Starting at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, students came to the shocking realization that they could no longer access their favorite apps using the school wifi. Apps such as Instagram, Netflix, Snapchat, Pinterest and many others appeared to be blocked.
Many students questioned the new restrictions.
“I was disappointed that we can’t use certain apps anymore, I guess they don’t want us to use them during school,” said Senior Natalie Hart.
Principal Jeff Harrison stated the changes were made due to network outages and slowness.
In regards to student usage of apps that were blocked and the wifi network, he said, “It wasn’t that there were problems, we were trying to make it more efficient.”
He stressed that apps were blocked based on whether they had an educational purpose or not.
“If it has an educational purpose it shouldn’t be blocked,” Harrison said. “We didn’t find the other apps to be of use, at least at this point.”
One app that students can still access however, is Twitter.
On this subject, Harrison said, “both good and bad things can happen on Twitter, just like Instagram as well. But overall the general feeling with Twitter is that there were many teachers throughout the district who were using it in a positive way and students as well using it in a positive way to promote good things, so we didn’t want to block it.”
Harrison said that he was pleased with the changes he was seeing in regards to the wifi network. “We are not seeing the slowdowns we had in the past, it is allowing us to use our resources as best as we can.”
In the future, he said that unblocking the apps that were previously blocked doesn’t seem likely.
“We can either let you stream Netflix in study hall, or be able to use Blackboard during a class,” he said. “If it doesn’t have an educational purpose and isn’t available now, it probably won’t be available later.”