Pros and Cons of Web Filters in School


Emma Bibb and Drake Eaves

Web filters block websites with certain words that portray violence, pornography, and students must have a way to research in-depth when it’s for a project or an assignment that requires more than just the textbook. In most schools, the internet is a primary research tool with the use of electronic devices. For example, we attending Deer Valley depend on using IPads, smartboards, computers, etc. Web filters is one of the many restrictions used by schools in order to enforce safety and responsibility among students. There are an abundance of pros and cons that are included with web filtering that have many people questioning whether or not it is beneficial or harmful for students and teachers alike.

There are four key components that web filters try to find and expunge from student view which include: Violence, Pornography, Aggressive, and Offensive content. For example, our school blocks websites like: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. All of those websites listed include all four components that web filters restrict. Web filtering also helps deal with distractions in the classroom. Deer Valley restricts games like Minecraft, Roblox, and social media platforms that were listed above. It is a known study that students perform better on exams and in the classroom without distractions like games and social media. One of the most unknown positive effects of web filtering includes a decrease in cyberbullying. Once again, involving social media, children and teens use it to attack or harass other people about their opinions and views. Having social media blocked prevents a ton of cyberbullying going on in many schools.

On the other hand, web filtering can be too restrictive and unneeded. Students live in a world of controversy and there will always be biased people. Many students, like ourselves, love to get invested in this controversy and incorporate it into our school lives. Unfortunately, web filters and controversy can be a bad mix. For example, a project may include something controversial like abortion. Websites that may be useful to projects include Planned Parenthood, which is restricted. If you take a look at the photo below you see the reason it is restricted is because of sex education. Deer Valley Unified School District requires students to take one semester of health. Due to our own experiences in this class, the curriculum does include sex education. Another example of very restrictive web filters includes: Netflix, Hulu, etc. These can be a very big distraction but with school revolving around technology students are watching lots of videos and movies including documentaries. There can be a plentiful amount of educational potential that comes with these platforms.

Hopefully, these pros and cons will have you think about how you really feel about web filtering. Web filtering can benefit the classroom but can also make it arduous for students to use technology in school.