Letter to the Editor: Wi-Fi

Caroline Trecartin, Freelance Reporter

“What’s the Wi-Fi password?” is the number one question I hear nowadays. Whether it’s in a restaurant, at a friend’s house or even in a grocery store, people constantly need to be messaging others and staying connected with the latest news. For the past several decades, technology has been consistently improving on a daily basis. Even in schools, teaching is being transformed from books and worksheets, to using the internet as a tool for a more effective teaching method. For this reason, I believe that Lyons Township High School should offer Wi-Fi access for all of its students to provide a more collaborative, effective, and fast learning environment.

If LT enabled Wi-Fi access for every student, there would be many beneficial results. In class, teachers are more often having students use their phones to complete certain activities instead of laptops. Not every classroom at LT has laptops or computers, which is why it makes it easier for teachers to let students use their phones. The time it takes to go to a given website on your phone is equivalent to the time for the whole class to have just gotten laptops and sit back down. Like the saying, “time is money”, if the use of phones instead of laptops becomes more frequent, the amount of time and quality of learning inside the classroom will elevate.

Therefore, the only issue right now is that many students either aren’t willing to use up their data plans on school work, or don’t have sufficient data available to them. A middle school teacher said that, “[she] needs [students] to use [their phones] some days for educational apps such as Khan Academy, and not all kids have data plans,” (Debate.org). Just last week my class was asked to use our cellphones to do some research for an upcoming activity. Myself among a few others were found to be out of data and had to manage a way around it. If only there had been adequate Wi-Fi available to us, we would have been able to avoid this conflict.

Utilizing technology within the classroom helps students stay engaged; most students are very familiar with using mobile devices ever since a young age. For that reason, students would portray a higher willingness to learn when there is an incorporation of technology within the classroom. With millennials being the leading, and most exceptional connected generation in history, one would believe that schools should be adjusting their environment based on these changes.

However, some may argue that there could be some conflicting points. A few of my teachers have tried to refrain from or at least minimize the use of cellphones in the classroom. They believe it causes a distraction and students will not focus as well if they are constantly scanning the notifications popping up on their screens. Essentially, this could create an interference with learning inside the classroom, as teachers won’t always be ensured if students are utilizing their phones productively.

Although this is a cogent argument, restrictions and rules could always be put into place to regulate this issue. Ultimately, with the addition of Wi-Fi at LT, the deprivation of our technological culture will no longer arise. Technology deployed at the school should be reflective of our everyday lives. As current generations are growing up in a world filled with ever evolving technology, the decision to implement this system would not be looked at negatively, but commended, because it presents an environment that not only respects our lifestyles, but honors them.