iboss: How Much Does It Annoy You?

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iboss: How Much Does It Annoy You?

Veronica Serrano, Author

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You’re in health class, studying the effects of drugs. You try to find out more information, but the websites are blocked. Why? Because of iboss.

iboss, a filtering system that limits internet access on students’ Chromebooks, classroom desktops, and school WIFI, blocks inappropriate websites at school, home, or anywhere students use their SFPS devices. It automatically links to a student’s school email.

Having a filtering system is a federal requirement, according to Kate Gomez, the digital learning coach at Santa Fe High. The Children Internet Protection Act requires that K-12 schools, as well as libraries, in the United States use web content filters to protect minors from harmful online content.

According to Matthew Baird, systems administrator for SFPS, iboss costs the district $22,600 a year.

Iboss blocks websites based on trigger words that are deemed inappropriate for school use. Although iboss blocks sites that contain pornographic content, drugs, alcohol, and violence, it is not perfect as it blocks unnecessary things also.

When a website is blocked, a screen comes up and a password may be entered. Who has this password? No one.

If iboss blocks something that shouldn’t be blocked, the student can provide the teacher with the exact link of the website and the teacher will request that the IT department open the site.

Ms. Gomez helps teachers with technology and also helps students if they have problems with their Chromebooks. About the filtering she explained, “We try to prepare students for after high school so they know what’s good and what’s bad.”

Iboss is both liked and disliked by teachers and students because some websites are unnecessarily blocked. Freshman Getsemani Martinez said, “I think it’s dumb,” explaining that iboss blocks Google docs for her at school and at home.

Another frehsman, Darwin Ruano, agreed that iboss blocks certain websites, which prevents students from doing their work.

A positive effect of iboss is that students aren’t allowed to access or watch anything they want.

Coach Zack Cole asserted that Iboss is good although he suggested that Twitter should not be blocked because it would provide classes with good discussion points.

Elementary and middle schools have iboss as well. The younger the students are, the more iboss blocks. As students grow up, they are permitted to access more sites. For example, elementary students are not allowed to use YouTube while high school students are.

If you have any questions, contact Kate Gomez by email: [email protected] or stop by her office in the library at lunch. “I will answer in 24 hours but usually I answer ten minutes after they send me an email,” she stated, adding, “I love my job.”

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