WiFi, or lack thereof


Paul Medrud, Reporter

The school wifi is the last bastion of hope for many students at OHS; many people are using it to listen to music, or to do research in school. But there is something that every student can agree on, the wifi is terrible. Junior Cameron Hardy told the Olympus, “It’s easier to use wireless than the school wifi because of how many people use the school wifi at once, the school doesn’t have  a powerful enough router to support the 1800 students that use it.” It isn’t just students either, even teachers have this problem. Vice Principal of Technology Ms Welsh says, “Since even teachers have computers, there have been times where attendance hasn’t been turned in on time due to wifi being slow or down” This issue extends to the schools blocking system as well, Hardy said that many programs that he uses are blocked and he can’t contact the school about it. Junior Evan Christian said “Lift your restrictions on YouTube, and just overall be lighter handed. However if your going to keep all these restrictions in place on account of “protecting” the students, why don’t you have the most offensive sites on the internet blocked?” The Olympus interviewed with The Network Administrator of Olympia School District, David Baird to talk about this issue, he had this to say about the situation. “My opinion?  Some, but not all.  Currently district administration sets the guidelines on what we block and what we allow.  Some sites are blocked for legal reasons, like pornography for example. Others are blocked because there is little educational value to their content and they are more of a distraction to the learning process, like games. There are others blocked because their content has been deemed dangerous or offensive.  The tech department does not dictate these guidelines, and we frequently are asked to allow sites through our filter that are requested by staff because they are either misclassified or reasonably necessary for their current curriculum.“


But what can be done to curb this problem? The general consensus is to improve the wifi in general. Ms Welsh mentioned that the school was planning on adding many wifi boosters that would increase the speed of the wifi, Hardy mentioned that they should increase the amount of broadband that the wifi can handle at one time so more people can be on the wifi at one time than before. The changes also bring up the idea of “Maybe we use phones too much” It’s what our parents say to us the moment we go to get it out, Do we depend upon phones too much? The answer is an astounding no, Everybody interviewed had a similar point in that it isn’t a tool solely for procrastination and taking pictures to your friends, it’s a tool for note taking, reading, communicating with your parents, Baird said “I am not a teacher, so I sometimes overlook very valid reasons why a site may or may not be appropriate in a classroom setting, but I would like to see the District relax some of its rules regarding social media and instead use it as a tool to teach appropriate use of such sites and good digital citizenship.”. For the issue of blocking websites, Hardy had an idea to set up a forum for communicating with people about which sites should be blocked or unblocked, where people could discuss why or why not they should be banned, and for now you can talk to Ms Welsh about any issues you have with the wifi, and as Baird says “Study! Learn! Excel! Graduate!”