Students Should Gain Wi-Fi Access

By Claire Frank

The topic of whether students should be given access to the school’s Wi-Fi has been fiercely debated over the past few months.

Perhaps the school thought the big Wi-Fi scandal back in October, in which over 700 Tuscarora students were caught using the Wi-Fi, was the end of the discussion, but the students haven’t stop asking for it.

While the school isn’t required to provide Wi-Fi to students, as Wi-Fi is a privilege and isn’t cheap, denying students access on personal devices doesn’t seem to be working.

Homework in the 21st century has become increasingly reliant upon technology, and the school should accommodate for this. When students are in FLEX, they often can’t complete much of their homework because it requires the Internet. There are limited computers in the school; not everyone can use one.

One option would be to purchase enough computers for every single student, but a cheaper alternative would be to open up the Wi-Fi system so the students could use their personal devices instead.

Every year, many students are told that teachers will try to “integrate smartphone use into class lessons.” I’ve actually been in a few classes where a teacher asked students to look up something on their phone. The result is almost always the same: no one can look up the answer because their service is horrible. How are we going to integrate smartphone usage into the classroom if devices are practically useless without a Wi-Fi connection?

Students are going to try to access the Wi-Fi whether they’ve been given permission or not, so why not take control of the situation by expanding the bandwidth and giving students access? The administration could still set certain expectations. Since students using the Wi-Fi for entertainment rather than study is such a worry, the school could block certain websites so students can’t access them. If a student is caught doing something incorrect while using the Wi-Fi, kick them instead of the whole school. Surely that’s a better alternative than what’s currently happening.