Students Struggle with Wifi

Social+media+sites+like+YouTube%2C+Instagram%2C+Facebook%2C+and+Snapchat+are+all+restricted+on+the+school+WiFi.+

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Social media sites like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are all restricted on the school WiFi.

Maria Pisano, Reporter

MCPS has restricted social media sites, certain YouTube videos, and even educational websites from county Wifi access since the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

Apps including Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook have all been blocked. MCPS took this action to prevent students from using social media during instructional learning hours. It did not take long for students to find a way around this blockage by using select “VPN” apps. MCPS, however, caught onto this just as quickly and blocked those apps as well.

Junior Kirsten Miller does not think MCPS should continue these restrictions. The Wifi restrictions are stopping students from accessing social media through county Wifi, but it is also causing issues as students are using their data plans which may create overages and cost additional money.

“I used more [data] so my parents have to turn my phone off every month because of it,” Miller explained.

School policies could potentially be changed to address social media usage in class without complete blockage.

“I feel like the school needs to give us more freedom and trust us more with [wifi].” Miller noted.

While teachers enjoy not having students check social media every minute, this policy has affected teachers’ methods. Law teacher Clifford Elgin indicated that certain sites he used to use for educational purposes are no longer available because they are blocked. Plus, it is clear the new restrictions have not changed students phones habits.

“There [are] always gonna be some kids that are on their phones constantly, no matter what,” Elgin explained.

Despite almost all social media sites being blocked, this has not stopped students from using their phones during class.

“Like I said there has been a couple of assignments in law class that I have done in the past where the kids have been able to go on the chromebooks and go to certain websites that they can’t go to [anymore],” Elgin added. “Apparently these websites contain references to either sex, drugs, or violence but it is kind of ridiculous that 16, 17, and 18 year olds can’t go to these websites to do research that I want them to do.”