School’s filters relaxed to allow YouTube

December 10, 2009 — by Ben Clement

If students are spending more time watching YouTube videos and clips on school computers this year, it’s because the school decided to reverse an earlier decision to block the popular site at school.

Previously YouTube was open only for teachers, but administrators made change when these restrictions proved to be inefficient when, for example, students were unable to access various web sites that teachers wanted to use in their lesson plans.

“We were spending a lot of time managing who could and could not access material that was mutually beneficial,” said principal Jeff Anderson.

Aside from giving teachers more freedom with lesson plans, the looser restraints are also, as is to be expected, very popular among students.

“I don’t have a lot of time in class to fool around on the computers,” said sophomore Talia Sisco, a member of the new Multi-Media Journalism class. “It is nice to be able to watch videos with friends during tutorial though.”

Last year, many students had complained about the strict filters, often without giving the filters’ purpose any real thought. Junior Aditya Dev, however, acknowledges that the initial filters are understandable.

“A lot of layout artists in yearbook get frustrated when their partners are fooling around on YouTube or game sites,” said Dev. “It’s not a big deal if you’re responsible, but some people get distracted too easily.”

Anderson also points out that many students forget the reason they have restricted Internet access at school is that teachers and administrators must maintain a productive educational environment.

“We want to give the students as much freedom as we can, but we have to be able to trust them,” said Anderson. “So far, there have not been any abuses of the new filters and hopefully it will remain that way.”