Banning websites on school computers

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Post by Gamer8585 » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:32 pm

Tiff wrote:
Gamer8585 wrote:
And if no-one else needs to use a computer why should they not be able to use it to kill time? You have not addressed a reason on why it is appropriate to punish them.
Becuase too many idiots do things like download software, put viruses ont he computers, and do other idiotic things that render the computer useless to the next person who wants to use it. Why should the school have to spend money to fix the computers that are meant for school business? If EVERYBODY were smart about their internet surfing and whatnot, then that'd be fine and dandy. But the truth is, they aren't. Too many 14 year olds (and hell, even college students) want to download shoot em up flash games, click on unknown emails and viruses with possible viruses, and file share. It's a preventative measure to NOT give the student the opportunity to do this.
Many of those problems of security (especially the ones concerning malware) can and should be addressed by any responsible admin. Just set the OS to give the student account(s) restricted privileges, and a hardware+software firewall and AV/AS software should always be used and up to date in any institution. As for filesharing, no one should be able to install any program without admin access and even if somehow they get around this restriction (maybe some weird java based program from a USB drive) the bandwidth can be throttled (or completely cut off) on known ports and/or protocols. If your school's IT department can't do any of those simple (by professional standards) measures you have a lot more to be worried about then kids playing flash games at school.
First off, who owns the computers? Well for individuals is the buyer of the computer, for colleges its the institutions, but For public schools its the TAX PAYERS.
Um, actually? A lot, if not most, computer labs/school computers are bought through grants, fundraisers and such. Just about every elementary school I've been to has had that be the case.

And before you argue "omg I made a donation so therefore it's mine", you're donating to HELP the school have resources for the kids' use, not so you can OWN it.

And come on. Being a tax payer and paying for your kid to attend school doesn't equate you owning the equipment. That's just another ridiculous argument trying to justify being able to use a computer for whatever you want. And hey, guess what? If you don't like the idea of paying taxes for your kid's education and not having free for all access to the computers, then send your kid to a private school, or home school them yourselves.
As I said, I'm not claiming to be the arbiter of district IT policy. And to clarify I don't believe I personally own the equipment. Rather those computers are a public good owned by the local community, and I think I have a legitimate right to have my concerns considered. I'm not saying that any school district must adopt my philosophy, rather it is in the communities interest to have this and other debates to better clarify the polices that the community as a whole want. There maybe concerns of a higher priority and ethics of a more pressing nature that run contrary to my course of actions, and if so I would like to debate with anyone espousing such views. I can have my mind changed with a reasoned argument that is better then my own.

On the subject on taxes and public goods: While yes the initial acquisition of computers may come from grants or donations in lieu of taxes, the maintenance and upkeep of those computers and their dependent infrastructure come directly from tax payer funds. Not to mention the fact that my kids (should I have any) would be using the computer, and thus I do have a stake in their use and operation.

Also even if I did enroll my potential future children in a private school or if I don't have children at all I would still have to pay tax to support the public school system.
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Post by Tiff » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:37 pm

-_- Gamer8585, I'm done arguing with you on this. You're repeating the same tired points over and over, and I'm just sick of it. Have fun discussing it with everyone else.

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Post by Gamer8585 » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:44 pm

Tiff wrote:-_- Gamer8585, I'm done arguing with you on this. You're repeating the same tired points over and over, and I'm just sick of it. Have fun discussing it with everyone else.
Yes ma'am, will do.
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Post by Iced_Cappucino » Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:03 am

When I was in High school and I was in ICT, I used to find that many people preferred playing games than actually doing their work. This caused the Internet to have all the fun sites blocked.

When we had finished all our coursework we were allowed to go on the Internet for fun purposes, however, due to the lazy idiots of the group, everything was still banned and hardly any links were accessible.

I think the Internet is OK in schools as long as it is controlled. In other words if the class have finished their work, they should be rewarded with the Internet.

However, in college many computers in the library are taken up by people going on my-space. If I have homework to do or research and I want to do it in the library I can't because many of the computers are taken by this inconsiderate bunch.

In college they should ONLY be used for work unless there is a computer room which is specifically for fun purposes.

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Post by NameGoesHere » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:10 am

Gamer8585 wrote:Really, you think many people actively think and list all the specific conditions that can arise in every given situation and then choose a course of action????

While ideal, this is not practical for alot of reasons which I'm sure you can see already.

As an example of paradigm thinking take theft. If I asked someone if stealing is wrong and should be outlawed they would (in all likelihood) immediately respond with "yes." However if I present the situation that a poor man steals a loaf of bread to feed his starving family, the question of if/how to condemn gets very murky and is still a subject of debate. Society cannot condone theft, but it must also be humane to starving people, the integrity of the family, and the acknowledgment of the duty of a father/husband to provide. So was it a noble act by the father, or an ignoble act by a thief?
I did not say that people had to think of all the possibilities in every situation. That would be absurd. It is not too difficult to comprehend, though, that other people might want to use a public computer. The whole concept of a public computer is designed to allow use by a number of people. The succession of possibilities here is a very short one, unlike, for example, the possibilities of pushing the Little Red Button.

As for the theft paradigm, my original comment stands. Everybody would have a different answer, and a different reason for the answer. Ethical philosophy = personal. I think you just argued my point for me.
Gamer8585 wrote:And if no-one else needs to use a computer why should they not be able to use it to kill time? You have not addressed a reason on why it is appropriate to punish them. As for after-school, I think thats a non issue because they can go home, to the library, etc. For computer use and internet access.
My reasoning? You said yourself that too many feel that they are entitled to things. This is an entitlement issue. It's just like children and candy... if one kid gets candy, then all the other kids will start demanding candy. If one person gets to goof off on the computer, then everybody else will insist that they can as well. The issue just compounds itself. It's much more efficient to say that no one can goof off, as opposed to working out some kind ethical treatise for computer usage.
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Post by the*blue*girl » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:17 pm

I found out something interesting today. I didn't know this, because I'm naive about rule-breaking things *innocentsmile*, but my friends were talking about it. Apperently, there are ways around a school blocking. It's something called a... proxy? I think? It's like a server that you go to on the internet (it's not blocked by our school) and from there you can go on any website you want, banned or not. I just thought it would be intersting to share that here, because it shows that blocking websites doesn't always work.

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Post by Gamer8585 » Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:31 pm

Iced_Cappucino wrote:When I was in High school and I was in ICT, I used to find that many people preferred playing games than actually doing their work. This caused the Internet to have all the fun sites blocked.

When we had finished all our coursework we were allowed to go on the Internet for fun purposes, however, due to the lazy idiots of the group, everything was still banned and hardly any links were accessible.

I think the Internet is OK in schools as long as it is controlled. In other words if the class have finished their work, they should be rewarded with the Internet.
Yeah, I think that punishing the kids that actually do work with the kids that only goof off is wrong. I think that access to the computers should be allowed to all, but taken away from the kids if they abuse it. A system that can be easily implanted by giving each student a network account and then just managing the account privileges.
Iced_Cappucino wrote:However, in college many computers in the library are taken up by people going on my-space. If I have homework to do or research and I want to do it in the library I can't because many of the computers are taken by this inconsiderate bunch.

In college they should ONLY be used for work unless there is a computer room which is specifically for fun purposes.
Well the line between fun sites and goof off sites can be really murky in college. For example what if someone is doing research on social networking sites? It would be a wee bit of a hassle for everyone involved to keep changing the black/white lits of sites for what can be so many individuals at once. Plus, as I addressed in an earlier post it would be a VERY bad idea for colleges to filter internet access, for both the traditional academic ethos and monetary reasons (students would most likely take their business elsewhere). For colleges I think people surfing for fun would be mature enough to give up their seat if they know someone needs to do work.
NameGoesHere wrote:I did not say that people had to think of all the possibilities in every situation. That would be absurd. It is not too difficult to comprehend, though, that other people might want to use a public computer. The whole concept of a public computer is designed to allow use by a number of people. The succession of possibilities here is a very short one, unlike, for example, the possibilities of pushing the Little Red Button.

As for the theft paradigm, my original comment stands. Everybody would have a different answer, and a different reason for the answer. Ethical philosophy = personal. I think you just argued my point for me.
Yeah, I mentioned the absurdity of trying to think though every situation and that people analyze each individual situation as it arises. The point was that people start with a paradigm on how things should be and as individual situations arise then do we start to contour our behavior. In fact the whole legal system is based on this. Laws are enacted based upon a set of broad paradigms and when cases get to the courts the nuance is worked out in each situation. This is also how most institutions work, they set out a set of polices based on ethical paradigms and institutional goals, and they work out individual situations when they arise.

In the context of the topic, the question of whether or not the internet should be filtered or baned is a question of an institutional ethical paradigm. I'm arguing that it shouldn't be, because such action would be a violation of what I perceive are higher principles: Not punishing the innocent with the guilty, and the necessity for a free flow of information for a proper academic environment. While the opposition argues that it is an undesirable distraction that impedes the function of the institution.
NameGoesHere wrote:My reasoning? You said yourself that too many feel that they are entitled to things. This is an entitlement issue. It's just like children and candy... if one kid gets candy, then all the other kids will start demanding candy. If one person gets to goof off on the computer, then everybody else will insist that they can as well. The issue just compounds itself. It's much more efficient to say that no one can goof off, as opposed to working out some kind ethical treatise for computer usage.
Well actually I see the problem of entitlement to be rooted in the babying of children rather then teaching them. Parents have become lazy for one reason or another. They want the teachers and the TV to take over the aspects of parenting. They don't teach their kids and blame everyone else when their kids act out (Its music, its movies, its video games, its their friends...yada-yada-yada). It would be better for the kids to be taught responsible ways of acting , and showing the rewards for good behavior as well as the punishments for bad behavior. If the death penalty was given for every crime there would be no reason for criminals to moderate their activity, each one would go all out because they would have nothing left to loose. That is why it is necessary for the punishment to fit the crime.

BTW all people want to goof off rather then do work (simple pleasure/pain principle), and computer-or-no they will find ways to goof off anyway. Saying its just an issue with the computer or just and issue with children is false. And you, normally, don't have to work out some kind of special ethical treatise for computers just take the standard ethics we say we subscribe to and apply it to public computer usage. (For clarification there are some ethical concerns uniquely surrounding ICT, but I don't believe this is one of them).
the*blue*girl wrote:I found out something interesting today. I didn't know this, because I'm naive about rule-breaking things *innocentsmile*, but my friends were talking about it. Apperently, there are ways around a school blocking. It's something called a... proxy? I think? It's like a server that you go to on the internet (it's not blocked by our school) and from there you can go on any website you want, banned or not. I just thought it would be intersting to share that here, because it shows that blocking websites doesn't always work.
Yeah, proxies are a good way around site blocking, the problem is that most proxy sites are blocked by the filters now. If you want to create your own you can go to http://www.peacefire.org for instructions on how to turn your home computer into a proxy server (plus since its would be a unique IP it probably won't be blocked). If you do get a free proxy site to work (or make your own) be warned they are very slow, because of the way the data has to be routed. If you want faster transfer they you may have to subscribe to a special proxy service, but those would most likely be blocked.

Good luck.
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Post by Dr. Casey » Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:54 pm

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Really? The only thing it taught me was that kids take their sports way too seriously. PE built character in the early years, but by fifth or sixth grade it had worn out its welcome in that respect. From then on it was nothing more than a place where you might or might not have fun.
hehe im like usagi in anime allways late for school,bad grammer and spelling
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Post by Tiff » Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:10 am

Gamer8585 wrote:For colleges I think people surfing for fun would be mature enough to give up their seat if they know someone needs to do work.
You would THINK, but you are wrong. Have you ever been to college, sat in a college computer lab, and watched the people? I had to use one for two years at my first college, and believe me, the people there break every rule in the damn lab. They bring open containers of liquid and food, they don't give up the seat if someone needs to study unless a lab worker MAKES them get up, they constantly dry up the printer by printing things that aren't relevant to schoolwork over and over.

You see? It's people like THAT who fuck it up for the rest of us.

And by the way? This college DID let people surf for fun, and such. Really, you just couldn't play flash games or look at porn. And look where it got them. Half the people who went to the computer lab to STUDY, and DO THEIR COLLEGE WORK liek they're meant to do couldn't, becuase they had to wait outside for a seat to come open from the idiots surfing and refusing to get up.

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Post by Gamer8585 » Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:35 am

Tiff wrote:
Gamer8585 wrote:For colleges I think people surfing for fun would be mature enough to give up their seat if they know someone needs to do work.
You would THINK, but you are wrong. Have you ever been to college, sat in a college computer lab, and watched the people? I had to use one for two years at my first college, and believe me, the people there break every rule in the damn lab. They bring open containers of liquid and food, they don't give up the seat if someone needs to study unless a lab worker MAKES them get up, they constantly dry up the printer by printing things that aren't relevant to schoolwork over and over.

You see? It's people like THAT who fuck it up for the rest of us.

And by the way? This college DID let people surf for fun, and such. Really, you just couldn't play flash games or look at porn. And look where it got them. Half the people who went to the computer lab to STUDY, and DO THEIR COLLEGE WORK liek they're meant to do couldn't, becuase they had to wait outside for a seat to come open from the idiots surfing and refusing to get up.
Hey, I thought you were done arguing with me about this...

Well I guess our experience has differed somewhat. As a current college student I have seen people who are using the computer for fun get up when they notice someone is standing around needing to do actual work.
A couple times a lab tech has even announced that there was someone needed a computer, and asked for someone, that wasn't doing work, to give up their seat. At least 25% of the room stood up and left. Yes there were some people that were goofing off that didn't, but most of the people I saw that didn't stand were using MS Word. (For the record I was working on a paper at the time).

All thats needed in most cases is a little common courtesy. As the bible says, "Ask and ye shall receive."
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Post by Tiff » Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:43 am

Gamer8585 wrote:
Hey, I thought you were done arguing with me about this...

Well I guess our experience has differed somewhat. As a current college student I have seen people who are using the computer for fun get up when they notice someone is standing around needing to do actual work.
A couple times a lab tech has even announced that there was someone needed a computer, and asked for someone, that wasn't doing work, to give up their seat. At least 25% of the room stood up and left. Yes there were some people that were goofing off that didn't, but most of the people I saw that didn't stand were using MS Word. (For the record I was working on a paper at the time).

All thats needed in most cases is a little common courtesy. As the bible says, "Ask and ye shall receive."
*Shrugs* Claryfing, really, that not all colleges are as super polite and sweet as yours. You've brought up a new point that I felt needed clarifying.

And do you honestly think thos eof us waiting for a computer HAVEN'T asked? My god, come on. You assume too much.

I don't know what college you go to, but the kids at mine certainly didn't behave as yours did. And I can't imagine MOST colleges being the way yours is, since the two I went to were both similar in this situation.

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Post by Gamer8585 » Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:55 pm

Tiff wrote:
Gamer8585 wrote:
Hey, I thought you were done arguing with me about this...

Well I guess our experience has differed somewhat. As a current college student I have seen people who are using the computer for fun get up when they notice someone is standing around needing to do actual work.
A couple times a lab tech has even announced that there was someone needed a computer, and asked for someone, that wasn't doing work, to give up their seat. At least 25% of the room stood up and left. Yes there were some people that were goofing off that didn't, but most of the people I saw that didn't stand were using MS Word. (For the record I was working on a paper at the time).

All thats needed in most cases is a little common courtesy. As the bible says, "Ask and ye shall receive."
*Shrugs* Claryfing, really, that not all colleges are as super polite and sweet as yours. You've brought up a new point that I felt needed clarifying.
I wouldn't use the terms "Super-Polite" or "Sweet" to describe my college, there are plenty of assholes to go around (Excuse my English)
Tiff wrote:And do you honestly think thos eof us waiting for a computer HAVEN'T asked? My god, come on. You assume too much.


I never assumed that. From what I've seen, most students don't ask, they just wait around until a computer frees up. The ones that do ask normally seem to get one. Once again this is just based off of my own experience, and maybe doesn't hold up against the greater bulk of humanity, but that's really an empirical question.
Tiff wrote:I don't know what college you go to, but the kids at mine certainly didn't behave as yours did. And I can't imagine MOST colleges being the way yours is, since the two I went to were both similar in this situation.
Well, I'm sorry you went to colleges where people weren't even decent enough to yield resources to someone in need. I wish I could provide some defense (or at least rationale), but there are a lot of factors involved that makes me unable to comment, so I'll refrain.

But the core question is whether or not this requires formal institutional action. Since we both have different experiences we know that neither extreme of behavior is endemic to the human condition or the American culture as a whole. So, is there a less formal and/or more effective means of achieving the same objective?

I say Yes. It maybe repetitious, but I do believe that instilling within our youth the idea's of common decency and empathy toward our fellow man is a far better alternative to the narrow and ethically questionable means of internet filtering. Now, I understand that this thing cannot be formally taught in school (although teachers should promote such values), like many things this is an area best taught though the place of Primary Socialization, the Home. It is, has been, will be, and can only be the job of parents themselves.

The argument of the "sense of entitlement" earlier in this thread is directly related, because it its do to parents failing to properly socialize their children that kids become selfish, and though that a sense of entitlement develops. Stick kids in front of the TV while you go out to party, constantly give in to a child when he starts to demand something, forgo any attempt at proper discipline, and you have someone that is inward focused.

In sum, I think that their is a bigger and growing problem in society, that contributes to the problem at hand. The filtering of the internet at academic instiutions is a solution that: 1) violates the greater academic ethos, 2) Unjustly punishes the innocent with the guilty, 3) dose not properly address the greater dilemma. Rather it is up to each one of us to set a good example in society, and by doing so make man himself more empathic and aware of those in need, and give him the courage to act in a proper way that strengthens the greater social compact.

I'll admit, that's its a long term solution that has few guarantees, and may fall victim to the "Free Rider" problem. In the end how ever I believe that is a better solution, because it solves the problem without violating tightly held ethical principles, and thus is more ontologically acceptable.

BTW, excuse the lateness of this reply. For the past ~5 days I have been engrossed in: I Am America (And So Can You!) by Dr. Stephen T. Colbert D.F.A.
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Post by Tiff » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:17 am

While I wholeheartedly agree that society needs to instill more values of kindness, common courtesy, and manners to humanity, I'm afraid that takes a lot longer than a simple banning of unnecessary activities on the campus computers, and it's unrealistic to say "Instead of the institution allowing what they want on their own computers, let's instead teach everybody manners and courtesy". That's just simply not going to happen in the short-term.

Joey: The question is, Rachel, does he like you? ''Cuz if he doesn''t, then it''s all just a moo point.
Rachel: Huh...a...moo point?
Joey: Yeah. It''''s like a cow''s opinion. It doesn''t matter....It''s moo.
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Post by AnimatedEvey12 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:53 pm

I think that certain sites on school computers should be blocked from students in both high school and college labs. Although in college you can buy your own laptop and do whatever you want on it. (I'm starting college in the fall and I'm very excited.) In middle school, two boys were banned from my school's computer lab for the rest of the year because they looked up porn. Yea one time I went on one of the computers (it was on screen saver) and then porn popped up o_O, I was like wtf?
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Post by Aishiteru » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:33 pm

I think things like porn and shopping sites should be banned, but my school bans things that are totally harmless. For example, twilightguy.com is banned. It is a website of chapter-by-chapter reviews written by a man named Kaleb Nation on the Twilight series. They're not stupid reviews either; they're actually very intelligent. Also anything under the heading of "humor" or "games" is banned. I understand that students should focus on their work, but when you're in studyhall and have nothing to do, you should be able to get on a fun site. It's not like it really matters, because it's pretty easy to sneak past the filter, but I still think my administrator is a little ban-happy.
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Post by SailorBallerinaMoon » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:38 pm

When it comes to banning websites my school is pretty linient. The usual social networking sites are blocked but most game sites and youtube are accessible.

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AnimatedEvey12
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Post by AnimatedEvey12 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:45 pm

Well the only time I am allowed to play games is when I finish work for my computer science and web design/desktop publishing classes. For a while my teacher let us go on social networking sites when we were doing our websites, but after that they were banned. Mainly to get our pictures off of our profiles.
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