Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Board of Education: Lessen restrictions on Internet access in school
The Internet is an integral part of modern education; the AACPS Board of Education has chosen to adopt policies that encourage censorship and restrict access to learning materials.
It is understandable that sites such as facebook.com and twitter.com are blocked; they are distractions from learning. However, sites such as wikipedia.com, issuu.com, and google.com/images pose little to no threat to students, faculty and staff.
Wikipedia is blocked because one irresponsible student in a county with approximately 80,000 students chose to view innapropriate content on wikipedia.com. Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but students understand this; Wikipedia does allow students to gain background information that can be used to find alternative information sources.
Teachers and staff need less restrictive access to the Internet in order to provide high quality education to students. Many teachers must build their lessons at home because they cannot download images or view videos in school. This is unacceptable.
Students need less restrictive access to the Internet in order to gain a high quality education. Research projects, reporting, and educational social media are all inhibited by our school systems restrictive internet policies.
Most of all, the school newspaper needs less restrictive internet to effectively collaborate during the writing and publishing stage. Up and coming reporters cannot do adequate background research on their topics because 5/10 of google search results end up with an 'Error - 403 FORBIDDEN' page. It doesn't stop there; Google Apps, an online collaboration software suite, is half-functioning almost all of the time. Whether it be due to a blocked resource or outdated technology, the Broadneck Tribruin is seriously hurt. If we had less restrictive internet and better technology (currently on Windows XP with Internet Explorer 8), the newspaper might actually be read by students.
The Broadneck Tribruin's system is set to work, it just needs help from you. Efforts to discern a formal policy regarding website blocking were unsuccessful, leading the Broadneck Tribruin to believe that there is no formal policy governing the web filter.
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