Student internet filtering at school and at home

posted Dec 1, 2018, 1:32 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Dec 1, 2018, 2:17 PM ]

Filtering at school

The district's own WiFi and hardwired data network is CIPA compliant and thus blocks known sites associated with mature or violent content and security threats such as malware. It also attempts to block access to social media sites, non-educational YouTube videos, and other distractions from instruction. Take-home Chromebooks are configured with the Lightspeed Relay extension to provide similar filtering during school hours.

However, it is NOT possible for the district to filter students' personal cell phones or tablets or other non-district devices when they are accessing a cellular data network. Motivated students can also find ways around the various protective technological barriers on their Chromebooks, although they are subject to disciplinary measures if they do so at school.

Filtering away from school

Outside of school hours, the Lightspeed Relay filter on the take-home Chromebooks is relaxed to allow access to social media sites, non-educational YouTube videos, etc. It will still block known sites with mature or violent content and security threats and enforce Google SafeSearch and YouTube Restricted Mode to attempt to limit access to mature content. Nevertheless, motivated students can find ways to defeat any filter we erect.

Your supervision is the best filter

If you are concerned about how your child is using any device for internet access, consider restricting their access to the device to public areas of the home in your presence, such as at a dining table, in the shared living area, etc.

Home filtering technology

Parents can try using Parental Controls on their home WiFi routers or appliances to further restrict student access to various websites.  However,  home filtering only works if they are connected to your own home WiFi network. It has no effect if they connect to a cellular data hot spot or an open WiFi network within range.

The hard truth, whether or not the school provides a take-home device, is that parents must invest time in instilling a sense of personal responsibility in their children and encourage safe online behavior since there will always be opportunities to access the open internet using borrowed devices and older students are adept at defeating technological barriers.

Online resources