FCPS-Issued Laptops Need More Restrictions

Jackson Steiner, Staff Writer

FCPS issued laptops to students as a result of more curriculum being taught through online resources. To make sure that the laptops were used for academic purposes only, a number of restrictions were put in place so students would stay focused starting the 2019-2020 school year.

Some students think that the school laptops have too many restrictions put in place. However, one could easily argue that this is not the case. In fact, there is plenty of reason to think that there are not enough restrictions on the laptops. Students are still able to access several video games, social media sites and non-credible databases.

Image Courtesy by Leila Ali

Even though the FCPS-issued computers are supposed to be used for academic purposes only, a noticeable amount of students are still able to access popular video game sites such as Cool Math Games. Access to video game sites serves as another distraction in the classroom. 

Social media is another significant distraction for high school students. Despite the fact that Instagram is blocked, other massively popular media platforms like YouTube are not restricted. YouTube remains unblocked, for it contains some academic videos that teachers use for the curriculum. However, non-academic videos, such as sports highlights or gaming live streams offer no academic value.

Image Courtesy by Leila Ali

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Woodson-issued laptops have become the primary learning tool for students attending school virtually. Some students have started coming back to school 2 days a week. As for the rest of students staying virtual, they continue to have no teachers or moderators present with them in person. In other words, the only tools that will keep students on task without moderators present are restrictions on distracting sites.

With no one to make sure students use their laptops for academic purposes only, it is far more likely that they will drift off task, for they have the internet at their fingertips and no one to monitor them. More restrictions put on the laptops will keep students on task and serve as academic tools, rather than another distraction while learning from home. More specifically, placing restrictions on sites such as YouTube and Twitter that divert the attention of students will help them reach academic success during the virtual learning period.

School laptops are the primary tool for virtual education. However, with the lack of restrictions on school computers, they present themselves as an obstacle for an already difficult online learning setting. More restrictions on FCPS-issued laptops will keep students on track and carry out their intended purpose.