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Filters On School Computers

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    <p> Many students and teachers have seen this annoying window after trying to go to a website for educational purposes or any other kind of research. The filters that are installed on the school computers seem to block out many useful websites. Students can be researching any topic for an assignment, but the filters sometimes block these sites even though they are considered educational and would be approved by the teacher or the supervisor. Such filters on the school computers should be removed so that students can have more access they need. If the teachers do not want us to go to the bad websites they can keep us out by constant supervision. </p>

    <p> The other day I was looking up websites that could help me in my research for automotive designer. When I clicked on one of the search result links, the "Information Alert" window came up and even the teacher thought that there could not possibly be anything bad on the website for the filters to block. I went back to the original search results and it still blocked most of the sites that were listed on the results. I finally decided to just let it go and went home to do the research. I followed the same search procedure that I did at school and clicked on the exact same link, since my computer does not have the filters, it let me in. When I browsed through it I did not find anything vulgar or inappropriate anywhere on the site. The only thing that I did find was plenty of useful information that helped me on my topic. </p> <p> People who do not have a computer with internet access at their house are even less fortunate. They can't look up what they need, when they need it. If someone has to do research on a topic that the filters happen to block out, they are just out of luck. One of my fellow classmates had such problem. While doing some research on the school computers he was denied access to many sites. Consequently, he did not finish his work in class. The filters on the school computers ended up really affecting his grade. </p> <p> To make matters even worse, these filters do not seem to block out everything that they are supposed to. One day while I was looking up graphics for one of my essays I typed in "bling bling" into the search box. It brought up many sites I could not get into. It did, however, let me into the one where the first picture that came up was a woman wearing nothing but necklaces. Although the filter claims to block out all such material, evidently it does not live up to its promises. Consequently some kid down in elementary school could be looking at that same site on one of the school computers. </p>

    <p> Another great example was the blocking of hotmail. At our school If you had typed in the URL www.hotmail.com it would not let you go to it. But going to MSN first then clicking on hotmail would bypass the filter. Therefore, people can still manage to get around the filter even if they are the most expensive and stateoftheart. The only good filter is and will always be the constant supervision by teachers or parents of the students. </p> <p> Many teachers do not even watch what the students are doing on the computer. They sit at their desk and drink a Dr. Pepper while eating a doughnut instead. The other day some students figured out how to get rid of the filter on one of the school computers and used it every day to look up pornographic sites. While they were doing this, the teacher was at the desk chowing down on a candy bar and drinking a Coke. He never figured out what the students were doing until he caught them while they were on one of the sites. This shows how neither parents nor teachers should trust these filters that are promising to block out anything that could be objectionate. </p> <p> Another example was this mother who had installed a filter on her home computer because she had children of the ages of seven and ten years old. One day while she left the room with the computer on, her little tenyearold child managed to get on the Internet and type in "Bugs Bunny." The results that came up were mainly links to pornography. The little girl clicked on one of them and it let her in. Eventually she was caught by her mother. Ever since, her mother choses to personally watch her children when they go on the internet. </p> <p> Computers and the Internet have come a long way. Nevertheless, with their advancing technology, at least one thing is still staying behind the Internet filters. Although some of such filters can be decent, they still block out information that we, as students could find very useful. I would really encourage for these filters to be taken off so that the computers and the Internet can enhance our learning experience. By doing so we will be more prepared and more fulfilled with knowledge without any limits from censorship that just disrupts our learning experience. By getting rid of them we can look up some of the "forbidden" information that can help us with the what we do each day in our everyday school life. </p>
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