This website is blocked

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Gracie Thies, News Editor

     Technology and the amount of websites students at Belvidere North can go on is very limited this year. Last year, we were open to more learning opportunities on the Chromebooks, and suddenly it has come to a halt. No more researching interesting topics and showing your creative side.

     Apparently, the district has adopted a new filtering system and most of the websites are blocked. The tech department has to go through and unblock any links that will not distract students.

     All these blocked sites are ultimately limiting our learning ability. There is no point in having new Chromebooks if we can’t use them for our assignments. This is like giving someone a new toy and telling them they can’t use it.

     This is high school and there shouldn’t be restrictions on the websites we can visit. Chances are that we have already seen these blocked websites at least once in our lifetime. It’s understandable that the school district doesn’t want students to wander onto sites like Facebook or Twitter, but this is high school and we are responsible enough to know what we should be doing.

     “If we leave everything open, then students will wander onto other sites and be off task,” said Linda Webber of the Technology department.

     The purpose of being in school is to learn and get assignments done. Now that an exceedingly large amount of websites are blocked, those assignments become homework. Students in sports stay up all night finishing homework that they could’ve done in school because the websites were blocked. Then, they show up to school the next day with fatigue from no sleep the past night.

      Students can no longer research interesting topics or use our ability to be creative. It’s the twenty-first century where technology is right at our fingertips, yet we can’t access it.

     “We want to give students the chance to be creative, but it ends at one point when students are ruining it for others while going on inappropriate sites,” said Webber.

     Why not not give us a chance to access all the sites we want, and if we abuse our privileges, then websites can be re-blocked and returned to its original state.

     Now that a new filtering system is being used, teachers can use a program called Go Guardian, which allows them to see what students are doing on their Chromebooks without actually getting up to look at their screen.

     Go Guardian is a possible solution, but it makes no sense when as high schoolers, we should be preparing for college. That means giving us the freedoms that college students have instead of being treated like middle schoolers. High school is the transitioning period for us to mature and gradually act like an adult. Too bad we’re not actually being treated like one.

     Teachers do have the option to fill out a help ticket with the blocked site on the sheet and can return it to the tech department. Most likely the teacher will be granted permission to go on the website. But that only works to a certain extent.

     A solution to this problem would be switching to a different program that can filter the websites in a way that makes it easier for students to access websites they need to use for homework. This may not solve problem, but a suggestion can’t hurt.

     Overall, we need to eventually obtain access to websites we use for assignments, it’s only going to help out education, so why not give it a try?