Language and Literature
November 19, 2015
Web Filters on the Middle Schools Chromebooks
Imagine that you are in the 8th grade again, about all of our ages and you just got your chromebook from the school to do homework on. Some people are seeing what other websites we can go on like Netflix and Amazon Prime and Hulu and websites that you can watch tv shows on. Then school blocks that website and you are done with your homework and you want to finish a series that you have been watching for a while now. But you can’t because the school blocked the website and you feel bad because you think what could I have done to make the school block this website, but it’s not your fault but your punished anyways. How is that fair? I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t. I think that when I, being an 8th grade student here at Central Middle school, say this I speak for a lot of the 8th grade class. Most of us do all of our work and then we look for something to do and we can’t because you the White Bear school district blocked the websites that some of the “good” kids want to go on too. So I say that the district get rid of the filters but not completely, only have the filters during school and then when the day is over just take them down. It might be a lot of work but it’s fair.
My first reason has to do with the filters the White Bear school district puts on their 8th grade chromebooks deals with how it is unfair for other students. A google website said, “When you're about to visit one of these questionable sites, you'll see a red warning that "The site ahead contains harmful programs,” (54). When this google website stated this they meant that google can now warn you about the content in the website that you are about to look at. This proves that we, as students, can go on other websites with a warning from google about the content. This matters because, for a lot of students, this warning could help them stay on track and not do anything that they’re not supposed to.
My second reason has to do with how it wastes a lot of time for the White Bear school district to put those filters on the 8th grade chromebooks in the first place. A different google site said that “Chrome's Supervised Users feature allows you to set up additional user accounts alongside your regular Chrome account,” (56). That is what this google site meant by setting up another account, we have our own chromebooks and we can take them home and such. We as students can just log on to another account because it’s not for school so how could you block us from doing anything on that. This matters because you being the school district really can’t expect every student to not go on other websites when they’re done with homework. Even if you did block those websites a lot of students are just going to keep trying to unblock them, so really it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
My third reason is about everyone that doesn’t do anything wrong on their chromebooks because a lot of students would probably want to watch something on netflix or another site. Another google site said “Google's Chrome Web browser will now warn you before you visit a site that encourages you to download nefarious programs that make undesirable changes to your computer or interfere with your online experience,” (53). Again google will now warn you about the content in a website you are about to go on. If you’re a student that gets off track easily and you go on a website that you’re probably not supposed to, this can help you stay on track because of this label google now has. This just proves that you, being the White Bear Lake district, have to trust your students to do the right thing. But if there is a student that breaks the rules, just take away his privileges for using any other websites. Not everyone deserves a punishment, like the blocking of a website. I am just saying that I, being a student, have done nothing wrong on my chromebook but I get a blocked website because of other students. I think the whole thing is just a little bit unfair to other students like myself.
Then, I am trying to prove that it is unfair for the White Bear school district to block any websites on the 8th grade chromebooks. Despite what I had just said, I bet most teachers think the opposite of what I'm saying and they might be right but in my opinion they aren’t. “The kids love it. They live in a digital age where they can probably show us more than we can show them,” Morris said. “We have so much more access to resources now,” (58). This is what a google website said about chromebooks, how can they be helpful if you the White Bear school district block all websites. In my words this means that because the White Bear Lake school district blocks all these websites, what about when I'm done with homework and I have nothing else to do. I'm a teenager and you basically handed a computer to me and you don’t think that I'm going to try and go on netflix or other websites like that. This shows that some students want to go on the same websites as other students. Those students don’t do anything wrong, there really good students and they can’t go on those other websites because of the kids who got them blocked. In my mind, being a teenager, I'm confused by what I did to get you mad at me and take this privilege away from me.
In conclusion, it is just unfair to the other students to put web filters on their chromebooks too. Does the White Bear school district really want to make their own students feel bad about themselves? You might be asking me right now “how would those other students feel bad about themselves.” I’m telling you right now that I am one of those students that feels bad about themselves but why? It is because you blocked a website that I really wanted to use (Netflix), I was going to use it because I was done with my homework and I didn’t have anything else going on that night. Then I try to go on it and it’s blocked, I thought to myself “what could I have done to deserve this to be taken away from me.” I understand that the White Bear school district gave us these chromebooks in the first place, and believe me I’m happy about it. But does the White Bear school district really expect the 8th grade class not to try go on websites like Netflix. All I’m saying is think about those other kids, think about how they must feel right now because you blocked those kinds of websites from them.
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