we get down to 0 or 1 minutes which everyone can live with. On rare occasions, it will be 4-5 minutes and they really do not complain either, because they usually agree that we lost a lot of time trying to deal with disruptive students, and I can always get them to agree that it was deserved.

Now, that really do not work on a class with a student or multiple where they just do not care about it at all, but for your average class, it works wonders and it is not really harsh at all.

 

In a class with a student that just do not care (and these are bloody rare, and in those cases, it usually happens for a very clear reason which might not be apparent to his/her fellow students, but will be for the teacher), it is valuable to take them out and run separate lessons on the side, either ran by a qualified teacher's assistant or, as on my school, a second teacher that actually teach that particular subject. They get a close follow-up by a teacher that can get them where we want them, and we can re-integrate them.

 

Punishments are okay, and temporary separation is okay as long as we do not hide them away. There is a clear line there between giving them adapted education and treating them like inferior noisemakers which should be put aside, and I think it is important that all schools adhere to the good and morally sound form of education, but that is just me being a strong supporter of "leave no child behind". :P

 

 

As for the entire censorship debate.... I think schools should sensor sites that will distract the students from doing anything, but I would be the first to rage if we start censoring things that impose on our freedom as citizens. Certain political views and such should be banned if they are banned by law (extreme racism and encouraging to racial hate and such), but "OMG liberal website, ban ban ban"..... eh, no. Never. :mellow:

That said, I think schools should be able to control when the students have access to the WIFI. It should permanently be off, and then the teacher could turn it on per classroom/auditorium whenever it would be logical to use the internet. Students will just browse and do other things at all times if they are online 24/7. "Back in the days", you could just tell them to shut down their laptop screens, but nowadays you have smartphones and it would just be that much simpler to just restrict the net access, rather then censor the internet. :P

Edited by Yuanrang

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1. Definitely not, but I'd like to see it encouraged. My school doesn't have wifi for the students, but has the facilities for laptops to be used by the students (with loads of excess plugs for chargers, spare desks for them to be placed at etc). It doesn't really make sense, but it's apparently something they're looking into which isn't too bad I suppose.

 

2. To an extent. Explicit material should definitely be banned, as should games, but I'm not too sure on social networks. Having recently purchased a smartphone, it's really nice to check facebook/twitter at lunch or maybe during a free, but then again for the younger students that might not be a force for good. To be fair for me it's probably not brilliant either, but at least I 100% want to be there (as I am there out of choice) and the learning is a lot more independent now I'm in my final year so it doesn't impact too much on the rest of the class.

 

Overall it's a nice thing to have but I think as long as there's accessible internet connection on desktops then that's fine. One thing I do have a problem with is my current German teacher who refuses to let me use a dictionary app on my phone to check words while in her class, making me use an actual dictionary instead. You know, the ones you can't type into? It's on the basis of it being "the way I had to do it during A levels!" (during the 1980s) apparently.

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Overall it's a nice thing to have but I think as long as there's accessible internet connection on desktops then that's fine. One thing I do have a problem with is my current German teacher who refuses to let me use a dictionary app on my phone to check words while in her class, making me use an actual dictionary instead. You know, the ones you can't type into? It's on the basis of it being "the way I had to do it during A levels!" (during the 1980s) apparently.

That is nothing. The way I did it during the 1990s was by being the dictionary. <_< :P

 

I do understand your teacher though. I am sure that many students here will be truthful when they say they can resist the temptation of being distracted, but you are all not representative of how horrible people are at avoiding distractions. Give a class free internet access during lessons and I can guarantee that a clear majority will 'slip' at some point during a lesson or a lecture.

Edited by Yuanrang

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Well, since it requires literally no work once set up, I think it would be great if all schools had to provide free wifi. It is really helpful for kids who bring their laptops to school, and I'm pretty sure every college has free wifi for the students. But I think it should be restricted for obvious reasons.

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So I read an article in my local newspaper about this 'movement' (because it's not particularly big or anything) that wants to bring unfiltered wifi to schools. They say that not providing wifi at schools is just like not providing toilets. So, I think this raises two questions:

  1. Should schools (by law) be forced to provide wifi (rather than just internet that's provided to school computers)?
     
  2. Should the internet access schools provide be uncensored?

Note that this is concerning middle/high school, so +/- 12-18 year old students.

 

1. No. It might be nice, but no.

2. No, censors restrict the amount a student can be distracted or distract other students.

 

Censors are stupidly easy to bypass. Proxies were spread around on a regular basis when I was in high school.

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So I read an article in my local newspaper about this 'movement' (because it's not particularly big or anything) that wants to bring unfiltered wifi to schools. They say that not providing wifi at schools is just like not providing toilets. So, I think this raises two questions:

  1. Should schools (by law) be forced to provide wifi (rather than just internet that's provided to school computers)?
     
  2. Should the internet access schools provide be uncensored?

Note that this is concerning middle/high school, so +/- 12-18 year old students.

 

1. No. It might be nice, but no.

2. No, censors restrict the amount a student can be distracted or distract other students.

 

Censors are stupidly easy to bypass. Proxies were spread around on a regular basis when I was in high school.

So you block proxies, right...?

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So I read an article in my local newspaper about this 'movement' (because it's not particularly big or anything) that wants to bring unfiltered wifi to schools. They say that not providing wifi at schools is just like not providing toilets. So, I think this raises two questions:

  1. Should schools (by law) be forced to provide wifi (rather than just internet that's provided to school computers)?
     
  2. Should the internet access schools provide be uncensored?

Note that this is concerning middle/high school, so +/- 12-18 year old students.

 

1. No. It might be nice, but no.

2. No, censors restrict the amount a student can be distracted or distract other students.

 

Censors are stupidly easy to bypass. Proxies were spread around on a regular basis when I was in high school.

So you block proxies, right...?

 

Proxies are extremely disposable and easy to set up. For every one you take down another pops up.

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