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Emily K2

United States

Our Firewalls are Burning

March 18, 2016

Picture this: your teacher asks you to go online and find a video about independent and dependent clauses. You go on YouTube; blocked. Next you try a different website; blocked. And another; blocked. This is a daily occurrence in schools everywhere, which brings up the question of school firewalls. Are they too restrictive? The answer is yes.
    The web blockers (firewalls) that schools put up are far too restrictive. And hurting our education. In the article Filtering in Schools, it says “Of the 4,299 responses 52% indicated that filtering impedes student research when completing key word searches, 42% indicated that filtering discounts the social aspects of learning, and 25% stated that filtering impeded continued collaboration outside of person-to-person opportunities” (4). Why are schools spending money to prevent learning? When they were first introduced, their intent was to block off social media, games, and other inappropriate sites. But now they are blocking plenty of student friendly sites that could be used to strengthen student’s comprehension.    
     In addition, everyone learns in different ways. Some students are visual learners, and could greatly benefit from watching educational videos in class. Other learn best through repetition, like in songs and raps. This had become an important part in a student’s learning. According to the article What’s the Impact of Overzealous written by Kathy Buron, “Under the new [common core] standards, it’s expected that students will learn to “employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use” (5). We live in an age where the internet is used daily, regardless of your job is. If students are not taught how to take advantage of the internet, how will they succeed in an era where technology is everywhere?
     Similarly, in the article Are the Web Filtered at your School too Restrictive? the author states that “Students must develop skills to evaluate information from all types of sources in multiple formats, including the Internet. Relying solely on filters does not teach young citizens how to be savvy searchers or how to evaluate the accuracy of information” (1-2). How will students ever be able to learn for themselves when web filters are constantly in their way?
     This is a problem that needs to end. If restrictive web filters continue to be used, students won't be able to think for themselves, they won't be able to comprehend information as well, and they might not even finish some assignments! Not everyone has the internet in their home, and if it is constantly being restricted at school, how will we ever learn for ourselves? Do you want to hold back your students from doing their best? Because that is exactly what web filters are doing.

Works Cited
Buron, Kathy. "What’s the Impact of Overzealous Internet Filtering in Schools?" MindShift. N.p., 26 June 2014. Web. 13 Mar.      2016.

"Filtering in Schools." Filtering in Schools. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.

     Schulten, Katherine. "Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive?" The Learning Network Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive Comments. N.p., 27 Sept. 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.

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