Thursday, October 4, 2007

Now, you can use your laptop in school!

A very diverse topic is disused in the article “Two Steps Forward,” by Mr. Fisch. It talks about two ideas and future plans that are revolutionizing schools in this time. The first topic concerns use of personal electronic devices that can connect to the internet. At Arapahoe, the media center has only 37 computers, and when all the computers are filled, where can you work. What if you have an assignment due the next period, and you’re running out of time? The school board is discussing allowing students to bring their own personal devices (laptops, iPhones) to use for their school work. A Wireless Network covers 95% of the school’s footprint. I think this idea is very useful and needs to happen. I would feel a whole lot comfortable using my own computer at school for schoolwork and other projects. I can do more with my computer, because it is mine. At the school computer you have to save your work in a certain folder, delete it after you print it or email it to your home for printing, and other annoyances. Although it would be incredibly convenient, it could also bring up some doubts and questions. Would it be safe to bring my computer to school? Would someone steal it right behind my back? And then this is where the second part of the article comes into play, what about internet filtering?

There is a specialized internet filter for the entire school wireless network. It was updated last year, so the list of ban websites was redone. And now they have sites like YouTube and Google Videos banned from public use. The teachers have an over-ride if they need it for a class discussion or personal use, but what about the students? In the past year, kids have been allowed to research videos on those sites. But now it is banned! I think it has two sides to this idea. I know that both those sides can have some inappropriate content on them, so it is good that students don’t have access to that. But also, they might need them for an assignment. I personally don’t use Youtube for many assignments, but other s might. Do you think this is a good idea or not? I personally think that it is both good and bad. I think the first idea, the one concerning use of personal electronic equipment to connect to the internet is a fantastic idea and should be applied. I could easily carry all my homework around with me, instead of hoping I remember to put it on my thumb drive or praying that I had emailed it to myself so I could recover it in time for my class. But I also think it is a good decision about banning some internet sites. I think there are just too many kids out there that would be vulnerable to that inappropriate content. This could provoke a whole new discussion and issue, but it’s just my view. I think kids should be allowed to use their own personal devices inside the school building, but that the internet filter should stay as it is, strict.

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