Wi-Fi access now adheres to ISU policy

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Wi-Fi access now adheres to ISU policy

Lounge time doubles as study time for sophomores Connie Chen and Abby Naden.

Lounge time doubles as study time for sophomores Connie Chen and Abby Naden.

Jade Fung

Lounge time doubles as study time for sophomores Connie Chen and Abby Naden.

Jade Fung

Jade Fung

Lounge time doubles as study time for sophomores Connie Chen and Abby Naden.

Lauren Van Plew, Reporter

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Students returned from summer break and discovered the isunet Wi-Fi could no longer be used on any devices other than school issued laptops.  

Contrary to popular rumors, this policy was not in response to a specific violation of the tech policy.  Tehcnology coordinator Jim Kurz convirmed that no one sent inappropriate pictures over the school’s Wi-Fi.  Rather, this policy was put into place when Illinois State’s technology department did an audit and found that underage students could access the Wi-Fi on their phones.   

This creates a legal issue about the content that students are viewing on the school Wi-Fi.

“For our school it is a positive change because we are following ISU’s policy,” Principal Andrea Markert said. “So we don’t have to worry legally about what students are viewing on their phones.”

While the overall impact on the school may be positive, many students are upset because they have limited data plans on their phone.

I have to rely on my computer for anything that uses internet,” junior Olivia Morkin said.  “And the school laptops are a lot slower than my phone, so it gets frustrating sometimes.”

The new policy is also affecting how much data is used on family plans.  

“I’ve been going through a lot more of the data on my family’s plan because whenever I’m on my phone at school it uses data,” senior Mackenzie Van Valey said.

Ultimately, the policy was something that was required of the school by ISU.

“I’ve had kids ask me why, but it’s not an argument,” assistant principal Steve Evans said, “We are ISU’s lab school, so we didn’t have a choice.  If I had a choice I would say no phones in school at all, they are too big of a distraction.”

Technology coordinator Jim Kurz was the most involved with ISU in coordinating the policy.  

“Classroom management and safety were the two main issues,” Kurz said.  “We can filter what students are viewing on school-issued laptops, but not on their phones.  ISU has become very big in safety and security, and we are even more vulnerable because we have students under 18.”

Van Valey said the new limitations are annoying.

“At first, I didn’t think it would really affect us that much, “ Van Valey said. “But then once school started, I saw how it affected everything and everyone else.”

She added that the policy hasn’t really changed the time students spend on their phone.”

“In class and during free hours you still see people on their phones,” Van Valey said.

However, students like Olivia Morkin are more cautious with their phone time.

“I’ve been on my phone a lot less in class because I don’t want to go over my data limit,” Morkin said.

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