The Vernois News

It’s a Block Party: Stachyra Frowns on Website Blocking

Althea Stachyra, Managing Editor

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Several days ago, in second hour AP Language and Composition, I attempted to research poetry during the Antebellum period for a project.

However, this was rather difficult when seemingly just about every website I clicked on would follow up with a screen from “Impero” saying the website I was trying to reach had been blocked.

Throughout the day, as I  attempted to do more basic research in my classes, blocks kept happening. I was not the only student running into this problem.

The issue came up in just about every class I had that day.

     Students complained, and teachers were writing lists a mile long of websites to send to the technology office to be unblocked.

     “Impero Education Pro is a seamless and innovative blend of online safety, network admin and classroom management software that’s simple to install and easy to use,” according to the Impero Software website.

The computer software was recently installed to all of the student Chromebooks in order to manage and keep tabs on what the students are using the Chromebooks for, in order to ensure safety.

Impero allows the staff to monitor student activity on their Chromebooks from their classroom computer, and even gives them the capability to screenshot or shut down the Chromebook if the student is using the laptop inappropriately.

This means students have absolutely no privacy on their school-issued Chromebooks.

The software apparently also allows certain websites to be blocked.

One can use common sense to figure out what they should and should not be doing on school computers.

This would include inappropriate websites, social media, and entertainment sites, like Netflix, that would distract students from schoolwork.

These are reasonable websites to be blocked on the devices, because our school issued Chromebooks are only supposed to be used for school purposes.

However, I do not understand why websites, such as ushistory.org or even the Vernois News website, have been blocked by this computer software.

If the software installed on our Chromebooks makes websites students use to do schoolwork inaccessible, the whole point of our Chromebooks has been defeated, and not to mention extremely frustrating.

I am unsure as to if MV has blocked all of these websites, or if the software automatically does it.

Whatever the case may be, its a block party.

 

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