Website Filters, An Online Learning Tool

Website Filters, An Online Learning Tool

Sophie B-E.

This school year, students have not been able to access sites they would normally use for school. Over the summer, website filters have been implemented on Arlington student spyponders accounts. The decision to block certain sites was most likely made in order to limit distractions while learning. The Insider spoke to Ms. O’Neill, a FACS teacher at Ottoson. Ms. O’Neill agreed that the decision to block certain sites was most likely made in order to prevent learning distractions. A couple of assignments Ms. O’Neill normally plans had to be modified due to the new website filters. When  asked about her  thoughts on the filters, she said  “Overall, yes, I do agree with the [decision to implement] filter[s] even though it caused a small glitch for me.” I personally agree because while filters may be annoying, they help students to learn.

There are two assignments that Ms. O’Neill normally gives her students. She assigns one assignment for seventh-grade students and one for eighth. Both assignments included going onto shopping sites to look at prices, but now the shopping sites are blocked. Ms. O’Neill said she experienced stress when students emailed her during their asynchronous class saying that they couldn’t access the sites they were asked to work with. I was a student in the seventh-grade class. I found it stressful to be unable to do the assignment, and there was no information on the Google Classroom. It took a bit of time for Ms. O’Neill to notice the issue and tell us what to do. The solution to the blocked-website issue was to look at some shopping sites in class which were presented by Ms. O’Neill. Despite original problems, the modified lesson ended up being a great way to learn, and it was nice to do more in a group.

I’m sure at some point we have all been distracted online. For instance, I know last year at the Gibbs sixth-grade school the snake game was a popular game to play in class, and would sometimes distract kids. Ms. O’Neill said that even she has occasionally been distracted by a website. In remote school especially, due to everything being online, it’s harder to stay on task. Since all our learning is done online now, it’s important to stay on task. Whoever implemented these restrictions did so in the best interest of students.

The new website filters are meant to help, but a few alterations would be nice. If there could be a way for teachers to allow students to access certain sites it would make learning much easier. However it would probably not be possible, and it seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

The new website filters are just an example of how school officials are modifying our learning to fit a completely new way of teaching. Our current situation may affect learning in the future. In a few centuries, how we are learning now may be viewed as the beginning of a whole new educational period. Humans have always managed to adapt to new technology and situations, and website filters are just another adaptation.


All views expressed in this article belong to the journalist and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Ottoson Insider.