Web Filtering


Kylie Richards

Kylie Richards

Shelby Tyner


Computer usage in schools has risen a lot due to the pandemic and online learning tools getting better and better, so it is important schools have adapted software that blocks websites on the student’s Chromebooks to keep students safe and concentrated on their work. But some kids don’t like things like social media and games being blocked. There are also lots of misconceptions about how and why our school blocks sites. 


I surveyed students on where they stand on what should be blocked if anything at all. The general consensus on the school blocking websites is that it’s good, except for when the filters trip up and block educational tools. When I asked about if social media sites should be blocked, the results were fairly mixed. Some people said that it can have misinformation and be distracting, and others said it shouldn’t because there is educational content on these sites if you use it correctly.  People also said that games are okay as long as you’re done with your work, but they can be distracting to people who are actually trying to work.


I then interviewed Ms. Marsden, our schools technology coach, to clear up some common misconceptions on how content gets blocked and also get another opinion on how they feel about the school blocking sites. First we talked about the common rumor that the school uses “data blockers”. She said that this rumor isn’t true and, “We don’t use data blockers to make sure kids can’t use WiFi, but the WiFi is off limits for non-school issued devices.” It is possible to connect to mobile data but the connection is very slow. Another question I asked is why schools block content, because there is a lot of different opinions on why schools block websites. She told me that, “our school blocks content for a variety of reasons, but the most important one is our students’ privacy.” The school also blocks sites because of cyberbullying and things that could be distracting. Something that makes sense but people may not know is that the  school is obligated to block sites by the law. “Schools and districts may face fines, lawsuits, or even imprisonment for their failure to comply with federal and state student privacy laws.”


The blockers aren’t perfect and people will always find a way around them if they can. But they are a whole lot better than if our school didn’t filter sites because there is a lot of things on the internet that aren’t so safe.